The Family and Friends Guide to Being A GNR Spectator

Thu 9th Jun 2016

Image of The Family and Friends Guide to Being A GNR Spectator

As much as the participants are amazing – thank you – we know that family and friends are an equally important part of the GNR.

If you want to support your parent, child, sibling, partner, cousin or work colleague, there are lots of insider secrets that can help your time in Newcastle be a more pleasant one!


This should be booked well in advance and obviously you’re going to pay a premium – it’s a big weekend in the Newcastle calendar after all! Durham University and Newcastle University both have rooms on offer at this time of year because their terms haven’t started. Don’t forget to use TripAdvisor and play around with filtering your results – there may be the odd offer to be had! Obviously don’t feel you have to be right in the city centre and staying further out, such as in South Shields, could save you considerably. If you’ve left it late there is always the option of staying in the areas of Durham, Darlington and Teesside and travelling up – you’ll be guaranteed a room, at least!


There are various multi storey car parks and off street car parks which offer £3 all day car parking on Sundays – be wary of multi storeys that are shut overnight. Suburban car parks are usually free on Sundays and then you can either walk or use public transport to get into the city centre. The metro is probably your best bet, but research first!

Viewing Points

An insider tip is to encourage your loved ones to leave you at the start line and walk to the 1.5 mile point at the Tyne Bridge / Central Motorway. There are better views of the race from here and they will also be handily located near Monument Station and Central Station. They can then of course travel to another vantage point to encourage you later in the race (at 1.5 miles you should still be upbeat about the journey so far – we hope)! Heworth is a great option for people with children, as it is often less crowded by spectators.

Toilet facilities

Of course some of you might be treating yourselves to a meal or drink in the many pubs and restaurants in the city so you can use their toilets but otherwise there are various toilet stops made available for Great North Run weekend. Grab a handy map for more locations!

The finish line!

So your loved one has completed the race and it’s time to go home. Right? Perhaps not! Insiders typically hold off on leaving and choose to enjoy a meal or drink as a celebration in the area. There are going to be upwards of 75,000 people in the city and its surrounding area, so even with extra Metro trains you won’t be spoilt for choice when you board a train!

Share your diet and nutrition tips for our half marathon GNR runners this year with the hashtag #RunForButterwick on Twitter – we can’t wait to hear them!

  • Sign up for your Butterwick Hospice charity place at this year’s Great North Run via our event page now.