NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE – MORE THAN JUST A PARTY CITY
When you think of Newcastle, you think Stag/Hen parties, drunken nights out on the Bigg Market and Geordie Shore. Well, I am here to tell you there is so much more to this city than a pub crawl followed by a dodgy kebab.
I have lived in Newcastle for nearly 12 years now, moving here from nearby Northumberland for University. I can happily say, it is my absolute favourite city in the whole of the UK, and here is why I wanted to make a Newcastle City Guide:
THINGS TO EAT
As a food blogger and general fan of stuffing my face, Newcastle has my heart. We have some top notch eateries around here, from the recently awarded Michelin star, House of Tides, to the street food markets regularly popping up all over the place.
Whether you like haute cuisine or eating food from a truck, we got you covered. Like most cities, we are lousy with chain places, with a new and exciting Grey’s Restaurant Quarter opening in autumn 2016. What we also have, is a great selection of local independent places. Here are some of my personal favourites:
Cals Own Pizza – Located slightly outside of the city centre, but just 10 minutes on the Metro train, these neopolitana style pizzas are out of this world, Buzzfeed ranked it in their “Top 18 pizzas to try before you die” – definitely worth a short train ride.
Tyneside Bar Café – This is my top lunch venue with kids. They have a small but perfectly formed menu, with regularly changing specials and there’s games and colouring in things to keep the little people happy. Top tip – the grilled cheese is something special.
Fat Hippo – If you love a good burger, you have got to eat here. Their city centre restaurant (Fat Hippo Underground) has a cool urban feel, serving up some of the finest burgers in the land – think thin, juicy patties in pillow-y brioche buns, with all manner of topping choices. Don’t even get me started on the thrice cooked chips.
Pet Lamb Patisserie – Nestled in the historic listed Grainger Market, some real sweet treats can be found. Quite possibly one of the cutest little cake shops you’ll ever find, run by two of the nicest people. I strongly recommend the brownies – fudgy beyond belief, the Nutella and raspberry are especially good.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE
Newcastle is actually quite a small city, with a great public transport network. We have a great Metro system which goes from the coast through the city centre and all the way to Sunderland. It means you could hop on a train and in 20 minutes be at one of the best beaches in the UK – Tynemouth. We are also on the edge of Northumberland, which has some of the best countryside and national trust properties in the UK. If you’re here for a holiday, it means you can get the best of all worlds – coast, city and country! Here are a few of my favourite central places to visit;
Tyneside Cinema – A great local independent cinema in the heart of Newcastle. As well as showing some of the latest releases, they show a lot of independent or foreign films, documentaries and also cult classics. They also have an in house art gallery and exhibition space and a pop up film school nearby which offers great events for young people and wannabe film makers. If you’re interested in some unusual events for babies and young children, check out Chalk, which run events through the Film School; we went to an Under the Sea baby rave in January which had live music and bubbles galore!
Baltic Flour Mill – As well as being a kickass centre for contemporary art housed in an old flour mill on the banks of the river Tyne, there is also a fantastic play area on the 2nd floor, filled with great books and craft activities and not your usual plastic crap. There is also a lovely viewing platform over the Tyne River, which gives incredible views and a perfect spot for taking selfies with the iconic Tyne Bridge in the background.
Quayside – If you’re visiting the Baltic, you can also check out the Quayside. It’s a lovely riverside walk, where you get lovely views of all of the bridges and can walk over the famous blinking millennium bridge. If you time it right, you can see it open and close (this happens twice a day). In the summer, there is also the lovely Quayside Seaside set up, where they bring in sand, deckchairs and volleyball to turn a small area into a beach! If you happen to visit on a Sunday, there is also an amazing market, chock full of street food and local independent businesses selling their wares.
Ouseburn Valley – If you want to get out of the city centre for a while, a short metro ride or 15 minute walk will take you to the Ouseburn Valley, which has a lot to offer. From amazing pubs like, The Cumberland Arms and Tyne Bar (great beer gardens) to music venues like the Cluny, to the National Centre for Childrens Books, Seven Stories (they have an awesome Harry Potter display on at the moment), or the City Farm.
I could go on and on, but I had better stop before everyone suddenly decides to up sticks and move to the north east. Can’t have you driving up property prices!
So next time you think of Newcastle Upon Tyne, I hope you think of more than just Geordie Shore and drunken girls without their coats on – We have so much more to offer, and offer it with a huge dollop of Geordie friendliness and charm. So howay man! Get yer sel to the toon!
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