Just got back from a fantastic trip to Newcastle, which is an amazing place to spend a long weekend. We stayed in the Malmaison hotel which overlooks the millennium bridge (left). One night in the bar we saw it being raised and illuminated in rainbow colours which was a wonderful moment. Recommended things include: just walking around the river and town centre area which boast buildings from the 1200s to 1900s and dramatic multi-level streetscapes of bridges, stairs etc. Shopping: especially independent department store Fenwicks and Attica Vintage which sells gorgeous vintage clothes, homewares and furniture mainly from the 50s and 60s. Attica is on Old George Yard, a Ripper-ish set of brick back lanes full of groovy record shops etc. Culture-wise: the Laing Art gallery is Ok but was mostly closed when we went, fun exhibition on photographs of British pop bands of the 60s though. The Baltic Gallery has challenging art installations and a very nice shop. The Discovery museum was fun too. An unexpected highlight was Maker Faire at the science centre, with inventors, geeks, crafters with robots, gadgets and techy art things. The crafters had placed knitted graffiti around the city on trees, railings, parking meters etc.