Visit An Angel

If on holiday in the UK, head for the Northeast of England and visit a place full of historic castles, ancient cathedrals, Roman ports and the great Roman wall. A land that has miles of glorious sunny beaches and magnificent countryside, where the natives are friendly and the welcome is warm. Newcastle on the north bank of the Tyne is filled with hotels, shops, restaurants and bars. Have a meal in China Town's Stowell Street or if you feel like party spending the evening in the bars and eateries of Bigg Market and The Quayside. Take a walk across the millennium bridge to the Gateshead side of the river and visit The Baltic art gallery and The Sage Gateshead, for a range of musical events.

Gateshead is also the home of the world famous sculpture "The Angel Of The North". Voted one of the twelve official "Icons Of England" in the Culture Online project, it is probably the largest angel sculpture in the world.

Whether you travel to The Northeast by road or rail you can not fail to see this 65foot high tribute to art and modern engineering. The Angel with its 175foot wingspan (bigger than that of a 767 and almost as big as a Jumbo Jet) stands proudly on a hilltop at the side of the A1 and the London to Edinburgh East Coast main line runs close by. Because of its unique location it has become one of the most viewed sculptures in the world and is seen by 90,000 each day, 33 million every year.

The Angel, built on the site of former pithead baths, sets above the 200year old workings of the Team Colliery and some of the mine working had to be blocked off to accommodate the massive piles that anchor the sculpture to the bedrock below. Designed By Antony Gormley OBE, who was selected by Gateshead Council's Art In Public Places Panel the sculpture cost £ 800,000. The engineering consultants were Ove Arup & Partners, the fabrication company for the 200ton sculpture was – Hartlepool Fabrications Ltd and the 20 meters deep foundation work was carried out by Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd.

Over 150,000 people from all over the world visit this modern wonder each year and stand at its feet to have a picture taken, as it towers above them. Why not join them and you can see the scale of this gigantic sculpture for yourself.

How To Get There.

Traveling from the south by car, follow the A1M toward Newcastle until you pass the Washington Service Station. Aprox 1 mile further on take the exit for the A167 (Gateshead South) at the roundabout take the A167 turn off. A few hundred yards along you will come to The Angel on your left, park in the lay-by where there is room for 15 cars and you can walk right up to the sculpture.

Traveling from the north by car. Follow the A1 south as it sweeps around Newcastle and Gateshead, pass the Metro Shopping Center and carry on until you see the sign for the A167 turn off (Wrekenton and Birtley), take the slip road off and at the roundabout turn left onto the A167 . After a few hundred yards you can park in the lay-by on your left and walk to the Angel.

If you have traveled to the Northeast by bus or train, you can get to the Angel via the Angel Bus. From Newcastle; go to The Eldon Square Bus Station and catch the Go Northeast services 21 & 22. From Gateshead; go to the Gateshead Interchange Bus Station, again you want the Go Northeast services 21 & 22.

Copyright Fred Watson 2007