How To Spend A Weekend In Newcastle

The river tyne runs through the centre of the image with the Gateshead centre on the left. Both the millenium bridge and the Tyne bridge are clearly visible over the Tyne.
The river tyne runs through the centre of the image with the Gateshead centre on the left. Both the millenium bridge and the Tyne bridge are clearly visible over the Tyne.
Newcastle – the land of bridges. Picture Ryan Booth on Unsplash

Newcastle — “The Toon” — is understood for its soccer, mighty bridges, mightier accent, and a sure brown ale (which is not even brewed there any extra). However get past the stereotypes and you will find a vibrant hub of arts, meals and tradition across the banks of the magnificent river Tyne. A weekend in Newcastle will go away you craving for extra.

Attending to Newcastle

Hourly trains operated by LNER run from King’s Cross to Newcastle Central station. The journey takes roughly three hours. As all the time with longer haul, it is nicely value reserving your tickets upfront; on the day you might simply fork out £80+ for a single. For these on a funds, Megabus and Nationwide Categorical each function coaches to and from Newcastle.

Newcastle must know

A Metro sign, in the colours of the Ukranian flag
Newcastle is a category metropolis. Picture: Londonist

  • Getting round Newcastle: The town is fairly compact, and most points of interest are inside strolling distance. Though the streets are for probably the most half accessible, there are uneven slim streets dotted about, in addition to some massive hills. The latter are largely unavoidable, however you might all the time go for the Metro as an alternative. This extending out to the coast — even Sunderland — so there’s actually no want for a automobile. The Metro can be proudly absolutely accessible. Additionally value noting: Newcastle’s present e-scooter trial.
  • Bridges: Arriving into Newcastle by prepare, you may discover its glut of bridges over the Tyne. Seven to be exact, on a tiny two kilometre stretch of the river. The arched Tyne Bridge is Newcastle’s nice icon — and doesn’t disappoint. The double decker High Level Bridge is an architectural masterpiece. And the Millennium Bridge — the newest — is a stupendous piece of engineering that tilts to permit river vessels beneath. Though the latter really belongs to Gateshead (extra on that subsequent).
  • The river divide: Newcastle is north of the river Tyne, Gateshead is to the south… not get them blended up!
  • What’s a Geordie? Geordie generally refers to somebody who lives in Tyneside, and can be the dialect of English spoken on this area. Native author Jack Common as soon as mentioned that “Geordie goes past mere geography and is a high quality of coronary heart”.
  • Shifted weekends It is quite common for lots of eating places, museums and points of interest to be closed on a Monday and Tuesday. At all times test the opening instances.

The place to remain in Newcastle

A stone country house ensconced in greenery
Jesmond Dene Home. Picture: Londonist

When you’re in search of someplace further particular to put your head, Jesmond Dene House is an excellent Arts and Craft pile which feels prefer it’s in the course of the countryside, however is a breezy Metro journey into the centre. If you wish to get up within the coronary heart of all of it, Hilton Newcastle Gateshead has a cracking view of the Tyne Bridge (when you guide the suitable room). As appears to be the case nationally proper now, many accommodations and Airbnbs aren’t as thrifty as they as soon as have been, however you could find frugal sleeping choices on the likes of YHA Newcastle Central, the place personal ensuite rooms begin out at lower than £30 an evening on the weekend.

Getting your bearings

The river tyne with the magnificent Tyne Bridge can be seen. The photo is taken from the perspective of someone sitting at a table just next to the bridge on the quayside.
The immediately recognisable Tyne Bridge as considered from By The River Brew Co. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

The Grade 2 listed Tyne Bridge is presumably probably the most pictured landmark in Newcastle, immediately recognisable and an important level to begin your North Jap adventures. The bridge is house to round 1,000 nesting pairs of kittiwake birds, so it shouldn’t be arduous to identify one, however take care to keep away from a number of the much less nice elements of 1000’s of birds nesting in a single place! Maintain your eyes peeled, and chances are you’ll even see a seal within the river too. Heading up into town centre, you’ll come throughout Newcastle Fortress, a medieval fortress used throughout its life to accommodate and punish criminals, however now demonstrating spectacular views throughout the quayside. The town centre itself is an actual cornucopia of architectural kinds from the Nineteen Sixties Civic Centre to the gorgeous artwork deco buildings on Newgate Road to Newcastle Central station’s Victorian Grandeur. Aimless wandering within the metropolis centre is a deal with.

