Plan your trip
Woohoo!! The countdown is ON. Check out all the need-to-know information below on how to get here, where to stay, what to eat and accessibility to the site.

If there’s something we haven’t covered, then please drop us an email at innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk and we’ll try to answer your questions as quickly as possible.

Festival Site

The Innovation Festival will be held at Newcastle Racecourse situated on the beautiful estate of High Gosforth Park, Newcastle.

 

The grounds are made up of solid paved areas, gravel, grass and a softer material known as Tapeta when crossing the racetrack itself. For more information on accessibility please refer to the section below.

Getting here . . .

Planes, trains or automobile - it’s entirely your choice. And what a choice it is. We’ve included a full range of options of getting to the Festival. Give yourself plenty of time and try to be mindful of our environment wherever possible.

 

PLEASE NOTE: NWG cannot accept any responsibility for transport arrangements. 

 

ON FOOT OR BY BIKE 

 

We understand it’s not always possible but we'd love for you to come on foot or by bike - our planet would thank you too. We have a dedicated space to leave bikes but please remember to bring your bike lock!

 

BY ROAD

 

Use postcode: NE3 5HP or ///wink.years.fence (what3words)

 

Follow the brown and white tourist board signs bearing a horse and rider from the A1, A19 and main approach roads to Newcastle. For traffic updates in the nearby area, please click here.

 

If you fancy some company, want to save money on fuel or reduce your carbon footprint, you might find someone to share your journey through the national Liftshare network.

 

NOTE: There are NO electric vehicle charging points at the Racecourse.

 

BY BUS

 

Numbers 43 and 44 buses leave from Haymarket Bus Station in Newcastle City Centre every few minutes and arrive at a stop just outside the racecourse road entrance. 

 

You can find out more about bus travel from other areas here.

 

BY TAXI 

 

LA Taxis are a local taxi firm available for any taxi bookings. We strongly advise you to book in advance for your drop off and pick up. Contact 0191 287 7777 to book or head to their website to find out more information www.lataxis.co.uk.

 

A taxi from Newcastle City Centre/Newcastle Central Station to the racecourse should cost approximately £10.

 

BY RAIL 

 

Newcastle Central Station is the closest main line station approximately 15 minutes away by car or taxi.

 

You can check train timetables and plan your journey via: 

 

National Rail Enquiries website or by calling 08457 48 49 50.

 

Trainline website 

 

BY METRO

 

Tyne and Wear Metro is a light rail system with 60 stations serving Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside. Regent Centre and Four Lane Ends Metro Stations are situated 2 miles from the racecourse.

 

BY AIR

 

Newcastle International Airport is situated 6 miles from the racecourse and is easily accessible. Helicopters can land at the racecourse, please contact directly for details.

 

Taxi: the airport's official taxi service is Arrow Taxis. Book your journey quickly and easily, online, by phone on 0191 244 9966 or via email on newcastlebookings@arrowcars.co.uk.

 

Hire car: there are branches of car hire firms Europcarand Hertz at the airport. 

Parking

There is ample free parking at Newcastle Racecourse. The car park is a few minutes’ walk to the festival entrance. Car parking attendants will be on duty to help direct you as well as signage to the car parks and main festival entrance.

 

Accessible parking for blue badge holders is available at the Innovation Festival Entrance. Please display your Blue Badge clearly if you have one. If you are not a Blue Badge holder but require certain access needs, please speak to a car park attendant on arrival.

Accommodation

GRAND HOTEL GOSFORTH PARK

 

 

The closest hotel to the NWG Innovation Festival is Grand at Gosforth Park

 

The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Innovation Festival site at Newcastle Racecourse and 7 miles from Newcastle Airport.

 

Amenities at the hotel include a spa, fitness centre with indoor pool and sauna, plus squash and tennis courts. There's a restaurant onsite with international menu and a bar which serves lighter bites.

 

The hotel operates a cashless system.

 

Rooms include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and tea and coffee making equipment.

 

Check in is from 4pm and check out is 10am.

 

Free parking and accessible facilities and rooms throughout.

 

Discounted rates on a number of rooms have been held for Innovation Festival guests at the Grand Hotel at £92 per room, per night single occupancy accommodation or £102.00 per room, per night - twin /double accommodation for stays between Monday 8th – Thursday 11th July. 

 

For stays on Sunday 7th and Friday 12th July there is a discounted rate of £82 per room, per night single occupancy accommodation or £92 per room, per night - twin /double accommodation.

