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Whether you call it an eyesore, a piece of art, or a beautiful memorial; you must pay a visit to the Angel of the North in England! It’s seen by more than 33 million people every year as it stands high on the hills by the A1 Motorway heading North.
I’ve always driven passed the Angel of the North for years and seen it through my car window. But, on this trip, I was determined to make a stop and take a closer look.
From the car, you really can’t comprehend how large this statue is! It’s an absolute beast at 54 metres wide and 24 metres tall. So, you’ll need to crane your neck when you get closer.
The Angel is easily signposted on the A1 and around Newcastle Gateshead, so it’s a convenient pitstop on your way up to Northumberland or Scotland.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to visit the Angel of the North!
The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture that was designed by the artist Antony Gormley OBE and was finished in 1998. It’s a huge steel structure of an angel and the artist based the cast on his own body. Antony Gormley is a famous sculptor known throughout the world for his works.
The Angel of the North was built as a commemoration to the miners that worked beneath the site of where it now stands and for the transition of UK going into a digital age.
When the statue was first built, it was met with huge controversy. Some said it could cause accidents on the motorway due to it being a distraction. Others said it had a resemblance to a Nazi statue and others called it plain ugly, a monstrosity and an eyesore.
Whatever you believe, it’s definitely become an underrated piece of British art that lots of people have come to love and appreciate!
Why visit the Angel of the North? Is it worth a stop?
100% YES! I was really happy I made the stop here. Of course, it was nice to have a break anyway driving up from Yorkshire to Northumberland and the sun was out! But, it’s always nice to make a stop meaningful and see some artwork in the process.
The Angel of the North is set in a lush green park area, you can hardly believe you’re just minutes from a busy motorway! So, you can’t take a stroll up to the statue, sit and enjoy a picnic with the view and let the children play about here safely too.
How much is it to visit the Angel of the North?
The other great news is that a visit to the Angel of the North is completely FREE. So, you won’t need to pay a penny to park or to take a break from driving on the road. It’s a winner all around really.
Angel of the North Opening Times
The Angel of the North and the car park is open all year, 24 hours a day. So, you can visit anytime you like. It doesn’t light up in the evening though so it would be a bit pointless in the dark!
Angel of the North facts
Here are some mega facts you may not know about the Angel of the North;
- The Angel of the North weighs over 200 tonnes around the weight of 50 elephants!
- The Angel of the North was funded by the National Lottery and cost over £800,000 to build!
- The body is 20 metres high, the same height as four double decker buses
- The width is 54 metres broad and bigger than a Boeing 757 jet.
- The Angel of the North would be bigger than the Statue of Liberty in New York if turned on it’s side
- There’s now a daffodil named Angel of the North because of this statue
- With 90,000 people seeing it every day it’s one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world!
How to reach the Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is located in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear in England near to the A1 motorway and A167 roads. It’s built on the hills of Low Eighteen in Lamely Parish and you can spot it on the East Coast rail route too!
Angel of the North by Car & Angel of the North parking
You can easily access the Angel of the North on the A1 Motorway or A167 roads. It’s well signposted but don’t underestimate how easy it is to get lost! I always seem to get off at the wrong junction at the roundabout. I’d use Google maps or your Sat Nav to make sure you get there in one go. The Angel of the North postcode is NE9 7TY.
The Angel of the North Parking is FREE but limited. In Summer and on weekends it can get crowded, so prepare to wait.
Angel of the North Bus
You can easily catch the Go North East Bus ‘The Angel’ number 21 service from Newcastle Eldon Square every 8 minutes. The bus stops on Durham road and it’s a short walk over to the monument. It costs £3.90 for a return or £2.10 for a single ticket. Plan your journey here.
Things to do at the Angel of the North
Well beyond the obvious thing of seeing the Angel of the North, there is a few bits to get up to around the area. Despite being next to a busy motorway, the Angel of the North is surrounded by rolling hills of the Low Eighteen countryside and is a beautiful park area with lots to offer.
Climb on the Angel
The Angel of the North isn’t guarded in anyway. I guess no one is going to run off with it anytime soon at 200 tonnes and it’s far too tall to be damaged! So, you’re free to touch the angel when you get near it. It’s almost scary when you approach it.
You can try to sit and climb on the Angel of the North but it’s feet are quite slippy and pretty uncomfortable FYI. It’s always a fun photo opportunity though.
Set up a picnic and admire the view
If you would rather admire the view from afar (my favourite option) there’s lot’s of grass you can perch on around the Angel of the North. I was here on a rare hot and sunny day in April, so people were having picnics and sunbathing!
There’s lots of trees and flowers, and when the sun is out, it’s really lovely to take a break from the wheel and relax here.
Visit the Memorial garden Angels in the Park
The Angels of the North is one of the most visited attractions in England and lot’s of people come here with tributes for people they love.
The memorial garden at the Angel of the North was a really peaceful and a touching area to stroll through. You are welcome to leave your own offering should you choose.
Pick up a coffee, ice cream & shop
Usually, when I make a pitstop, I’m craving food or coffee to keep me awake. So, I was pleased to see that there was a coffee stall and an ice cream van (not 24 hours)! So, if you were worried about sacrificing your services time there are some facilities.
There are no toilets at the Angel of the North however, just warning you now before you go wild!
There isn’t really a souvenir shop for the Angel of the North either, but if you’re keen you can visit the BALTIC shop here, part of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, who have a range of gifts to remember your visit. There are necklaces, tote bags, mugs and keyrings online and you can visit their gift shop in the BALTIC centre also.