Museums in Newcastle

A child is playing on a homemade swing in the middle of an interactive art exhibition. The exhibition consists of rails, ropes, large foam circles, wooden planks and fabric bands, all placed around the room for viewers to interact and build with.
‘Equal Play’ interactive exhibition at The Baltic Centre. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, in its imposing Nineteen Fifties flour mill façade, sits on the banks of the Tyne in Gateshead subsequent to the Millennium Bridge. It is an artwork gallery with ever altering, typically interactive, exhibitions, set over a number of flooring with a panoramic viewing gallery, providing a number of the greatest views over Newcastle and Gateshead. Exhibitions are continually altering, however it’s a fixed haven for households with children on account of a whole flooring devoted to youngsters and play. In your means out, pop into the reward store, full of distinctive gadgets from unbiased makers. These may make useful stocking fillers come December.

The head of a T Rex skeleton with its mouth open is seen in the centre of the image. It is lit with blue lights. The photo is taken looking up into the mouth of the skull
ROAR! T Rex on proud show at The Museum of The North. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

The Life Science Centre has spectacular credentials as pioneers in genetics and IVF analysis, at the moment housing analysis teams from the NHS and Newcastle College. It additionally accommodates a totally interactive science museum, which actually has one thing for everybody. Wish to pop on a lab coat and run an experiment? Play in Nasa’s mission management? Go to a Planetarium? Perceive your mind? The Life Centre has you coated.

For one thing extra conventional, the Discovery Museum is not far away from Life, depicting the historical past of the North East with walkthrough streetscapes and a mini cinema. The Great North Museum is a should for any dinosaur or animal lover, with its huge taxidermy assortment, whereas the Laing Art gallery homes extra conventional artworks in comparison with the Baltic (together with some fantastic work of the native space by the likes of J. Pearson).

Consuming in Newcastle

An indoor market with skylights in the ceiling
Grainger Market is a superb place for lunch. Picture: Londonist

Newcastle is the proud proprietor of the primary ever department of the excessive avenue bakery Greggs (due to native John Gregg), and at the moment sports activities over 30 branches, the best quantity in any UK metropolis. However concern not, the breadth of meals decisions throughout town go far past a steak bake.

For breakfast or brunch, strive the pancakes at Aiden’s Kitchen or the meals waste creations from The Magic Hat Café (they use surplus meals saved from landfill). Alternatively head over to Heaton and Fork in The Rose – a café providing each home vegetation and brunch in abundance (the eggs royale with avocado and pea smash is a delight).

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Doughnut choice from Confirmed Items Co. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

For lunch, go for contemporary pasta from Zucchini or conventional pie and mash at Redhouse. Feeling indecisive? Then peruse the goodies at “Britain’s Favorite Market 2020” Grainger Market (a conventional ham and pease pudding “stottie” is a revelation), or Tyne Bridge-adjacent HWKR Food market (providing a classy selection of tacos, bao, souvlaki and the like). Honourable point out to Dot Bagel in Heaton and Jesmond, which supplies Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake a run for its cash.

For these with a candy tooth, Proven goods company have a month-to-month menu of doughnuts that’s important tasting, Northern Rye‘s cruffins are factor of legend, and Cake Stories have each flavoured cake you might ever think about. The Di Meo’s household run ice cream parlour is the proper accompaniment to any summer time (or winter) day, and if espresso is your factor then Flat Caps Coffee has your again.

The world of Heaton to the north east of town centre is a robust participant within the Newcastle meals scene, for dinner; hop on the Metro to the Chillingham Highway and hit up Flint Pizza or Bao Bar. Each typically sport a wholesome queue. Or keep central, and go for the butter rooster at Sachins (distinctive curry, and packed on a Tuesday night time, which tells you all you want to know).

Beer, Breweries and Pubs

beer tyne bridge
A pint at By The River Brew Co. Picture: Londonist

As the house of Newcastle Brown Ale, town has a protracted heritage of beer making (and consuming), with loads of pubs and breweries constructing on the legacy that “Newkie Brown” cemented nearly 100 years in the past.  

Name in on the Crown Posada is a Grade 2 listed conventional Victorian pub with wonderful stained glass home windows, quirky inside, and a effective choice of ales proper on the Quayside. The Ship in Ouseburn affords a calming out vibe with intensive vegan menu. Reside music is on faucet not far away, at The Tyne Bar which additionally has outside house on the banks of the Ouseburn. Supporters of native brewers, The Free Trade Inn, present stunning views over the Tyne to accompany your pint of Verdant or Thornbridge.

