So you listened to my advice and you’re going to venture to Newcastle, right? Good for you! You’ve read my recommendation on where to stay, so I guess you now want a little pointer towards things to see and do whilst you’re there, yes? Ever the obliging travel blogger, I’ll share some pretty good selections for you. Check out these seven pearls of wisdom on things to see and do in Newcastle.
♥ Just a Brick in the Wall
Walking in your usual way (no doubt on the phone or engrossed with the music from your headphones), you might miss this little bit of art. Luckily for you I’m going to let you know where it is so that you can look out for it. Head to Forth Street – a five minute walk from the Newcastle train station. You’ll see a tunnel/underpass that looks like any other – nothing special. Mid-way through, look out for the quirky bricks. Perhaps a tribute to Pink Floyd, I’m not sure, but either way it makes a good photo.
♥ Gateshead Millennium Bridge
An iconic symbol in this neck of the woods, you really ought to venture down to the beautiful riverside to get a snap of this gem. Make sure you visit during the day and night. During the daytime the sun reflects in the rippling water, and commuters and tourists flock to the site. If you’re lucky you might even see the bridge move – the tilt bridge accommodates passing boats. Not one to miss out on a party, in the evening Gateshead Millennium Bridge gets dressed up in beautiful, bright coloured lights.
Right next to Gateshead Millenium Bridge, you’ll find BALTIC. It’s a contemporary hub of modern art, quirky gifts and delicious food. Oh, and amazing views. You can find more details in this blog post as I reviewed Afternoon Tea from the fifth floor.
♥ Sage Gateshead
Perched on the River Tyne, this building is bound to capture your attention due to the unusual bubble design. Even if you have no intention of stepping inside, grab a snap and spend a few minutes appreciating the quirkiness. Sage Gateshead is a music venue, where you can see a variety of performances, including jazz, experiential and lots more. Quite a few festivals are also held at this venue (see here for what’s on). However, if you don’t want to spend any money, but still want to have a nosey, simply pop inside for a stroll around the big lobby. I visited for Traverse 14 (a blogging conference) and I couldn’t help but gawp at the ceiling and huge glass windows.
Besides the things I’ve just recommended, you should also head to Quayside for a bite to eat and a drink. Get dressed up and head to one of many restaurants. You’ll find stylish yet affordable places, such as Pitcher and Piano, and La Tasca (Spanish cuisine). Just don’t make the same mistake as I did and forget that Friday night is party night in Newcastle. Everyone who is anyone is out, so make sure you book a table in advance. You can find a list of the restaurants here.
Have a stroll in the city centre and you’ll spy lots of grand buildings. Some of them are home to boutiques, chain stores and cafes, so whilst you’re there I’d recommend a bit of retail therapy. My favourite building is the Theatre Royal. I’ve been wanting to watch Dirty Dancing the musical for ages, so I might have been biased. Why not treat yourself and book some tickets for one of the shows. You can see what’s on here.
Oh yes, if you’re in Newcastle you have to party. If you’ve seen any of those documentaries on crazy party-goers in England, then you’ll probably have a vague idea of what to expect. Brave girls in tiny dresses and towering heels disregard the blustering wind and line the streets. Intoxicated guys merrily stagger to the next bar and cheer for you to join them. Yes, it may be mental, but that’s only one side to this city. There are also lots of cute bars, tamer drinking spots and some who want to party in a quieter way. It’s like most cities; you can find any style of partying if you look for it. One thing is for sure though – Newcastle wants you to party and have fun!
As an aside it’s worth mentioning that if you don’t drive (or perhaps you just don’t fancy a road trip), you should check out East Coast Trains. In less than four hours you can venture from the south of England (London) up to the north (to Newcastle). I caught one of their trains from London Kings Cross, which is a pretty amazing station. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, head to platform 9 ¾ – you can don a scarf and pose mid-leap with the luggage trolley and everything. V exciting (I’m obviously a fan)!
If you have any other recommendations that you’d like to add to this list please leave a comment in the box below. X