Christmas is just around the corner and with it, a packed programme of festive activities from NE1, including the welcome return of Newcastle’s much-loved and unique city-centre advent calendar.
NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas will again provide entry to some of the city’s most historic, iconic and unique properties giving the public rare access and behind-the-scenes tours.
Among the ‘doors’ on this year’s festive calendar will be an exclusive ‘hard hat’ tour of the new HMRC building, with an access-all-areas trip around the site as it takes shape on Pilgrim Street. Visitors will be among the first to see inside the building and get a sense of what it will be like when it is occupied by the 9,000 government workers who will move in when the development is complete in 2027.
The Grade-I listed Theatre Royal and the historic Lit and Phil on Westgate Road, two firm favourites in the 24 Doors calendar will be back again this year. There will also be the welcome return of Newcastle’s Grainger Market. Built in 1835, the Grainger Market will welcome visitors to see the newly refurbished barrelled glass roof, which has restored light to a large part of the market, after being shrouded by scaffolding for several years. The 24 Doors event will give the public a chance to tour the market and hear about its history before more work begins on a proposed £9 million refurbishment to transform the central arcade to create a large events space.
In addition to the tours, there will be several experiential days in the calendar where ticket holders will get the chance to make and taste some of the daily offerings at venues across the city. Bealim House on Gallowgate will feature on one of the days of the calendar (Sunday 3 December) giving visitors a tour of its mini gin distillery, with a gin tasting session at the end of the visit.
The Assembly House on Westgate Road, another amazing building with a long and fascinating history, will open exclusively for one day only on Thursday 7th December. Currently closed to the public, visitors will get a rare chance to look around the building on a site that has been occupied since the 15th Century. The building as it currently stands was once a Mansion House used by the King’s appointee who ruled Newcastle in the late 1600s. Its interior has retained some of its rare and elegant plasterwork with beautifully panelled walls and intricate plaster and painted ceilings. The tours will give a potted history of the building and its many occupants through the centuries.
The 24 Doors schedule is always extremely popular so this year to give people more chances to get the hottest tickets in town, bookings will be done in two stages. Bookings for the 1st-12th December will open on 15th November, with a 2nd ticket release on Wednesday 22nd November for the second half of the NE1’s 24 Doors advent calendar.
Rachel Barlow, Marketing and Events Manager at NE1 Ltd said:
“NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas is one of the city’s much-loved festive events – it gives people the chance to step inside some of the city’s most famous, most historic and unusual buildings to learn more about some of Newcastle’s architectural gems and the city’s rich history and heritage. We’re delighted to have added some exciting opportunities for people to get involved with this year, with new venues joining the event, as well as expanding into more experiential activities at some fabulous places in the city.”
For details of all the doors in this year’s 24 Doors event or information on all the festive fun happening across the city, visit www.newcastleschristmas.com.