Opening of the Great Exhibition of the North Photo courtesy of the Newcastle Gateshead initiative.

Great Exhibition of the North – The UK’s Biggest Event in 2018

The Great Exhibition of the North is set to celebrate the powerhouse cities of the North of England this summer with 80 days of celebration, exhibits, performances and events centered around the NewcastleGateshead waterfront.

If you haven’t made it up to Newcastle-upon-Tyne yet, this is the summer to do it. From June 22 to September 9, the waterfront, and venues all over the city, will come alive with a festival of northern innovation, culture, art, design, music and creativity of all kinds.

The organizers, The Newcastle/Gateshead Initiative, are promising the biggest event in Britain in 2018. And to encourage you to head north, they’ve knicknamed the celebration GET North (Great Exhibition of  The North, geddit?).

It all kicks off with an opening weekend of one-off performances and surprises all over town plus a fabulous, 80-meter-long water sculpture (artist’s impression above). The Great North Water Sculpture will splash up to the height of the Tyne Bridge every hour between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. with a light show after dark and three downloadable musical scores to accompany it.

Three Hubs

But that’s only the trumpet fanfare so to speak. There’s a huge schedule of events centered around three hubs and three associated trails:

And Three Trails

  • Explore the GET North Art Trail highlighting creative hotspots around the city – art galleries, art in public buildings, even an arty farm under a bridge in the middle of Newcastle.
  • Did you know that Apple owes a debt to  Northumbria University? Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, is an alum. From the Great North Museum head out on the GET North Design Trail to find out about innovative Northern designers, children’s books, contemporary products.
  • From the great cities of the future to Stephenson’s innovative steam locomotive, The Rocket, the GET North Innovation Trail  highlights historic innovations and takes you to place where innovation is happening right now. Among the highlights of this trail – a family friendly exhibition, Robots Then and Now, at the Life Science Centre and Self-Build Utopias at Northern Stage, where you can join artists and performers to create your own city of the future.

The list of events, exhibits and performances is growing every day. The best way to find out what’s happening is to make plans to visit Newcastle Gateshead this summer and then check the event website to see what’s happening and create your own itinerary.

Find out more about GET North and start planning your visit.

Make getting around Newcastle easier with a City Sightseeing Newcastle Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour


Full disclosure statement Some of the links included in this blog will take you to products or services you can buy online. If you do, I will receive a small payment – at no extra cost to you – that helps make this blog possible. 

7 thoughts on “Great Exhibition of the North – The UK’s Biggest Event in 2018”

  1. Newcastle is a great place to visit. There’s lots to do and see in the city and even if people can’t make it during the Great Exhibition of the North I’d urge them to plan a trip sometime soon.

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