The Angel of the North

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Low Eighton, Gateshead, United Kingdom

The Angel of the North Gateshead Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
566 reviews
Welcoming Angel Nov 19, 2017
Whether you arrive in Newcastle or Gateshead by road or by rail, you'll be greeted as you approach the city by this amazing figure of an angel with outstretched arms, who appears to be watching over travellers. He welcomes visitors and home-coming Geordies – when we see the Angel on our regular trips to Newcastle we know we're nearly there.

The Angel of the North was the work of Anthony Gormley – indeed, is perhaps his best-known work. It is said to be the largest angel sculpture in the world and also one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world as its location so close to the busy A1, and on the London-Edinburgh mainline train route, means that it is seen by more than one person a second, 90,000 a day or 33 million every year!

The Angel is on a grand scale. At 20 metres tall (65 feet) it is more than the height of four double decker buses, while its wings are 54 metres wide (175 feet) - almost as long as the wings of a Jumbo jet. It is made of a special weather resistant steel which contains copper. The surface oxidises to form a patina, which mellows with age to a rich red brown colour. There is enough steel in it to make 16 double decker buses or four Chieftain tanks.

The site is that of a former colliery and Gormley has talked about the links between the sculpture and the industrial heritage of the region:

‘The hilltop site is important and has the feeling of being a megalithic mound. When you think of the mining that was done underneath the site, there is a poetic resonance. Men worked beneath the surface in the dark. Now in the light, there is a celebration of this industry.’

He also explained his choice of an angel as subject matter:

‘People are always asking, why an angel? The only response I can give is that no-one has ever seen one and we need to keep imagining them. The angel has three functions - firstly a historic one to remind us that below this site coal miners worked in the dark for two hundred years, secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age, and lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears - a sculpture is an evolving thing.’

(quotes taken from Gateshead Council’s website:

Although so many people pass it every day, relatively few visit – but it is well worth doing so. You have to leave the main road (take the A167, signposted Gateshead South) and park in the small layby provided, or you can catch a bus from Gateshead Interchange or Newcastle’s Eldon Square. A gently sloping path, wheelchair accessible, leads to the Angel’s feet, and it is only here that you can really appreciate the huge scale on which he is constructed. To get the best photos you’ll need to go a short distance down the hillside in front, but you can also get effective ‘wingless’ shots from the car park itself.

There are those that don’t like the Angel (my husband’s aunt among them, who considers it an ugly monstrosity) but it has become part of the fabric of the region and I for one am among the many who really love it!
The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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joseph98 joseph98
129 reviews
A masterpiece Oct 04, 2013
Anthony Gormley is responsible for such artistic works as the "Another Place" statues on Crosby Beach near Liverpool (some of which get submerged by the sea as the tide comes in) and the "Event Horizon" installations which moved to Sao Paulo from London via New York.

It is his "Angel of the North" sculpture that made his name, and it arguably remains the piece that he is most associated with. Towering 20 metres in to the sky, this steel statue dominates the surrounding skyline, its weirdly straight wings stretching ever outward.

Gormley said that the statue symbolises our hopes and fears for the future as we transition from the industrial to the digital age, and the statue does seem to borrow design concepts from both eras. However you interpret it, the Angel is a proud, startling symbol of the North of England, and very much worth a visit.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Jo104 says:
I need to visit here just to tick of my memorable sites list
Posted on: Feb 06, 2017
Dr_Seuss Dr_Seuss
216 reviews
The Angel Of The North Oct 07, 2012
The Angel Of The North is the biggest statue in the UK. Easy to reach from Newcastle by going over the Tyne Bridge and following the A167 until you come to a roundabout, and take the last exit to Low Fell. You have to pass by The Angel and double back at the roundabout just after it.

From the A1 heading North take the A167 signposted for Gateshead. There are also buses running to it, one of them being the Angel 21 service from Newcastle Eldon Square bus Station, that runs every 10-20 minutes, and takes around 20 minutes journey time.

Designed by Anthony Gormley, and made from 200 tonnes of weathering steel, it took 7 months to put together on the site before being completed in February 1998.

It stands 20m (65ft) tall and has a wingspan of 54m(175ft)which is approximately the same dimensions as a jumbo jet. Sits on hill above the main North/South A1 road, it is one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world, and is reckoned to be seen by more than one person every second, 90,000 people a day, or 33m people a year.Now that's public art :D

I remember it being built, and the sceptisism of folk wondering what it was all about, and until going myself I probably still shared the reservations. It has now become a symbol of the North East.

There is a small free car park at the site, and we reckoned it was small as the turnover would be relatively quick for people stopping, as there isn't anything else at the site.

The whole thing though is really just the impressive scale of it. You have to try and get as far back from it as you can to fit it all into one shot.

Was nice and bright when we saw it, with the rust colour shining in the sun, but reckon even on a dull wet winter day it would have a 'mood' about it.

I'm a convert now :D and loved it, and it's worth the (relatively easy) effort of making a stop off to see it up close and personal.
Angel Of The North From The Car Pa…
Angel Of The North Full Wingspan
Angel Of The North Up Close
Me At The Angel Of The North
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
HelenP says:
Ian, I have been past the Angel on the A1 quite a few times and it is a spectacular sight from the road. Never stopped and visited it though.. it it real cool. Thanks for the review.
Posted on: Oct 19, 2012

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photo by: Dr_Seuss