Monday 11 July 2016

Climbing Grey's Monument, Newcastle

Grey's Monument is somewhere that residents of Newcastle stroll past on a daily basis. For most Geordies the 130 foot column is the ideal place to arrange to meet friends on a Saturday morning but other than that we probably tend to forget this amazing landmark exists. Seems pretty mad when it's such a beautiful part of the Newcastle skyline.

Grey's Monument is a Grade I listed monument and the crowning jewel to the picturesque Grey Street. It's hard to believe that this mammoth beauty was built all the way back in 1838 to acclaim Earl Charles Grey for passing the Great Reform Act of 1832. The statue of Earl Grey that sits on the top of Monument was created by Edward Hodges Baily, the creator of Nelson's statue in Trafalgar Square.

I'm not here to give you a history lesson but instead wanted to tell you about a little blue door that sits at the bottom of Monument that you may have never noticed before. Next time you stroll past, take a look and you'll probably see it for the first time.

A few times a year the blue door opens, inviting members of the public to climb the 164 steps inside the column and go on a Newcastle adventure like no other.

Climbing Grey's Monument has been on my Newcastle Bucket List for years now but as tickets sell out fast it requires a certain amount of forward planning and organisation and in the past I've never been quick enough. When you finally get your hands on tickets it's definitely a triumphant moment.

We were booked on the 10:30 am climb on a cloudy Saturday morning and after a pretty misty start to the day I was feeling a little frustrated that we might not get the views that I so desperately wanted. Showing our ticket at the bottom we squeezed our way through the little blue door and began our climb up the spiral staircase.

I've been on a fair few climbing adventures in my time, most of them featuring pretty scary stairs. Luckily Monument is an easy climb with a lovely wide staircase and plenty of light. The steps got a little tighter at the very top but it was nothing to worry about and in no time at all we could see daylight and we popped out on the viewing platform.

Wow! I finally got to experience life in Newcastle as a pigeon! The view from the top of Monument was breathtaking, and looking down at my beautiful city I felt so proud to call myself an honorary Geordie.

Seeing the landscape from the sky offered such a great alternative view of Newcastle. Just look how cute the Botanist Roof Terrace looks!

I loved being able to nose at the roof of Eldon Square to see how the new restaurant development is coming on (we were pretty excited to see a bar area being fitted into one of the new restaurants) and marvel at the tiny people on the pavement below.

The view down Grey Street is stunning and really makes you appreciate the stunning architecture that we all take for granted every day.

Newcastle has some gorgeous rooftops and being able to see them in detail from the viewing platform was pretty special.  The details at the top of the Emerson Building are just stunning and I loved being able to get a proper look at all of the detailed carvings.

Too soon our 30 minute time slot was up and it was time to make our way back down. I could have happily stood up there all day taking in the views. It was a great experience and something I'd definitely recommend.

UPDATED FOR 2017 Grey's Monument tickets for 2017 go on sale on 1 February.  There's a climb a month available from April to September.  Tickets are £4 per adult and £2 per child. Pre booking is essential and if you're interested in making the climb make sure you book in advance here from 1 February, tickets sell out fast!


  1. I need to do this but it's another curse of the working weekend thing, it is very much on my bucket list though and your photos are great!

  2. I love seeing Newcastle from a different angle - how cool does the Botanist roof terrace look!

  3. Wow, these are some amazing views! I'm glad you got to tick off one of your bucket-list items! :D

  4. They are sold out for the rest of the year already!!

  5. I'm surprised how reasonably priced the tickets are, I think people would pay a lot more. It's the first time I've ever seen the Botanist's roof garden! Great photos, I need to look out for the little blue door x

  6. Those are some lovely views from the top - I love how cheap it is too - very reasonable.

  7. I had absolutely no idea the monument was ever opened to the public! What a fantastic way to get a birds eye view of the city centre!

  8. This absolutely one of the biggest bargains when it comes to unique experiences in the north east! Great to see another North East blogger spreading the word about it! X

  9. Wow, what a great experience and really cheap too! :)


  10. We missed out on the tickets last year, so are going to be poised ready this year. Thanks for the update.


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