The inside story of Metroland, Gateshead's much loved theme park as return 'hoax' causes upset

If there's one word that you can utter to Geordies of any age that will bring an instant smile to their faces it's Metroland; so it was no surprise that a social media post claiming a return was on the way caused great excitement earlier this week. Sadly, though a comeback for the much loved attraction isn't on the horizon, as the whole thing turned out to be one very cruel hoax.

The indoor theme park was the jewel in the Metrocentre's crown for many years, with a visit to the Gateshead attraction a rite of passage for kids in the North East and further afield. There was much sadness when Metroland closed its doors for a final time in 2008, with a huge Odeon cinema now standing in its place.

And while we appreciate getting to see a blockbuster film in 3D or IMAX as much as the next person, we'd much sooner be having another ride on the rollercoaster or knocking about the arcade with friends from school.

READ MORE: Metroland won't return to the Metrocentre in 2026 as announcement post confirmed as fake

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Earlier this week, a Facebook post from an account calling itself Metroland Metrocentre was shared hundreds of times as it claimed that Metroland would re-open much bigger than ever before in 2026, with its opening weekend offering free entry to all. Sadly, as many people suspected, the post was completely fake and we're sad to report that, for now at least, Metroland is firmly in the past.

But that won't stop us remembering the good times! So here we go...

Some people don't believe Metroland was even a thing!

We'll admit the idea of having a theme park inside a shopping centre does sound a bit far fetched and there were plenty of people from outside of the region who struggled to get their heads round the fact it even existed.

But yes, while of course you could rifle through the rails at Marksies, BHS and C&A (gone but not forgotten!) on a trip to the Metrocentre, you could spend a good few hours having a lot more fun that didn't involve any shopping!

Metroland birthday parties were the best...end of

If you grew up in the North East in the 80s, 90s and early 00s, there was nothing quite like getting a party invitation from someone in your class that was adorned with that all important word - Metroland.

Because, while we all enjoyed a bouncy castle, tables full of jelly and ice cream and maybe even a party tea in the cafe at the local Morrisons or Safeway , there was nothing quite like a Metroland party.

Getting to tuck in in style while sitting on toadstool seats in a 'secret' dining room and maybe even getting a visit from the Metro Gnomes, having a mate who had celebrated their birthday at Metroland was ultimate friend goals!

Back of the pirate ship was where it was at...even if you weren't meant to stand up

One of Metroland's most famous rides was its pirate ship. Nestled in one of the corners of the park, it was often packed out with people and there was one prime position everyone wanting to bag - the back seats.

Yes, just like being back of the school bus, the back of the pirate ship was where the fun was to be had, particularly if you dared to stand up when the ship got higher - even if you weren't really supposed to!

The rollercoaster changing colour was a huge deal

Older Metroland lovers amongst you will have the fondest memories of the theme park's rollercoaster being bright red so there was a change of epic proportions when, after being rebranded as 'The New Rollercoaster' in 1998, its carriages had a drastic change of colour to be purple.

And, sticking with the rollercoaster...

The final drop was NOT kind if you'd been to McDonald's or Burger King beforehand

While Metroland's rollercoaster will never be uttered in the same breath as the likes of Blackpool's Pepsi Max or The Ultimate at Lightwater Valley, we will not have a bad word said against it!

From the bit near the beginning where you thought you might fall out as it whizzed round in a circle, to getting to at least try and wave at your mam and dad or friends who were scared to go on, the ride has quite rightly written itself into Geordie folklore.

And, while in the grand scheme of things, its final drop probably wasn't that high at all, it definitely got you in the depths of your stomach, so not a wise idea at all if you'd eaten at the land of Golden Arches or golden crowns before hand!

The arcade was the 'cool' place to be hang out

Even if you had no intention of having a go on the likes of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat or Daytona USA, the arcade, especially when you got a bit older, was the place to be.

You could don your finest Kappa, Le Coq Sportif or Ellesse tracksuit, douse yourself in Lynx or Impulse, grab yourself a Slush Puppie and see who else was hanging around that day.

The waltzer was brutal!

Behind the main park and next to the arcade were a few smaller rides, one of which was the waltzer.

But, while it wasn't one of Metroland's 'bigger' rides, what it lacked in size, it certainly made up for in its ability to turn your stomach.

As dance anthems like Outhere Brother's Boom Boom Boom, Eiffel 65's Blue, Alice Deejay's Better off Alone, blasted out around you, and you held on tight, the speed of the waltzer and it's flashing lights had the ability to make you feel VERY disorientated.

The play area was the ultimate adventure playground of its time

A part of Metroland that some people never actually experienced, a go on the playground came as part of a Metroland birthday party package and involved you making your way right from the bottom to the top of the park, by way of a series of climbing frames, nets and slides until you ended up in a hall of mirrors.

And if you got bored or felt slightly mischievous, you could always just hide away and chill in the boxes you were meant to climb through.

There were actual concerts there

Just ask Cheryl! Yes, before she auditioned for Popstars: The Rivals, a young Miss Tweedy would often get on the Metroland stage to belt out a few tunes.

Her picture and name were on a flyer for a gig that found its way onto social media last year.

Also on the bill for the concert called, Chapter II New Horizon, were Irish boyband OTT, most famous for their cover of Let Me In and top 10 single Story of Love; young Scottish singer Justin who won BBC's The Fame Game and had his biggest chart hit with Over You and Next of Kin, the brothers who were once billed as the UK's answer to Hanson.

Clockwork Court was fine dining at its absolute best

If you didn't have your sights set on a Happy Meal for a post-Metroland treat, a visit to Clockwork Court was absolutely essential.

You can keep your Michelin starred restaurants, the 'Court' was the place where you could sample cuisine from around the world, well, not quite but there were plenty of options.

You could have a jacket potato, a Chinese, fish and chips, pizza and even a Burger King!

And as you ate your food, your eyes would often wander up to the artwork on the ceiling and wall above you which seemed so high up!

Always in our hearts, Metroland we'll never forget you and, to you cruel pranksters - don't pull a stunt like that and get our hopes up EVER again!