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Why do we travel? What makes certain places so special and what can we discover if we take a look beyond what we can see with the naked eye? Alastair Bonnett has a fair few answers up his sleeve – and he shares these in his books Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities and Other Inscrutable Geographies and Beyond the Map.

ZEISS joined the author as he journeyed through his adopted home of Newcastle in northern England. Alastair showed us the places that never cease to amaze him. As a Professor of Social Geography at the University of Newcastle, he has become a specialist in truly unusual places – sometimes, though, it takes a little bit of digging to uncover their magic.

He uses images to document these places, chats to people online to gain new perspectives, and never forgets his notebook at home, which he uses to jot down sketches and info about places so that he’ll never forget them.

“Even if I just step outside, onto the street I’ve lived on for decades, I always discover something new,” he says.
“It’s all about recognizing the stories a place can tell – and about how they come to be.”

There are plenty of special places in Newcastle and along northern England’s coastline just waiting to be discovered. Alastair Bonnett introduced us to just a handful.

Unusual places in Newcastle upon Tyne & the Northumberland coast
Unusual places in Newcastle upon Tyne & the Northumberland coast

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