Few weeks ago we spent the day in Newcastle rediscovering our home city and taking advantage of all the new cool things NE1 had installed. So that was one way to see the city; by foot. But what about seeing the city from a different angle entirely?
For Christmas 2019 we got a voucher from Dave’s sister and brother in law for a rooftop tour of St James’ Park. Thanks to the old ‘rona though we’ve only actually been able to cash that voucher in this summer (big up to Virgin Experiences who are still honouring most gift vouchers from last year).
There are a couple of ways to see the city from up high; the new ThreeSixty bar, which incidently isn’t that far from St James’ and before the pandemic, if you were lucky enough to get a ticket, there were tours to the top of Greys Monument. St James is such a landmark in the city centre though, I think voucher aside, it’s still where I would choose to go to get a view from up top. Plus I have fond memories of watching Newcastle United fairly regularly when I was a young teenager and my parents had couple of season tickets. That’s back when we were good and scored all the time though.
We were really lucky with the weather. It was bright and clear albeit a touch on the windy side. You arrive 15 mins before the tour (there were about 12 of us on the tour we did) and get a quick safety briefing and some pictures of what to expect regarding the nature of the stairs you need to climb, what it’s like underfoot etc. This Is your opportunity, if you’re having any doubts, to pull out.
Getting to the top is simple, and the steepest incline is a metal staircase (there’s nothing like a ladder you need to climb). Once you’re up there the views are pretty spectacular. I have to say the guides are fantastic, they really know their city history, so much so that it’s less of a football tour and more of a tour of Newcastle, which means it pretty much suits everybody.
We get guided all around the roof of the ground, which includes three areas where it’s just grating underfoot so you can see all the way down. I have to say I let Dave take the photos on these bits because my hands were hella shaky getting my phone out my pocket. They can be avoided though if you’re really not that jazzed on heights and you can walk straight over them without stopping (or looking down) onto the bit where it’s just roof underneath again.
It’s a real 360 experience as well, seeing as far and the iconic bridges over the River Tyne, Gosforth Race Course, the wings of the Angel and the peaks of the Cheviots if it’s a really clear day!
The tour of the roof lasts about 35-40 minutes and I thought that would be the end of it so it was a nice surprise to find out you get taken back down to ground level, through to where the dressing rooms are (we weren’t allowed in as there was a match the next day) and then on to the pitch for more photos.
The whole experience lasts about 90mins and costs £20 a head for is really good value in my opinion, especially for something different to do. Couple of things probably worth mentioning; you get hard hats for the tour because there might be the odd occasion you have to duck under something, make sure they’re adjusted on tightly and it can get quite windy up there.
You’re not attached to anything or clipped on anywhere so if you’re really not great with heights then this may not be the tour for you. Don’t get e wrong, it’s completely safe, but I consider myself ok with heights and even I was a bit wobbly to start off with, especially on the windier sections. There is a lockable room to put handbags, personal items in etc however if you’re able to, it’s probably just best to turn up with everything about your person. And if you have a wrist or neck strap for your camera or phone so more the better, I wish I’d brought some kind of strap for my phone so I didn’t feel so shaky getting it out my pocket every few seconds.
In terms of clothes I just wore jeans, a t-shirt and trainers, just anything you’re comfortable in, and goes without saying any heeled shoes probably wouldn’t be the best idea! However if heights really aren’t your there there are other stadium tours where you keep your feet firmly on the ground. You don’t get the opportunity to see your house though…
Tours run on Saturday and Sunday as long as there isn’t a match on at either 12.00pm or 2.00pm
To view dates and times available, you can visit and book here: book.nufc.co.uk