Photography at Newcastle

Although by no means the busiest airport you'll ever visit, as a regional ‘capital’, Newcastle receives a healthy dose of European traffic over and above that of the low cost carriers and charter airlines so dominant at most other UK airports. It's well worth a visit to see the regional aircraft of KLM, Air France, Brussels Airlines, SAS, Wideroe and Lufthansa, all of which visit on daily basis, or the UK regionals such as Air Southwest, Eastern Airways and Flybe, who maintain a strong presence at Newcastle.

For a summary of all the photography locations described below, see the Google Map at the bottom of the page.

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Runway 25 - Approach and Line-Up Photos

One of the most popular locations for photography at Newcastle is situated to the east of the airport at the Coach Lane T-junction, where Coach Lane meets the main road linking Kingston Park (on the edge of the city) and Dinnington village. The latter forms a perimeter road around the eastern boundary of the airport and passes directly under the approach for runway 25.

As such, it's a great location for approach shots – and all the more useful given that the prevailing wind in the north east is most definitely westerly. One can spend a full day here with the sun behind you during winter, whereas in the summer it's simply a case of taking the footpath which follows the perimeter road around to the north of the centre line. Most arrivals fall nicely within the reach of a standard 70-300mm lens from this location, with a Jetstream 41 requiring around 290mm, and a Boeing 757-200 about 190mm. Here's a selection of approach shots from around this area -

It is also possible to take line-up shots from this location, by crossing over the road to the airport perimeter fence. There is a crash gate just opposite the T-junction, over which it is possible to take shots of aircraft lining up on 25, though you'll probably need a stepladder! Usual considerations apply here; no airport authority takes a fond view of folk peering over the perimeter fence, let alone with a stepladder. Local photographers use this spot very discreetly and would appreciate it if visitors did the same!

There is good provision for car parking on Coach Lane with lay-bys on either side of the road just past the T-junction. The view of approach from the lay-bys is very good, which means that during the cold winter months, one doesn't necessarily need to take the camera out of the car! Should the lay-bys be full (as is often the case) there is more parking available at the nature reserve a little further down Coach Lane towards Brunswick.

The location is also accessible by bus, with the Arriva number 101 service running every hour between Kingston Park and Brunswick (via the airport). This has a designated stop at the Coach Lane T-junction. Alternatively, it is possible to walk the 2 miles from Kingston Park bus stops and Metro station to Coach Lane in about half an hour. Just mind the traffic!

Runway 07 – Approach and Down-the-Runway Photos

Another fantastic location for approach shots at Newcastle exists at the runway 07 end, to the west of the airport. It can be reached by taking the exit west towards Black Callerton off the A969 (trunk road between the airport and the city) at Callerton Parkway. On the right hand side, only a short distance down the road and nestled between a farm shed and a cottage, is public bridle path which runs northwards under the approach right the way to the main airport entrance.

By stopping off along this bridle path a wide variety of approach shots can be achieved, no matter what the season or time of day...

The bridle path also offers something a little more spectacular. It runs in part along a small ridge just to the west of the airfield, from which it is possible to grab an elevated view right down the runway. It's a fantastic view and some great photos of runway movements can be captured regardless of the runway in use -

Again, a 70-300mm lens is sufficient for most aircraft types in and around this location, though those with in excess of 300mm at the their disposal will definitely reap the rewards when taking photos looking down the runway.

Parking for this location can be found at the Callerton Parkway Metro station, just a short walk east from the bridle path, over the A696 junction. It's open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 7pm and costs just £1 per day – fantastic value! Which means, of course, this location is also easily accessible from the Metro network.

Mid Runway Views

Until recently, it was possible to take photos of the runway from the beer garden of the Wings Bar on the south side of the airfield. Unfortunately, the Wings Bar has now closed down, though photos of movements can still be achieved in and around this area. It's a particularly good area for photos of departures off runway 25 as aircraft are usually well above the perimeter fence here, though photos of runway 07 movements are a little more tricky.

Beware that this area of the airport is regularly patrolled by the airport police and security staff, and enthusiasts are often moved on. It's a good location for those without access to a car (given its close proximity to the airport terminal) though those with a car might be better viewing elsewhere.

It's not all bad news though. This area has recently been earmarked for a new airport visitors centre. Details are still very sketchy but this location could soon be home to an organised viewing location, with the potential for some great views of the airfield.

Google Map of Locations