Known on Tyneside by many as The Baltic Flour Mill, this 1940's former grain house has found a new purpose in life as an International leader in the presentation, commissioning, development and communication of contemporary visual art.
This former industrial building which has always been a landmark on the bank of the River Tyne is now part of an arts and cultural development on the south bank of the River in Gateshead, and stands at end of the world's first tilting bridge – The Gateshead/Newcastle Millennium Bridge which is also a first class attraction.
Entering The Baltic I noticed how light, airy and spacious it was, so very different I imagined to what its former life would have been like!.
The Baltic has four large gallery areas. There is no permanent collection of art here, it is an ever changing programme.
The centre houses a shop which is filled with a huge variety of goods for sale. There is a outside viewing platform on level four and a viewing box on level 5. These areas provide the most outstanding views of the river and Newcastle Upon Tyne and Gateshead, something not to be missed.
The Baltic Kitchen provides meals as does the Six Roof Tip Restaurant (on level 6) but the restaurant also provides fantastic views of the city. The restaurant is open for dinner 6 days a week, lunch 7 days a week and as an A la carte dinner menu, a daily lunch menu, Sunday lunch menu and rather nice afternoon tea, which we enjoyed whilst looking out over the city.
Seating is provided throughout the Baltic which I appreciated as I have some mobility problems.
For the less mobile, there is free blue badge parking. Ramp Access on the river side of the building. Wheelchair accessible/disabled WC's on all floors except level 5. Wheelchair accessible lifts to all floors, Walking Stick Stools, Mobility Scooter, Wheelchair and tri walker hire (it is wise to reserve in advance.
Entry to The Baltic Centre is free, but donations are welcome. Notices suggest a donation of £5 which we thought represented good value for money.
The Baltic Centre has a chargeable car park (blue badge holders park free) A quaylink bus (number Q1) runs from Newcastle Central Station directly to The Baltic Centre, the journey takes approximately 10 minutes. There is also a taxi rank outside Newcastle Central Station for those wishing to use a taxi. For those exploring Newcastle Quayside which is a fairly short walk from the station, a walk over the Millennium Bridge from Newcastle Quayside will take you directly to the Baltic Centre.
Next door to the Baltic is The Sage Theatre known as the international home for music and music discovery.
For those wanting further information on the Millennium Bridge my review is titled The Gateshead/Newcastle Millennium Bridge.