Town Wall Whistles - Great Exhibition of the North

Newcastle’s city walls will be brought back to life during the Great Exhibition of the North. 14 venues that make up the surrounding area of the medieval town wall have each had a whistle installed on their highest points. And at 1pm every day during the Exhibition, the whistles will go off one by one to re-enact the sounds of the old steam engine whistles around the edge of the city. The sound installation has been designed to remind us of the role the North has played in engineering over the years and - of course - the proud invention of the railway. The installation has been created by Steve Messam, who is a North-East based ‘artist, dreamer and blagger’. This is a man who creates giant reflective inflatable raindrops; “tree bubbles”; and recyclable paper bridges for a living. Where do we sign up to become an environmental artist?!

The Great Exhibition of the North aims to bring 18th Century innovation into the 21st Century and remind us of the great history and heritage of The North (to be said in your best Jon Snow impersonation.) If you’re out and about in the Geordie streets, or down on the Quayside, the whistles will be heard above the daily buzz of the city and will momentarily transport us to an exciting era for public transport – see what we did there?!

We’re very excited that the 2nd whistle to sound will be on top of our very own Euro Hostel Newcastle, so whether you’re enjoying some food and drinks in our Ware Rooms bar or joining us as a guest – listen out at 1pm.

The final points of the Whistles are listed below and they will run clockwise from point number 1:

Town Wall Whistle Map - Great Exhibition of the North


  1. Newcastle City Library
  2. Euro Hostel
  3. Sallport Tower
  4. Tomahawk
  5. ZeroLight
  6. Guildhall
  7. Quayside Inn
  8. Newcastle Central Station
  9. Central Station entrance portico
  10. Gunner House
  11. Heber Tower
  12. St Andrew's Church Tower
  13. Grey's Quarter, Intu Eldon Square
  14. Intu Eldon Square


On loan from the Science Museum Group, Stephenson’s iconic locomotive Rocket will come home to the Toon and reside in the Discovery Museum, where a fully immersive and memorable experience will be created using a mix of virtual and augmented reality. Using modern-day technology to hero the city’s history is a theme that will run throughout the festival. You can discover the Rocket for free as part of the innovation trail of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Euro Hostel Newcastle is the perfect place to stay during the Great Exhibition of the North. With rooms from as little as £16 per bed per night and room options that include private, en-suite rooms and our VIP Bunkalow. Spend less on your city-centre accommodation and enjoy as much of the event as you’d like, with enough cash left over for what’s important – enjoying yourself!

Our bar, The Ware Rooms offers two to dine for a tenner and champions locally brewed ales - a great excuse to get in the Northern spirit! And the newly refurbished Grey’s Quarter at Eldon Square (the 13th whistle on the map) is only 5-minutes from our front door.

For even more to do in the Toon this year, discover our hand-picked places of interest in Newcastle and get ready to get north!