The time spent in this wonderful city will always be cherished and today I would love to share some of the activities that made Newcastle upon Tyne so special.
Welcome to Newcastle upon Tyne. I have spoken before about this beautiful city on a post about must-see places in North East England. I guess I’m a little bias, as I spent three wonderful years here as a student, but I cannot avoid sharing what made this city so fun and special.
Forget what you’ve seen on Geordie Shore, a Jersey Shore equivalent. Geordie’s are a bubbly bunch who know how to have fun. For this reason, Newcastle is a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties. Expect to see a few groups with matching T-shirts and a white veil or two.
Newcastle is a vibrant city with it’s own unique personality. It’s much smaller than it’s Northern siblings Manchester and Leeds, and can therefore be discovered by foot easily. If you’re not one to walk, the city’s underground metro can have you from one location to another in minutes. This makes it perfect for a city break and with plenty to see and do on any trip, Newcastle has certainly earned its place. If you have an upcoming trip to Newcastle, check out my top 4 fun activities to do below.
Watch Newcastle United F.C at St James’ Park
No trip to Newcastle would be complete without watching a soccer match at St James’ Park. The crowds come out in mass and the city comes alive when Newcastle United take to the pitch. If you fancy a drink before, The Strawberry will be sure to get you in the spirit with their excellent selection of English ales. Even if there’s no game on, be sure to catch one of the guided tours of the stadium which are well-orchestrated and thorough.
Newcastle United is currently in the premier league, the top flight of English soccer. I remember when they played Manchester City at home, beating them 2-1 in the 2018/19 premier league. This was a monumental win, having not beat them since 2005. Geordie’s and local supporters alike took to the streets to celebrate and toast Newcastle United’s success. It really is a wonderful community.
Newcastle is proud of it’s club and stadium, and welcome visitors old and new. It’s a short walk from the city centre and definitely one of the top attractions to visit. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, Newcastle will win on your trip. Unless of course you fancy supporting the opposition! BOOOOOO.
Take a Stroll along The Quayside
Possibly the most picturesque location in Newcastle is the Quayside, carved out by the River Tyne. Gaze at the famous view, taking in the Millennium Bridge, Tyne Bridge, and surrounding buildings. Beautiful by day or night, this spot in the city is precious, and feels totally different to the rest of the city. Time moves slower, it’s peaceful.
I recommend visiting on Sunday mornings to take advantage of the local food and market stalls which line the River Tyne. It’s a vibrant and flourishing market, selling all sorts items from food to trinkets, clothing to books. Be sure to arrive early to get your hands on the best items!
By night, enjoy breath-taking views from any restaurant gracing the riverside. Dancing at the Riverside club afterwards if you fancy. There are big future plans to develop the Quayside so be sure to watch this space for future expansion plans.
Visit the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts
This is a great activity if you have a morning or afternoon to spend in Newcastle. It’s totally free for most of the six floors, with the exception of one or two exhibitions which require a small fee. It’s great for the kids too as there are interactive rooms which are child-friendly and invite you to challenge your creativity.
It aims to facilitate contemporary visual art, incorporating sustainability, power and meaning to individuals and communities. To get here, stroll along the quayside and cross over the millennium bridge. If you’re lucky enough to be passing through around 12pm midday, you may even catch the famous bridge tilting upwards.
To make a day of it, visit the cafe and gift shop selling local art and coffee at reasonable prices. For an extra special treat, visit Six BALTIC, the restaurant at the top. I went as a treat in the evening and it was an unforgettable dining experience. It’s one of the best eating spots in Newcastle and with panoramic view of the entire city, you can’t really go wrong. They serve an evening menu, afternoon tea, or drinks and cocktails at the bar.
Visit Jesmond Dene Park + Pets Corner
For me, Jesmond is a home away from home. Located just a few miles from the city centre, which is a 30 minute walk. In this upscale suburb, which was my home while studying in Newcastle. For a quiet location out of the city, but still oozing with charm, this is a lovely spot and is easy to reach via metro too. On it’s edge you’ll find Jesmond Dene, a unique haven and place of tranquillity.
Home to abundant wildlife, notably kingfishers and red squirrels, this dene represents a natural arcadia. With a large network of footpaths and bridges, it’s the perfect spot for an afternoon wander and right at the centre you’ll find pet’s corner. It’s a family-friendly, free attraction where you’ll find animals of all shapes an sizes. Expect exotic birds, goats, pigs and many more!
Make a trip and take a picnic. With large open spaces, a cafe, visitor centre and an awesome waterfall, you’ll be sure to fill an afternoon with fun here. While you’re in the area, you must head to Francesca’s – it’s just about the best Italian food you can find and a great way to end your trip to Jesmond.
As you can probably tell, Newcastle is such a special place. I pretty much grew from child to adult here, and owe this city for a lot. While I’m back home in the South for now, I’m already planning my next trip! Let me know if you have been or plan to go… I’d love to know what you get up to. Until next time…