Gateshead Quays

When I used to think about Gateshead Quays, I used to think of Newcastle, which in turn made me think about Byker Grove and good old Ant and Dec. Now when I think of Gateshead I think about its fantastic new millennium bridge and its amazing music centre and Baltic centre. Gateshead has come a long way from what it once was. All its life it has been linked to Newcastle even though they are at opposite ends of the Tyne. Finally, after the regeneration of Gateshead, people no longer think about things that are around Gateshead but they think of the things that are inside it.

When you come along to visit Gateshead there are three areas, which cannot be missed. I am talking about the three huge regenerated areas within Gateshead. The regeneration of this area began with the building of the artistic Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Although the Tyneside River already has a collection of historic bridges, the new Millennium Bridge has a unique design and has attracted worldwide attention. The Bridge weighs more than eight hundred tonnes, which is enough steel to build sixty-four double decker buses.

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It rises a hundred and sixty four feet above the river level. The bridge was lifted into position by the world’s second biggest floating crane. The bridge will open in order to let shipping pass through, it is the first opening bridge to have been built across the Tyne in this century. The unique way in which it has been built allows it to tilt when it opens. When the bridge opens, it resembles the opening and closing of a giant eyelid, which is one of the most thrilling sights ever and is one not to be missed whilst visiting Gateshead.

You may be thinking that what is so brilliant about a silly little bridge, but can I just remind you that this is not the embarrassingly shaky London Millennium Bridge; this is in fact the marvellously engineered Gateshead Quays Bridge. Unlike its London predecessor, the Gateshead bride only moves when it needs to let things pass through it. This bridge is not only sturdy but it is also very energy efficient. Every time that this bridge opens, it will only cost three pounds sixty pence, not only does it cost a small amount to run, it is very time efficient as well.

Each time that it opens or closes, it will only take it a small four minutes. Here is some good news for all of you environmentally friendly people, all the rubbish that may have been thrown on to the bridge will automatically roll into the special traps at each end of the deck every time the bridge opens. Our new bridge seems to be loved so much by everyone that it has also featured on a new first class stamp. This is the first place that is ‘a must’ see for everyone.

You may be thinking that it is just a bridge, but it is a fantastic experience when you watch it open and if you happen to be there at night, you will get to see its beautiful lights sparkling in the Tyne. The second part of the regeneration began with the music centre. The centre opened in 2002 and it houses a 1,650-seat hall and a 450 seat second hall along with a regional music hall, rehearsal rooms and a music information centre. Over sixty million pounds has been spent on building this magnificent centre.

It was built purposely for the celebration, performance, enjoyment and practise of all different forms of music. The design of the centre is seven buildings in one, which are all covered by a curved roof. This new centre will help to culture and inform the children of tomorrow. It is an exciting experience, which can be enjoyed by all the family repeatedly. The centre was designed by world acclaimed architects Foster and Partners. Their innovative design has helped to bring Gateshead into the millennium.

The new centre will prove to be an exciting new experience for the whole family. It has many things for you to see and do. It will teach you about the different styles of music from around the word and you will get the opportunity to listen to some of the acts that make this music. Last but certainly not least, the third regeneration. This is the Baltic centre for contemporary art. The centre opened in March 2002, it is situated along the south bank of the River Tyne. Where the centre stands today, a disused flourmill once stood in the ninety fifties.

Contemporary art, the artists and the audience influenced the way in which this building has been constructed. The Baltic houses five different galleries, three artists’ spaces, performance arts spaces, cutting-edge media lab, cinema and lecture space, library and archive, a retail outlet and bookshop, a rooftop restaurant, a riverside restaurant, which has a cafi?? and bar along with an open air terrace and it also contains a extravagant viewing box overlooking the Tyne Millennium Bridge. With all of its amazing features, you would expect it to charge a huge price to enter and sights see.

Well, the other fantastic feature of the Baltic is that its admission is completely free. The Baltic is another wonderful place to visit with the entire family. It will educate you in areas, which you feel you have no knowledge in and it will add a little culture to the lives of our children. Therefore, when in Gateshead Quays, these three wonderful places must be visited. However, make sure you spare more than just a few minutes for each one because when you finally see them you will never want to leave.

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