When most people in my age range think of Newcastle, we think of hen and stag dos, cheap drinks and those rascals from Geordie Shore, but we’ve got it all wrong. Newcastle has been voted the number one place in the world to visit 2018 by Rough Guides, so this year is ‘Newcastle’s time to shine’!
NewcastleGateshead is united by seven bridges across a pretty photogenic stretch of river. Newcastle is the city on the north bank of the River Tyne and then there’s Gateshead which is the town on the south bank and with those seven bridges, they form a super fun and quirk visitor destination. They have so many different offerings either side of the river with new sights, sounds and a hell of a lot of experiences. There is plenty of world-class culture, amazing nightlife, award-winning dining, incredible heritage, outstanding shopping and acclaimed architecture all linked here by that famous Geordie spirit.
Also, over summer NewcastleGateshead will be hosting the ‘Great Exhibition of the North’ which is 8 days of exhibits, technology, street performance and much more. All of this means there really has never been a better time to visit, and here’s a little list of things you need to be doing, eating, and drinking whilst you’re there…
Grainger Market is a city centre market, that is covered over and a is a real piece of Newcastle history; back when first built in the 1830s it was the largest market in Europe. It has now become a Grade I listed building and the modern Grainger Market housed inside brings a bright, light, vibrant and buzzing atmosphere to visitors. Alongside a variety of crafting stalls, mini bazaars, jewelers and local florists, you can find an eclectic mix of high-quality butchers, artisan bakers, greengrocers as well as street food traders, coffee shops and cafés. It really is a one-stop shop for all your foodie needs! But, if you’re still on the hunt for more food markets and sample to try out then head to Fenwicks Newcastle. It’s the first and original Fenwicks store and has become quite an iconic building in Newcastle’s city centre. Following a recent multi-million pound redevelopment, the Food Hall inside offers classy dining experiences alongside a large array of both the very best regional and the very best international produce.
If you’re looking for a lunch spot then lunch at Cook House comes highly recommended. It was voted ‘One of the 25 coolest restaurants in Britain’ by The Times in 2015 and it’s well deserving of that title. Or there is also The Broad Chare, The Herb Garden, Ury and many more incredible restaurants to try out in the area; you certainly won’t be stuck for choice!
If, like me. you’re a beer lover and love a brewer tour then get yourself to Wylam Brewery which was founded back in 2000. It is only a 30 Barrel Brewery which makes it pretty darn small and it resides at the Palace of Arts in Exhibition Park that hosts plenty of events and gigs. If you’re just looking for a cheeky pint then stop by one of Newcastle’s oldest and best-loved real and craft ale pubs, The Free Trade Inn, or The Bridge Tavern. If you’re more into gin or cocktails, then make a beeline for The Botanist or Pleased to Meet You.
NewcastleGateshead is only a short distance from the coast so hop on the metro and head to Tynemouth for an afternoon at the beach. Here you can find the freshest seafood dishes at Rileys Fish Shack. Or if the beach isn’t for you then make sure you take some time out to visit the Angel of the North whilst you’re there. Fun fact; it’s made from the same materials as the Statue of Liberty so will one day turn green!
If you’re looking for a place to stay then the Jesmond Dene House is Newcastle’s only independently owned boutique hotel so it’s worth booking a room there too, it’s pretty darn stunning! And if you want the easiest of journeys up to Newcastle then hopping on a Virgin East Coast Train is your best option, they have lots of killer sales too!