After a brief stint in Manchester, I arrived in Newcastle. Now, I have to be honest. My only knowledge about Newcastle comes from Geordie Shore. I’m not proud of it, but I have a weakness for trash tv. Don’t pretend you’re any better. Newcastle is the place to be for hen- and stag parties and over the weekend the city is overrun with drunk Brits in crazy getups. Truly a sight to behold as they start in the late afternoon so be prepared for inebriated girls taking off their stripper heels around seven pm.
But with images of drunk Brits in the back of my mind, I was very pleasantly surprised! And not just because I got to spend three days with my mom, which is always a good time for me. Newcastle is actually a lovely and beautiful city, with lots of culture and great food. The countryside surrounding Newcastle however, was my favourite part. Apart from walking around the city, we took two trips, one into the country and one from the beach.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Newcastle, here are my tips:
1. Walk around the city centre
You may not expect it from its reputation, but Newcastle is very pretty. Full of old and new architecture, imposing brownstones and winding little streets, you can merrily spend a day walking around the city centre, taking in the sights. Newcastle is also a great city to go on a shopping spree in!
2. Alnwick Castle
This castle is actually the home of the Duke of Northumberland and the location for one of the Christmas episodes of Downton Abbey as well as the first Harry Potter movie. And with good reason as it is stunning! I recommend taking the bus to Alnwick. It’s cheap and lets you enjoy the countryside of Northumberland as you ride. Aside from the castle, the small town also houses a beautiful botanical garden, cute shops and cafes and Barter Books.
This converted train station bookstore is bibliophile heaven. Rows and rows of second-hand books, a trainset driving above the shelves and literary quotes. Snuggle up to one of the fireplaces and enjoy a drink or bite in the restaurant.
Newcastle is only a short train ride from Tynemouth. This adorable little coast town offers a lovely view across the water as well a castle. I would recommend wearing some comfortable shoes and walking along the coast to Whitley Bay This town is the epitome of former glory. Once a glamorous beachfront, now run down and shaggy. From there you simply take the train back to Newcastle.
4. Drinks at Blackfriars
You can’t go to the UK and not drink a Gin & Tonic. Blackfriars was once a friary and now restaurant/bar. If the weather is nice you can sit in the little courtyard, otherwise enjoy their extensive cocktail menu in the cosy, Medieval interior.
Newcastle offers plenty of opportunities for good food. Whether British staples like fish & chips or international cuisine, Newcastle has something for everyone. I would especially recommend Simla for anyone who loves good Indian food (and who doesn’t?).
So, these are some of my tips for a trip to Newcastle. Are you planning to visit this lovely city? Let me know and I’ll be happy to give you some additional advice.