Have you ever considered a city break to Newcastle Gateshead? It’s about time you did. The city has a vibrant, creative community, a great food culture, loads and loads of craft beer, historic pubs, awesome free live music and there’s even an award winning beach nearby. Here are some suggestions for things to see and do around Newcastle Gateshead.
This summer, they are hosting The Great Exhibition of the North, a series of events across the city with music, technology, art and more.
Angel of the North
You must get a selfie at the Angel of the North. Perched high on a hill in Gateshead, overlooking the city, it is the most recognizable public art in the UK.
It is a 15 minute taxi ride from the City Centre to the Angel and well worth a visit.
Ouseburn is an area in Newcastle that is a successful result of regeneration. This is a thriving creative community in Ouseburn. Once full of abandoned industrial buildings, now these have been converted to craft beer bars, artists studios, and live music venues.
Lunch at Cook House
Grab lunch at the Cook House, voted one of UK’s top 25 restaurants. Run by Anna (The Grazer) out of two shipping containers, she offers a daily changing menu of very innovative but tasty dishes.
Newcastle Beer Walking Tour Ouseburn
The best way to get a taste of the culture and history of the area is to take a Beer Walking Tour with Alastair Gilmour. He is a beer writer (author of the Craft Beer Guide) who knows a lot of the beer makers and has lots of interesting stories about the history of the area, the bars and the craft beers.
We spent a few hours walking around Ouseburn, visited several pubs with a lot of history and cultural significance. Along the way, we tasted a lot of craft beers, met some legends and found that we found the heart and soul of Newcastle. It was the most informative and entertaining few hours in the City. This is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
A day out at Tynemouth
One of the best things to do in the area is to visit Tynemouth. A short metro ride will take you out to the beach. Your first view from the top of the hill overlooking the beach is of Longsands. Voted UK’s second favourite beach. The white sand and big skies, stretches on forever.
Head there at lunchtime and grab a bite at Riley’s Fish Shack. More a portable food truck than a shack. You will find it parked on Prince Edward’s Bay, under the shadow of the Tynemouth Priory. Be prepared to wait as there is always a long queue.
The ruins of Tynemouth castle and priory sits proudly on the promontory overlooking the beaches. It’s open to visitors daily.
Even on the cold, sunny day that we were there, the hardy Northerners were picnicking on the beach and frolicking in swimsuits. We watched on from the sides wrapped up in our winter coats.
Shopping and Eating in Newcastle Town Centre
Newcastle town centre is quite vibrant. The tall statue of Earl Grey, the man who gave the tea its name, looks over the main thoroughfare. There are some old markets you can wander through like Granger Market. Alternatively, you can spend a morning at the Fenwicks food halls, grab a glass of fizz at the champagne bar, indulge in all the locally sourced goodies.
Then wander through to the historic Grainger market, home of the first Marks and Spencer. Stop in at the weighing room, once used to weigh produce for the market, now a daily stop for ladies on diet programmes.
If you have time, walk along Mosley Street, the first street in the UK to be lit by electric lights. Joseph Swan, an early developer of the incandescent lightbulb lived near here. His home was the first to have electric light bulbs.
Newcastle Gateshead Quayside
From the town centre, take a slow stroll down Grey Street, ogle at the architecture that the street is famous for. Spot Lord Greys (the man that gave Earl Grey tea its name)statue that towers over the shoppers.
At the bottom of the hill, you will find the River Tyne, the many bridges including the swing bridge and the very pedestrian friendly Quayside.
On the opposite side of the river is Quayside, the home to the glittering building that houses the Sage Gateshead, a cultural hub that hosts concerts and arts events.
Further down the Tyne on the Gatesehead side, the riverside is teeming with new bars and restaurants, a popular spot for nightlife.
Indulge in an elegant Champagne Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House
Seated in their oak panelled billiard room and presented with the most delicious array of savouries and pastries, you can’t help but feel superbly spoilt. They make superb home made scones and sausage rolls. Extra points for serving a very fragrant loose leaf tea in a proper tea pot, an essential element that most places seem to miss. If you can’t eat it all, they will doggie bag it for you to take home.
Visit Wylam Brewery
If you love craft beer and architecture, you will love Wylam Brewery. They built the brewery in the Palace of Arts, a building designed for the Great North and was most recently a museum.
Book in for a brewery tour and then head to the Tap Room for a tasting of their iconic brews. On Sundays, they put on a spectacular Sunday Roast but you have to book early.
We managed to fit in quite a bit in a short 48 hours. There are lots more things to see and do in Newcastle but we’ll tackle that on another trip. Meanwhile, this summer, head up there to absorb some of the cultural experiences that they are putting on as part of the Festival of the North.
Where to stay in Newcastle
The Jesmond Dene Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel next to the Jesmond Dene Park. The rooms are lovely, very spacious, comfortable beds with fine linens. The bathrooms have both showers and bath tub with lovely White Company toiletries.
You can check availability and book here: http://jesmonddenehouse.co.uk/
We travelled to Newcastle from Kings Cross station with Virgin East Coast in first class. On the trip out, expecting a cooked breakfast like on Great Western Railway’s first class, but we only got a croissant, yoghurt and cup of tea. There is wifi on board the train but it wasn’t working.
You can read about 10 ways to spend a delicious weekend in Newcastle Gateshead
EatCookExplore was a guest of Newcastle Gateshead and this post is written in collaboration with them.