Newcastle can be crammed craft brewers, and it will be straightforward to dedicate an entire article on beer alone. Nevertheless Wylam brewery, in town moor, is beautiful; Full Circle Brewery in Hoults Yard does an impeccable ranger of IPAs, stouts, fruit gose and many others; whereas By The River Brew Co — just about beneath Tyne Bridge — is a cracking spot for a waterside pint.

Inexperienced House

To the left is a peacock, staring straight at the camera. His feathers are on full display with iridescent colours. He looks regal.
Oh hey there! One of many residents of Jesmond’s Pets Nook. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

It is simple to overlook that Newcastle is full of inexperienced areas, excellent for a second, extra chilled, day of exploration.

Heaton Park is to the north east of town centre, with an excellent Victorian pavilion (which now homes an Italian restaurant) at its coronary heart. It has a community of accessible paths, and a number of children play areas. Wander beneath Armstrong Bridge, and you end up at Jesmond Dene, an historic and historic woodland stuffed with winding paths, artifical waterfalls and wildlife galore. Pets Corner, a free petting zoo, can be within the Dene, conveniently proper subsequent to a youngsters’s play park. Lastly, head over to the city moors which cowl 1,000 acres (that is greater than Hyde Park and Hampstead heath mixed) the place you may see cows grazing on this huge space of frequent land.

Exploring Ouseburn Valley

A small boy wearing a hat is running down a path in the middle of the image. To either side of him is green space, and a metal ampitheatre/stage. He is running under a very high bridge with another visible off in the distance.
Weekend wandering beneath some in-land bridges in Ouseburn. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

The mellow environment of the Ouseburn Valley are additionally an important place for a soothing stroll. Simply quarter-hour’ stroll from central Newcastle, right here is tranquil hub of exercise set on the banks of the river Ouseburn, a tributary of the Tyne. A riverside stroll here’s a feast for the eyes, providing up putting warehouse structure, wildlife, and a ship known as the Sea Song Sang, which legend has it, drifts off within the night time to gather the desires of youngsters (Creepy or cute? You resolve!). Different notable Ouseburn points of interest embrace:

  • Delve into the historical past of youngsters’s literature at Seven Stories, the nationwide centre for kids’s books, and marvel on the unique Gruffalo drawings.
  • Go to the Ouseburn Farm the place you may pet a number of the smaller animals, or perhaps even take a goat for a stroll.
  • E book a driving lesson at Stepney Bank Stables.
The original art work for the front cover for The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo at Seven Tales. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

A inexperienced house of a special sort…

Newcastle’s most well-known park is not a park in any respect — however a soccer floor. St James’s Park is house to Newcastle United — and whereas it’d show difficult to bag tickets now they seem to be a high-flying Prem crew, the stadium tour makes for an interesting couple of hours, wherein you get to peek into the kits rooms and go pitch facet. Younger soccer followers will definitely recognize the expertise.

Day journeys from Newcastle

Nonetheless bought some spare time? Listed here are some notable day journeys, accessible by public transport from Newcastle:

A selection of dishes filled with cooked fish, as well as a dish of carrots can be seen. The table is an old cable reel, and is placed on a sandy beach.
The perfect of beachside eating at Riley’s Fish Shack. Picture: Charlotte Maughan Jones

  • Head to South Shields, and luxuriate in a conventional seaside city with an enormous sandy seaside, 2p machines, and lashings of ice cream. Haddock and chips from Colemans is a should, as is a journey on the mini railway that whisks you round South Marine Park.
  • A swankier fish and chips various is Riley’s Fish Shack — a hidden gem, nestled down the underside of the cliffs in King Edward’s Bay. Eat exquisitely cooked lobster, monkfish and the like on deckchairs on the seaside — and afterwards take a stroll in direction of Whitley Bay, seeing when you can spot dolphins.
The angel of the north is captured in the centre of the image. It is a large metal structure that looks like a person holding their arms out to make a cross shape. The arms are like wings of an airplane.
The Angel of the North. Picture Boris YUE on Unsplash

  • Beamish, the dwelling museum of the North is a whole time out in itself and is accessible by bus or prepare. Journey again in time to the 1820s, after which leap via the centuries, ending up within the Nineteen Fifties.
  • The Angel of the North, designed by Anthony Gormley appears to be like over Gateshead, and stands proudly subsequent to the highway as you enter the world. A day journey is feasible through bus, and price it for the Instagram pictures recreating the long-lasting statue!

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