Newcastle upon Tyne, England

What do Jimmy Henrdrix, Electricity and America’s best selling ale all have in common? It can’t be Newcastle surely?

1. Newcastle shares its latitude with Copenhagen, Denmark and southern Sweden

2. The city is believed to be the coldest major city in England, but it is also one of the driest cities in the UK, due to being in the rain shadow of the North Pennines.

3. Newcastle Central Station was the first covered train station in the world and it was opened in 1850 by none other than Queen Victoria herself. Believe you or not, before that all passengers had to brave the elements while they waited for their train! The station is today one of only six Grade I listed railway stations in the UK.

4. Newcastle ranks as the 15th UK city most visited by visitors from overseas.

5. Newcastle University is one of the best in the world and, according to QS World 2016 university rankings, it ranked in the top 1% of Universities worldwide.

6. Newcastle was the filming location for 1971 gangster movie Get Carter and 1988 noir thriller Stormy Monday.

7. At 929 acres, Newcastle Town Moor is larger than most parks in London, including Hyde Park (363 acres) and Hampstead Heath (790 acres).

8. Mosley Street was the first street in the world to be illuminated by electric light.

9. The Lit and Phil Library, formally known as the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, is the largest independent library outside London and it houses more than 150,000 books!

10. There are more pubs within a mile of St James’ Park than any other football ground in the country

11. At 73 miles long, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the largest Roman artefacts still standing today. It is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

12. The prestigious Turner Prize Exhibition has taken place outside London only four times since 1983. On one of these occasions, Newcastle’s Baltic Flour Mills was not only its host, but it also beat previous visitors records.

13. Newcastle Brow Ale is a proud produce of Newcastle, but it is also America’s most imported British Ale!

14. Energy and sports drink Lucozade was invented in Newcastle by chemist William Owen.

15. Chocolate bar Wispa was first launched in the North East in 1983.

16. The first ever Greggs bakery opened in Gosforth in 1951.

17. Guitarist Jimi Hendrix was not only discovered by Geordie producer Chas Chandler, he also busked in Heaton Chillingham Road.

18. Newcastle is the birthplace of many famous people including comedian Rowan Atkinson (AKA Mr Bean), singers Cheryl and Sting, and TV presenters Ant & Dec.

19. George Stephenson, the ‘Father of Railways’, was a Geordie.

20. Originally a settlement called Pons Aelius, Newcastle was later named after the Roman fort that once stood at its centre.

21. The city’s Castle Keep is not part of the original castle. It was built later, in between 1172 and 1177.

22. RMS Carpathia, the boat that rescued Titanic survivors, was built in a River Tyne shipyard, in Newcastle.

23. During the War of the Rose, Edward IV’s biggest gun was named ‘Newcastle’.

24. During World War II, around 400 people were killed in the bombings known as the Newcastle Blitz and over 30,000 were evacuated. Newcastle became a target due to its prominent position in the shipping industry.

25. The faithful windscreen wiper was invented in Newcastle by a Newcastle United fan as he drove home in a storm from a cup final match in 1908.

26. The North East has the greatest variety of ginger hair in the world! There are 47 shades of red hotness around the Tyne.

27. The Geordie accent has been voted one of the most friendly in Britain.

28. Grey’s Monument, was erected in 1838 to commemorate the Reform Act of 1832, drafted during Earl Grey’s time as Prime Minister. It was designed and built by Edward Hodges Baily, who also built the Nelson’s Column, and Benjamin Green.

29. In 1849, Robert Stephenson’s High Level Bridge of 1849 opened and it was the first road/rail bridge in the world.

30. The Tyneside Cinema on Pilgrim Street originally opened as the ‘Bijou News-Reel Cinema’ in 1937, and was designed and built by Dixon Scott, great uncle of film director Ridley Scott.

31. The Millennium bridge was the first tilting bridge in the world

32. Locals are called Geordies because the city was the only one in the North East that supported George II during the rebellion of 1745

33. Grey Street is anything but dreary; it was actually voted as Britain’s best street in 2010 by BBC Radio 4 listeners.

34. Greggs started life in Gosforth back in 1951 and there are now more Greggs’ stores in the UK than there are McDonalds

35. Mosley Street was the first street in world to be lit by electric light

36. The famous American outlaw Butch Cassidy’s mother was born in Jesmond

37. Arnold Schwarzenegger stayed in Newcastle for a week in 1967 where he spent some of his time in a gym on Shields Road.

38. In 1977 Muhammed Ali travelled in and around Newcastle on the request of a painter and decorator from South Shields. He even manged to fit in a visit to the Al-Ahzar Mosque with his wife and baby daughter to have his wedding blessed by the imam.

39. The human rights activist Martin Luther King received an honorary degree from Newcastle University in 1967.

40. Chief Design Officer at Apple, Sir Jonathan Ive gained his degree at Newcastle Polytechnic, now Northumbria University

41. The all time Premier League goal scorer Alan Shearer, beat the previous record whilst at Newcastle United