 

All rates include accommodation, full English breakfast, use of the leisure facilities, guest room wi-fi and VAT at 20%.

 

Booking to take advantage of NWGs preferred rates, check availability and for more information about accessible rooms please contact the hotel directly:

 

Karen Stephenson

E: groups760@theelitevenueselection.co.uk

M: 0191 236 1612

 

 

Please note when contacting the hotel that you need to state you are attending the Innovation Festival in the subject of your e-mail.

 

We recommend booking your accommodation early to secure your room. Rooms will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

 

Cancellation charges may be applied so please ensure that you give a minimum of 24 hours notice to the hotel if you need to cancel a booking.

 

OTHER ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

There are other local hotels within a short travelling distance in the Gosforth Park area . . .

 

Travelodge Newcastle Gosforth

 

 

Great North Hotel

 

Festival site opening times

 

Check out our timetable for the week here.

Registration

Onsite registration opens from 12 noon on Monday 8th July and then from 08:15 on Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th July inclusive.

 

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the welcome event on each day to accommodate check-in requirements and badge collection.

Community spirit

 

The innovation Festival is free to join, and we ask that you bring along at least one food item to support a local community foodbank in nearby Walker. 

 

 

There will be a collection point for foodbank donations at the festival entrance each day.

 

Alternatively, you can make a financial donation via their bankuet pages:

 

www.bankuet.co.uk/walkeranddistrict


www.bankuet.co.uk/give-3/walkeranddistrict-give-once


www.bankuet.co.uk/give-3/walkeranddistrict-give-monthly

We will have our WaterAid Team on site at the festival. You can find out more about the fantastic work they do to help ensure that everyone everywhere has access to clean water and make a donation to support them in achieving this goal. The WaterAid stand can be found in the exhibition hall.

 

Thank you for your support.

Dress code

 

Casual. Festival vibes only, no suits allowed!

 

The event is held in a tented village with lots of opportunity to spend time outdoors. Don’t forget your suncream, sunglasses, wellies and umbrella to make sure you are prepared for all weather!

Food and drink

 

Complimentary food and drink is provided for NWG Innovation Festival goers across the week as well as additional drink and snack options at your own cost. Please make sure you eat a healthy and hearty breakfast before heading to the festival as there will be no provisions onsite for this.

 

Food is responsibly sourced, local wherever possible and freshly made and packaging is sustainable / recyclable where possible.

 

We cater for vegetarians, vegans, meat-eaters and gluten-free diets and our menu throughout the festival is nut free.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Newcastle Racecourse is a cashless site. 

 

WHAT'S ON OFFER . . .

 

LUNCH

Lunch will be available Monday to Thursday in the exhibition hall and Pit Stop Village (located outside the exhibition hall). There are two time slots which will be allocated to sprint groups in advance. Either 12:00 - 12:45hrs and 12:45-13:30hrs. It is important to stick to your allocated time slot in order to reduce queuing.

 

Lunch menu

 

SWEET TREATS

 

Ice cream, pick n mix sweets, mini pancakes and a selection of fruit (exhibition hall only) will be available Tuesday to Thursday between 12:00 – 16:00. Only one sweet treat per person per day. There will be options to purchase additional items at your own cost.

 

DRINKS

 

Complimentary tea, coffee, and water will be available throughout Monday – Thursday in the Exhibition Hall from 08:15-16:00hrs.

 

There will be opportunity to buy speciality coffee and soft drinks from the coffee carts on site.

 

There are water points available around the site to refill your bottles. Please help to protect the environment and bring your own reusable coffee cup and water bottle to the event.

 

A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be available to buy from the bar from Tuesday to Thursday.

 

DINNER

Complimentary food will be provided on Wednesday and Thursday evening when you join us for our celebration party night and our festival wrap up. Menus are below.

 

Wednesday: Party in the Park

 

Thursday: End of Festival BBQ

Evening events and networking

 

Warm Welcomes (Monday, 8 July)

On Monday afternoon, after your first sprint round, you will have the opportunity to chat, get to know other festival citizens and visit the exhibition, located on the ground floor of the Grandstand from 16:00-17:00.

 

Networking Drinks (Tuesday, 9 July)

There will be an official drinks reception between 17:00-19:00 located on the ground floor of the Grandstand with an opportunity to visit our exhibition stands again and decompress after a full day of sprinting.

