The Cathedral church of St Mary, the mother church of the catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle is a beautiful and imposing building which can be instantly spotted as soon as you step outside the Central Station in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Although it is located almost opposite the Station, the entrance to the Cathedral, its bookshop, garden and rather delightful café is around the corner on Clayton Street West, where there is also a small dedicated car parking area which includes disabled car parking.
Ramped or stepped access takes you into the building with doors leading off to the Church, Café, information area and book centre.
Built in the 1840's to a neo-Gothic design by architect August Welby Pugin who was famous for his work on the Houses of Parliament, the Cathedral and it garden are open to the public all day and provide a peaceful oasis in the centre of a bustling city.
St Mary's is known for its beautiful needle spire, its wall and floor tile work, the richly carved alters, its grand organ and choir gallery and the stained glass windows. The stained glass windows are in my opinion so incredibly beautiful and they held my attention for quite some time.
There is a hearing loop system in the church, There is large print church newspapers available. There is a level access disabled/wheelchair friendly W.C.
Level Access along a wooden floored, light and airy passageway, takes you to the Cloister Café, The Cloister café sells a range of sandwiches, hot and cold snacks, teas, coffees, cold drinks as well as meals at a reasonable cost, for example two meals for £11 with free tea and coffee are available
The café is light, airy spacious and overlooks a garden area (I visited on a sunny day in June, the garden plants were in full bloom making the view from my window table very pleasant. It was hard to imagine a busy city centre road was just steps away!
The café has pale green and white walks which create an atmosphere of tranquillity, there is a stone fireplace with an attractive dried flower display in the centre. The tables are wooden and well spaced. The service was friendly. I only ordered a coffee and a chocolate muesli slice, but it was delicious.
The café is open 8.30 Mon – Fri, with reduced hours at a weekend.
The Basil Hume memorial garden is open to the public, it recalls the Northern Saints and Holy Island (Lindisfarne). The statue of Cardinal Basil Hume who was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne was unveiled by the Queen in 2002.
Next to the café is a spacious bookshop and information centre.
Nearby there are attractions such as The Discovery Museum and the shops, restaurants and cafes of the city centre.