Problem: With their great combination of affordability and hospitality, B&Bs in England are the way to go, but many don't have websites, and most don't book online. Small-town accommodations are especially hard to book from overseas.
Solution: Book a bunch of nights in Newcastle in one of the big centrally located hotels (think Travelodge or Premier Inn). Most of these hotels will let you cancel your reservation free of charge if you do so before noon the day prior, so when you get to Newcastle and get settled, go to the VIC and book some cheaper, homier rooms, possibly in some more out-of-the-way locations.
Caution: Many B&Bs will only accept cash, so be sure to check beforehand to see if you'll need to make a stop at the ATM.