The Tyne Bridge is the main bridge over the River Tyne that links the City of Newcastle with their friendly neighbours Gateshead.
The bridge was officially open in October 1928 by King George V (Colin Firth played his son – George VI).
At the time of completion was the longest single spanning bridge in the world. However, it was quickly surpassed by the Sydney Harbour Bridge – the vision that the engineering firm Mott, Kay and Anderson had copied. But in actual fact, the Australians had copied off the Hell Gate Bridge in New York, so I guess the Americans get the credit once more.
While debate has wrangled about which one came first, residents of Tyneside are rightfully proud of the wonderful arch, which serves them in a practical sense everyday, but also features on most picture-postcards of the region. If you’re visiting Newcastle, it’s more than likely that you’ll cross over the Tyne Bridge and River Tyne, so you wont miss it!
Building the Tyne Bridge
In the 1920s, unsurprisingly health and safety regulations weren’t as strict as they are today. It may shock you to know that the workmen who worked on the bridge, at heights up to 60 metres above the Tyne, did so without harnesses or safety ropes. They walked along the skeletal frame and steel cables, risking their life to build the bridge we see today. Unfortunately, one worker (Charles Tosh) died as consequence of the dangerous working conditions.
Despite the sacrifice of Mr Tosh, building contractor Dorman Long (a major steel producer from Middlesbrough) finished the bridge within three years, at a cost of £1,200,000. Unknown to many locals today, the bridge was originally fitted with tram-lines, which operated from Newcastle to Gateshead until 1950. One such route ran from Grey’s Monument (Newcastle City Centre) to Saltwell Park in Gateshead. In fact, trams ran all around Newcastle and Gateshead from the early to mid 20th century. The trams were subsequently replaced by buses and the rest is history.
Most people will travel over the Tyne Bridge as cross the River Tyne from Gateshead and journeys from Southern England. The Bridge is located on Newcastle Quayside and is about half-a-mile from Newcastle City Centre.
The closest metro stations are Gateshead Metro (15 minutes walk) and Monument Metro (10 minutes walk). Footpath access is available all the way, but there are a couple of road crosses on the way. The walk down towards the Quayside is very comfort, but you’ll find it is a little more difficult to walk back up.
You can travel to the Quayside by using the dedicated QuayLink bus, which allows you to see and stop at a lot of the top destinations around the city and Quayside. Newcastle We recommend you get an all day ticket (get on and off) for only £2, which is ideal for seeing all the main central attractions without having to rush around. You can get the buses from stops around the city, including Newcastle Central Station and Newcastle Haymarket Bus Station.
If you’re visiting from outside Newcastle upon Tyne, check out our guide to Travelling to Newcastle by car. Driving across the Tyne Bridge is easy, as it’s one of the main routes into the city, but it doesn’t give you much of a chance to relax and admire this marvelous piece of civil engineering.
We recommend that you park up your car and walk along the Quayside to take in terrific views of all the bridges of the Tyne and many other Quayside attractions. Use the map below to find a suitable car parking space:
The Tyne Bridge connections the City of Newcastle upon Tyne and town of Gateshead, in the north east of England, United Kingdom.