Ladies and Gentlemen, Newcastle Upon Tyne is more than just the ‘Geordie Shore’, in fact I cannot even bare calling it that. Newcastle is a vibrant and cultural city despite the tack constantly associated with it.
All you have to do when walking past its modern shops and community is look up to see the incredible history of the place. The Victorian architecture is a thing of beauty, with large windows and elegant designs. This should be your first realisation that there is a lot more to the city than its nightlife.
As a student and as a highly creative individual I have had the pleasure (for want of a better word) of experiencing both Newcastle’s day and night life and below I have detailed 10 things that you can do during the day. If, of course, you don’t become too highly affected by your nighttime activities to even stand the next day.
- Jesmond Dene Jesmond Dene is a large beautiful woodland area situated outside the city, near the residential are of Jesmond. All over England, places as beautiful as this are situated just outside cities, reminding us that we were not here first. Jesmond Dene has a petting zoo, an old mill, and ruins situated along its walkway. No matter what time of year you visit the Dene, its natural beauty is enchanting as you walk along the river and through the woods.
- Grey’s Monument Grey’s Monument is a War Memorial situated in the centre of the city. Monument is an important part of history, it is situated at the top of the old Victorian streets and the bottom of Northumberland street; the main street in Newcastle. So it acts almost as a reference point for finding your way round the city. Not only is it an important historical site, but there are tours to the top of Monument where you can look over the layout of the city and check out the incredible view of the both modern and historical elements of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
- The Quayside I cannot stress enough how wonderful this part of Newcastle is. If you venture down on a Sunday you will come across a vast array of street food vans, jewellery, clothes, home wear stalls, craft stalls, soap testing and other beauty stalls and now and again piercing and henna stalls. The food is to die for and just bumbling around with the locals looking at what is on offer on each stall whilst enjoying the River Tyne and its bridges is a wonderful hour or two spent. Followed up with a nice cocktail or coffee at one of the bars looking over the river, the old buildings and the sculptures dotted along the Quayside.
- Eldon Square or The Metrocentre I do not need to say much about Eldon Square or The Metrocentre, but if shopping is what you are after I recommend them both. They are packed to the brim with food, clothing, accessory, home wear and beauty stores. And a secret between you and me; there is always a sale going on in Newcastle.
- Grainger Markets Grainger markets is a beautiful Victorian market area full of local and independent suppliers and traders. Fresh produce, cafes and a couple of old school clothes and tobacco units, Grainger market is a nostalgic experience that I highly recommend to anyone. There is even one of the original Marks & Spencers units in there where you can enjoy the old tiling of the original sign.
- Newcastle University
If you are in Newcastle you have to go see the University. Its diverse range of historical and modern buildings, its thursday markets, Northern Stage, its campus sculptures and also the art galleries are enough to entertain people for an hour or two, not to mention the eclectic student body who are always racing to lectures or running events outside the Student’s Union buidling.
- Tynemouth One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is go visit Tynemouth, a beautiful seaside town, just a couple of train stops away from the City Centre. You have probably felt that freezing sea breeze that comes roaring through the city centre, well, you may as well go see where it stems from. Enjoy a typical day by the sea side, grab some fish and chips, go sit either on the beach or up on the headland where the ruins of Tynemouth Castle are and enjoy the vast amount of seagulls that try steal your chips.
- Newcastle Castle Believe it or not, Newcastle has a castle, its all in the name, and you must see it! The Medieval fortification is haunting and architecturally pleasing. Once you have done all you want to down at the Quayside venture up the hill and spend a while exploring the castle; for a cheap entry fee of course. The castle often hosts special events such as movie nights or live performances so check on their website to see what’s on and buy a cheap ticket.
- Eat Whether you want a huge feast or a little snack; whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, fruitarian, pollotarian, flexitarian or just plain fussy, every street has an amazing variety of restaurants, cafes and snackbars and offer food for all foodies. Just go for a walk and I guarantee you will find something that suits your stomach.
- Museums/ Art Galleries There are so many museums and art galleries dotted around Newcastle, and all of them small enough so you don’t have to spend hours trying to see every exhibition and every last installation in the gallery. The majority of them are all free too! So get walking and get enjoying some more art and history.
There you have it, ten incredible things to do to make sure you enjoy the full experience of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Of course if you are going to go out, by all means do, but my only warning is beware the trebles.
© Greta Alise Haley