If you’re visiting the UK or fancy a city break staycation, it’s well worth making a pitstop up North. I lived there for five years so here is the best of the best things to visit in the Toon.
If you’re anything like me, holidays revolve around your stomach. And if you’re spending long days exploring, it’s only sensible to schedule in some much needed grub stops to keep the hangry at bay. I love food so much, I’ve got a whole post just about breakfast places in Newcastle so check that out if you’re a morning person or partial to an all day brunch.
Newcastle has every cuisine under the sun in the food court in Eldon Square, or if you can’t decide what you want to eat, at Za Za Bazaar, an all you can eat buffet in The Gate, you can eat your way around the world.
Want to eat like a local? There’s a Greggs round every corner so you don’t have to look far to get your fix of greasy pastry.
For the fine diners among you, Blackfriars or The Botanist might be more to your taste. Or check out the pop up street food places like HWKRMRKT just over the river in Gateshead.
I’m on a personal quest for the best veggie and vegan food, and Newcastle definitely doesn’t disappoint on this front. Sky Apple Cafe or Shoe Tree Cafe in Heaton, about 20 minute walk from the city centre, are some of my favourites. I was also blown away by the vegan takeaway food at Junk It Up and Grumpy Panda.
If you walk up from the train station, you can’t miss Grey’s Monument, the historical epicentre of the city as well as the ultimate meeting point if you lose your friends. Near there is the Theatre Royal which is definitely worth catching a show in for the gorgeous architecture.
The Quayside is gorgeous to walk along, especially at sunset, so you can count the bridges and watch the boats go by. There’s usually pop up events along it, such as the Quayside Seaside in summer and some pretty good buskers. A hop over the Millennium Bridge takes you to the Baltic and the Sage which to treat your artistic and musical needs, and even if you’re not into art, it’s definitely worth visiting the Baltic viewing platform for gorgeous views along the Tyne.
I’d definitely recommend heading out of the city for a day and heading to the coast, just a 20 minute metro ride away. Tynemouth has the most popular beaches for the surfers and the (very brave) sunbathers, and every weekend the metro station is taken over by a market for your pick of bric-a-brac and street food.
If you’re a fan of walking, it’s lovely to walk from Tynemouth to St Mary’s lighthouse along the coast, stopping at a couple of cafes along the way if it gets too cold! Or you might want to head inland and challenge yourself to the Hadrian’s Wall walk (I don’t blame you if you just want to drive to a couple of the Roman sites along the way instead!)
For those who don’t fancy your sea legs, there’s some gorgeous parks and greenery right in the city centre! Ouseburn Farm, Jesmond Dene and the connecting parks make a great walk or picnic spot (make sure you check out the waterfall!), and definitely give Penshaw Monument a trip for insta worthy views.
Newcastle has been famous for it’s nights out long before Geordie Shore hit our screens, but if you want the classic night out, Big Market and the likes of Bijoux and TupTup are the places to go. If like me you look like bambi on ice in those sky high heels, maybe nights like Rebel Thursdays at The Cut or Rustys might be more up your street.
Newcastle is also home to some pretty amazing pubs! My favourite allrounders are: The Hancock, The Ship Inn (also has great vegan food!), The Forth, Tyne Bar, and City Tavern. For the beer and ale fanatics, definitely try Town Mouse Ale House, Tyne Bank Brewery, and Newcastle Tap. If you’re feeling like cocktails but don’t want to break the bank, Las Iguanas or Holy Hobo are my favourites.
If you’re heading to the toon, have an awesome time, and if you’ve been and I missed your fave thing to do, let me know in the comments!