Seven places you must visit as a Newcastle newbie
There’s more to Newcastle than just pubs and clubs
Newcastle: most famous for the nightlife and arguably the only place you can ask for three trebs without being heavily judged by the bar staff. Due to the pandemic, many students feel they have been robbed: of their social life, to make new friends which will last them a lifetime, as well as their overall experience in the city. However, many new freshers don’t know what they are missing from this great city, and now is as good an opportunity as ever to go and explore what else Newcastle has to offer.
Jesmond Dene is a public forest park on the east side of Jesmond and is much loved by a lot of second- and third-years who get to call Jesmond their home. It has lots of open spaces for people to chill out in, alongside lengthy walk routes by the river and the Old Mill, making it a relaxing study break which every student definitely needs. You can follow a path to the visitors centre and Pets Corner – a little farm filled with a few animals such as goats, pigs and birds. There are many different routes you can take, and with the Dene being in close proximity to restaurants and cafés, you can go get some food or a pint after experiencing nature at its best.
The Quayside is a cultural hotspot. From high-end bar/restaurant Aveika to a classic Wetherspoons next to the river, it is perfect for all occasions. The Quayside boasts a number of bars, restaurants, and local cafés, so there is something for everyone to try. Pre-Covid, there was also a weekly Sunday market with street food, crafts and local produce, and we are hopeful it may re-open soon so you can go enjoy it for yourselves. A scenic walk to take in the breathtaking views from the Tyne and Millennium Bridge is a must for every new student, particularly witnessing the Millennium Bridge burst into brightly lit colours at night.
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
The Baltic is an art gallery centre on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne, right next to the Sage and the Millennium Bridge. The exhibitions are updated every couple of months, so it’s great to visit a couple of times a year for a completely different experience each time. The Baltic is free to visit so won’t hurt your bank account (we absolutely love to see it), though you must book a visit in advance to allow for social distancing in the case of busy visitor periods. A visit here is a great way to update your Instagram with an edgy photo, while also having a fun time with your friends or by yourself. Their gift shop also has lots of quirky items that are guaranteed to make you chuckle!
Definitely one of the best “hipster” hot-spots, the Ouseburn area of the city hosts a wide variety of independent breweries, cafés, shops and music venues. Venues like The Cluny and Ernest are popular here and have offered a stage for a number of artists to showcase their talent, from improv comedy groups to local bands and musicians. There is also a cute little farm you can visit and pet some farmyard animals for those who want a taste of the countryside right in the heart of the city! For history lovers, at the centre of Ouseburn is the Victoria Tunnel, which is an underground wagonway that in the past had a role in transporting coal to the Quayside and later was used for an air raid shelter during WW2.
A short Uber ride away from the city centre, this is a crazy golf experience like no other. Ghetto Golf hosts an 18 hole game featuring epic rooms, with designs that you can only dream of (there’s even a dedicated Newcastle themed Jeremy Kyle set christened “Jesmond Kyle”!). With graffiti and the coolest artwork everywhere you turn, combined with an amazing food and cocktails menu, it’s the ultimate fun night to spend with your flatmates. If booking with a group there are plenty of different packages to chose from, or alternatively with a student card it can cost just £10 (off-peak, Mon- Thurs) with a free drink included.
Mog on the Tyne / Catpawcino
Missing your furry friend? Or just love spending time with cats? Take some time out of your day to go visit one of the two cat cafés in Newcastle (or both!). These quaint little cafés host lots of adorable rescue cats, who you can spend time playing with and feeding them whilst enjoying some coffee and cake. For each cafe, you can book an hour or two-hour slot to sit down away from the stresses of everyday life, and often the owners will even let you feed the kitties some treats! Entry is around a fiver and goes towards the upkeep, feeding and looking after these gorgeous creatures. Mog on the Tyne is located in the heart of the city centre and Catpawcino is situated by the Quayside, overlooking the River Tyne.
Dog and Scone
If cats aren’t your scene but dogs are, then this place is guaranteed to be heaven for you! Unfortunately living in student accommodation means no pets allowed, and so the beautifully decorated Dog and Scone is the perfect escape to spend quality time cuddling little pooches when you’re missing your own. They have a wide menu like any normal café would consist of, and a free hot drink is included within you £6 booking fee. Check out their website for cute descriptions of each furry friend!