This northeast county is brimming with cultural quayside cities and sandy North Sea beaches. Visit cosmopolitan Newcastle and Gateshead museums and galleries for a dose of Tyne and Wear heritage, cross neon footbridges between redeveloped quays and chant with the Toon Army at a Magpies game. You'll soon feel like a true Geordie. Head to Sunderland for sparkling shopping malls and landscaped Victorian parks. And more football. Don't forget your bucket and spade for sandy bays and surfing beaches. Wetlands and country parks have miles of cycle paths to explore.