Newcastle is set to become an Olympic host city in July and August, as St. James Park becomes a venue for the Games' football matches.
There's no doubt that the stadium will make an outstanding venue and hopefully will provide its usual unbeatable atmosphere while the games are played, but what else can visitors to the region look forward to?
As my partner relocated to the North East just over three years ago, I quite often still find myself playing tour guide. Here are my picks of what the region has to offer this summer:
The home of the world famous Tyne Bridge, Baltic Art Gallery and, of course, the offices for Sellick Partnership Newcastle! This summer brings the return of the popular 'Quayside Seaside', which sees tons of sand and a number of palm trees and deckchairs transform an area of the Quayside into a beach. A popular spot with workers enjoying their sandwiches in the sun, the Seaside is also fun for families with sandcastles galore!
Too much sand in your shoes? Why not visit 'Flow'. As part of the Cultural Olympiad, 'Flow' resembles an ark and is positioned just by the stunning Millennium Bridge. The specially designed water wheel uses energy from the river and allows visitors to experiment with the interactive musical instruments on board.
From the hustle and bustle of the classic British seaside at Whitley Bay and South Shields, to the unspoilt natural beauty of Druridge Bay and Alnmouth, the North East has miles and miles of easily accessible coastline which caters for everyone from fun-seeking families to surfers and nature lovers. Twenty-nine beaches in the North East were recommended in the Marine Conservation Society's 'Good Beach Guide', while eight of them were awarded the prestigious 'Blue Flag' status in 2012.
An all-round good day out for everyone is a trip to Beamish Open Air Museum, which takes visitors back to the late 19th and turn of the 20th centuries in the North East.
Visitors can take a ride on a restored tram, play at a traditional funfair and even take a trip down a drift mine! Many of the houses have been painstakingly removed from their original locations and rebuilt at the museum, to ensure it is as authentic as possible. But be warned! Too many trips to the tempting old-fashioned sweet shop will leave you needing a trip to the all too authentic Victorian dentist!