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NE1's Unique Advent Calendar - Newcastle's 24 Doors of Christmas

NE1’s much-loved, and unique city-centre advent calendar is making a welcome return again this year in partnership with BBC Newcastle. After the enforced break last year, NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas will open a door-a-day at some of Newcastle’s most unusual, historic and quirky properties giving the public rare access to some of the city’s iconic architecture and hidden gems.

Like traditional advent calendars, NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas will run from 1st – 24th December, with a different venue in the heart of Newcastle opening to the public offering guided tours and behind-the-scenes access.

The event first ran in 2018 and 2019 to great acclaim and offered hundreds of visitors the chance to see inside some of Newcastle’s historic and unusual buildings.

This year among the confirmed venues are; the newly refurbished, Common Room of the Great North, on Westgate Road, (the former Mining Institute). The property will open its splendid doors to showcase the building’s multi-million pound lottery-funded refurbishment, which celebrates the region’s engineering history.

Neighbouring building, and home to one of Newcastle’s most stunning rooms, the Lit & Phil will also feature as one of the days of the calendar alongside St James’ Park and the historic All Saints Church, tucked away on Lower Pilgrim Street. Fittingly, Newcastle Cathedral has been secured for the 24th Door on Christmas Eve.

Venues taking part for the first time this year include Grey’s Monument, the historic Great North Museum, Ury Supasatra on Queen Street, who will be inviting 30 people into the restaurant on Sunday 19th December to celebrate the launch of their new Sri Lankan menu, and attend a free cookery class in which they will learn to make traditional Sri Lankan Hoppers, a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine, much like a savoury crepe. Lucky class attendees will also witness a traditional Sri Lankan oil lamp lighting ceremony, which plays a significant social, cultural, and religious role in the lives of Sri Lankans. The Morden Tower, part of Newcastle’s city walls, will also be involved in 24 Doors, a space very few people will ever had the chance to step inside.

All 24 Doors of Christmas events are free to attend but booking is essential, and the full schedule will be published as the days are confirmed on www.NewcastlesChristmas.com, NE1’s online directory for all things Christmas here in Newcastle city centre. The website is packed with festive things to see and do. If it’s happening in Newcastle, details will be available on the website. Add the website to your watch-list to avoid missing out on any Christmas fun this year.

Ben Whitfield, Head of Marketing and Events at NE1 said: “The 24 Doors of Christmas is one of our festive favourites and we are delighted to have teamed up with BBC Newcastle to bring it back again this year. The excitement is building and we can’t wait to add some festive cheer to the city with our unique advent calendar. We are so thankful to the companies and buildings who will be throwing open their doors to welcome the public in to take a look behind the scenes. The event is always incredibly popular so we would urge people to book in as soon as they can to avoid disappointment.

“All of NE1’s Christmas activities are designed to play to the city’s strengths showcasing some of Newcastle’s most historic and iconic buildings and locations.

“We are excited to be able to celebrate Christmas in the city again this year and are looking forward to a packed programme that will bring extra cheer and allow people to celebrate Christmas together. All the details of what’s happening and how to book can be found on the NewcastlesChristmas.com website.

Sarah Carter, BBC Newcastle said: “We are pleased to be supporting NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas again this year by promoting what will be happening on-air in the run up to the launch of the event, and during December. We love to play our part in community-based activities and we are happy to be working with and supporting NE1 again this year. We will be shouting about all that will be happening as part of the 24 Doors of Christmas.”