Summer events in Newcastle to include free kayak lessons on the Tyne and a quayside motorbike race

Just as the sunny weather adds to a feelgood mood in the city, a summer events programme has been announced that is set to add a further boost and includes news of a quayside motorbike race that will really up the ante.

NE1 Ltd has lined up a whole range of entertainment for the coming months in this year's Summer in the City programme and the inaugural Red Bull Tyne Ride - already being billed as 'the world’s toughest head-to-head motorcycle race' - will take place on August 3 on a challenging purpose-built course on the quayside. The business improvement district company reveals that Newcastle has been picked to host the exhilarating motorbike race and it is expected to attract some of the world’s best riders, including Wallsend's Billy Bolt - four-time FIM SuperEnduro World Champion and Red Bull athlete.

Free kayak lessons on the Tyne and a dog festival are other new additions to NE1's programme which also features its regular freebie favourites such as the open-air 'movie theatre' Screen on the Green and outdoor yoga sessions. The chance to try kayaking on the river will mark the first time that Summer in the City events have extended to the water and local specialists CBK Adventures will be leading the way there on August 10, with 30-minute free taster sessions on offer.

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The annual Summer in the City programme is all about tempting people to spend time in the heart of Newcastle and it schedules events around working hours too, with the likes of early morning outdoor yoga sessions which this year will add twilight sessions too. As well as offering plenty attractions for local residents, the events helps boost visitor numbers and have a knock-on effect upon city centre businesses.

Getting the ball rolling for the season will be the launch of Screen on the Green on July 1, with more than 90 blockbuster movies and sports events set to broadcast in following weeks. The new Dog on the Tyne addition, described as a canine-centric festival, will take place on Newcastle quayside on August 24 with activities including dog yoga, walks and agility courses.

NE1's Summer in the City programme of fitness classes this year will include twilight yoga sessions held at sunset too
NE1's Summer in the City programme of fitness classes this year will include twilight yoga sessions held at sunset too -Credit:Copyright Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd

Rachel Barlow, head of marketing and events at NE1 Ltd said: “Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year in Newcastle, there’s so much going on." Activities are planned for all ages and include a new Tiny Toon miniature play village in Old Eldon Square which will feature small versions of key Newcastle locations.

She said: “This year, activities are largely focused on the weekends to give more people the chance to get involved in the fun and we are very excited about our new programme additions, Dog on the Tyne and Tiny Toon. We know they are going to be a huge hit. "

NE1 Summer in the City highlights

Here is a pick of some of the upcoming events and dates to note in the diary. In further good news it is confirmed that the NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week will be back in August, on dates yet to be announced.

Screen on the Green - July 1 to September 1

The free open-air screenings in Old Eldon Square will broadcast three weeks of major sporting action, starting with Wimbledon and including the Silverstone Grand Prix on July 7 and then the Tour de France, before the start of a full six-week film schedule, covering the school summer holiday, of blockbusters, family favourites and classics with showings taking place on the big screen twice-daily.

Kayaking on the River Tyne - August 10

These free taster sessions of the sport will also offer a chance to take in the riverside and its bridges from a unique perspective.

Red Bull Tyne Ride - August 3

Dog on the Tyne - August 24

Dragon Boat Race - September 28

One of the last events in the programme will be the return of this boat race spectacular, bringing more activity to the river Tyne. Workers from many city businesses have already signed up for a chance to compete for the title of Dragon Boat Race Champions 2024.

Other Summer in the City events will see NE1 partner-up with Northern Pride, when the festival moves into the city centre from July 5-21, with plans for a Mini Pride of family activities at Screen on the Green on the July 20-21 weekend. Also running alongside the summer screenings will be Play Rebellion, making a return with an art installation for children to enjoy throughout the six-week school holidays.

NE1 is also promoting the council's August 8-11 Novum Festival of arts and culture which will feature live performances, music and free family activities across the city and on August 17 it will team up with HMV Newcastle on a free Music by the Marina festival showcasing local talents Spilt Milk; Lauren Lamore; James Berry; Geoff Mo and Lilly Crisp.