 

Networking Drinks (Wednesday, 10 July)

17:00-18:30hrs we will be raising a glass and funds for our good friends at WaterAid during this time. Come and join in on the fun and games in the food village.

 

Party in the Park (Wednesday, 10 July)

On Wednesday evening this year there are two options to celebrate and have fun with us. Innovation Festival citizens are invited to binGO crazy with food and entertainment from 18:30-22:00 in the Funderdome. Or for the footie fanatics, you can catch the Euros in the food village from 19:45-21:45.

 

A Fond Farewell (Thursday, 11 July)

Festival citizens are invited to join us to close out the Innovation Festival at our beach BBQ with live music from 17:00-21:00 at the beach volleyball pitch.

Accessibility

 

The Innovation Festival is situated at Newcastle Racecourse. The site consists of marquee villages and main building activities. The terrain is a mixture of tarmac pathed areas, grass and a softer material known as Tapeta when crossing the racetrack itself.

 

The Marquee Village surface is artificial grass on a tarmac base. Each of the tents in the Marquee village are accessible through double doors with a small ramp. The main stage for the event has ramp access and there are tarmac paths throughout the site.

 

The festival stretches out across an expansive site with 5-10 minute walks required between activities.

 

There is a lift within the main buildings and all rooms on all floors have flat access. You can see the location of all accessible facilities on the accessibility map below.

 

IF Site Maps 23 - access.png

 

ACCESSIBLE PARKING 

Accessible parking for blue badge holders is available at the Innovation Festival Entrance. Please display your Blue Badge clearly if you have one. If you are not a Blue Badge holder but require certain access needs, please speak to a car park attendant on arrival.

 

If you have any questions about accessible parking and access issues, please contact the Innovation Festival team at innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk

 

DROP-OFF POINT

Drop off is available at the Main Innovation Festival Entrance.

 

ACCESSIBLE TOILETS 

Accessible facilities are available near the Innovation Festival Entrance and there are accessible facilities available within the Racecourse building and under the Colonel Porters Stand. A Radar key is required to access the facilities underneath the stand and can be requested from our information point.

 

The location of the accessible facilities, lifts and ramps can be seen on the accessibility map above.

 

WHEELCHAIRS 

NWG’ s Innovation Festival welcomes all types of mobility vehicles. Please provide your contact details in the site access requirements section on the registration form and one of our dedicated Innovation Festival team members will contact you to confidentially discuss how we can support you at the Innovation Festival.  Alternatively, you can contact the team at  innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk

 

VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

If you have visual impairment requirements please provide your contact details in the site access requirements section on the registration form and one of our dedicated Innovation Festival team members will contact you to confidentially discuss how we can support you at the Innovation Festival.  Alternatively, you can contact the team at innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk

 

ASSISTANCE DOGS AT NWG’S INNOVATION FESTIVAL 

Assistance dogs are welcome at NWG’ s Innovation Festival. Please let us know in advance at innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk if you are bringing an assistance dog to the event.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to accommodate any other animals at this event.

 

HEARING IMPAIRMENTS

There is a hearing loop facility available across the site.

 

WEBSITE

Our website uses Recite Me accessibility software for those with disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, or if people speak English as a second language.

 

QUIET ROOM

There is a quiet room available in the main building for anyone who needs time out during their visit. It will have seating as well as soft sensory mood lighting.

 

Please note that this space is NOT to be used as a meeting room.

 

INFORMATION POINT

There is a manned information point on site and a qualified first aid team. Our festival crew are available to assist you throughout the entire event for whatever you need. Just look out for the blue crew t-shirts!

 

PETS 

We are unable to accommodate any pets at this event.

 

Assistance dogs are welcome at NWG’ s Innovation Festival. Please let us know in advance at innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk if you are bringing an assistance dog to the event.

 

UNDER 18s

We welcome young citizens over the age of 16 to register and take part in our sprint challenges. They must have an accompanying adult attending the event for the duration of their visit.

 

We will contact any registered under 18s prior to visiting to complete relevant work experience and photo consent forms.

 

This year we are running a Young Citizens Work Experience Festival alongside our main Innovation Festival aimed at teens from 14-18 years old. If your school or college is interested, please contact a member of our team youngcitizensfestival@nwl.co.uk to sign up.

Any other questions?

Please contact us innovationfestival@nwl.co.uk if you require any further information on the event. We’re always happy to help!