Visiting the Angel of the North – a 2023 guide


There are many stunning and iconic structures up and down the UK - we've written about a few of them previously - but The Angel of the North is certainly one of the most iconic of them all. This  towering piece of art can be seen for miles, but like so many of these amazing structures many people pass them but far fewer people take the time to stop and visit them properly. We wanted to highlight the reasons why you should definitely consider visiting the Angel of the North, as well as some background information about the sculpture and visiting tips for 2023. Let's get into the guide:

Where is the Angel of the North?

You'll see the statue on a hilltop in Low Eighton in Lamesley Parish by the A1. It is technically within the Tyne and Wear Lowlands National Character Area,  which is an interesting mix of both urban areas and countryside. You can get close to the Angel by road via the A167, where you can stop at a nearby car park and get a great view of the sculpture up close. You can also follow a number of footpaths if you want to get even closer to the sculpture - the Angel of the North walk is a circular route which is approximately 4 miles long and takes you right around the sculpture as well as through nearby Longacre wood.

You can get the Angel 21 bus from Newcastle Eldon Square Bus Station and Gateshead Interchange every 8 minutes, it takes about 20 minutes from Newcastle and 10 minutes from Gateshead Interchange.

FireShot Capture 1795 - Angel of the North - Google Maps -

What is the story of the Angel of the North?

The Angel of the North has stood proudly since February 1998. It was designed by Antony Gormley, a British sculptor who was approached by Gateshead Council to get involved in the project. He was initially reluctant, but agreed to get involved in the project after he visited the site where the sculpture would stand and felt inspired by the surroundings. It is now Gormley's most famous piece of work and a truly iconic structure seen by millions of people every year.

How was the Angel of the North built?

Gormley based the design of the Angel on his own body, and chose to use weathering steel material to give the sculpture a slightly rusted colouring and so the sculpture could withstand the heavy winds it would be subjected to (more than 100 miles per hour). The 200 tonnes of steel used to build the structure was manufactured and assembled by Hartlepool Steel Fabrications, who constructed the Angel on their own site then transported it overnight and erected it on the morning of February 15th, 1998.
It's hard to believe it now, but The Angel of the North faced quite a bit of opposition during its design and construction phases, with many people in the local area worrying that it would be an eyesore. However, it is now generally recognised as an amazing structure and as a symbol of the North East.

What is the visitor experience like at the Angel of the North?

Visiting the Angel of the North is actually quite a surreal experience - firstly, it's totally free, which is great. There isn't even a charge for the car park or anything like that. You can also visit the sculpture whenever you like as, similar to the Kelpies in Scotland, the Angel of the North is open to visitors 24/7. However, unlike the Kelpies the Angel isn't lit up at night, so not quite as enjoyable to visit in the dark (if anything, it's a little bit creepy!). Another slightly strange thing to note about the Angel of the North is that it isn't guarded at all - there is no barrier, and people are actually encouraged to touch it and even climb on the feet of the sculpture. There are no toilets here, but there is often a coffee van or ice cream truck which is nice for a quick refreshment. The small memorial garden near the sculpture is a very nice surprise too - some people leave notes to deceased loved ones, and it is very touching to read them.

Is there anything else to mention?

You might be one of the 90,000 people who drives past the Angel of the North every day, and you might think that is as close as you want to get to the sculpture - that is fair enough. But like with the Kelpies in Scotland, we really think it is worth taking the time to visit the Angel of the North up close. Getting to actually touch the sculpture is quite a special and strange experience, and certainly memorable!

Useful information:

Website of Antony Gormley -
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit the Angel of the North. As we mentioned previously, we have a guide about the Kelpies up in Scotland which are amazing to visit also. We also have a guide about the Coast & Castles route which takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the North of England.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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