Ten Covid-friendly activities you can do in Newcastle to pass the time
Do you really study in Newcastle if you haven’t been to the Angel of the North?
Let’s face it – it’s disheartening to know that the few short years we have in Newcastle have been greatly disrupted. For many, this is our last year living as students in the Toon and the classic symbols of final year of midnight library sessions, spontaneous nights out and trying every last restaurant before we leave are impossible at the moment. Although this year isn’t what we wanted, lockdown doesn’t mean that we can’t experience our favourite city – it just means we have to do it in a slightly different way. So, here’s a list of ten different Covid-friendly activities you can do in Newcastle to pass the time and make this time a little less dull.
Walk, walk, walk!
The question: “Shall we go for a walk?” has become a classic go-to suggestion to pass the time during lockdown. Despite not seeming particularly exciting, it’s fair to say that nobody ever regrets a good walk. Lockdown could be a great opportunity to explore every corner of the Toon via foot. And lucky for us, there are a lot of options.
We doubt you’ve visited every part of Jesmond Dene, and Armstrong Bridge is always a fun visit (even if you’ve already been 73 times before). I only recently ventured into Armstrong Park and Heaton Park, which are both really pretty walks. Of course, a trip down to the Quayside for a picture at the iconic Millennium Bridge is always a fun venture too. There’s also a multitude of moors around, so walk and cow-spot to your heart’s content.
Relieve your boredom with a trip to Ouseburn, a gem in Newcastle packed with quirky little cafés and pubs, many of which are still doing takeaway food and drink. Grab yourself a fancy coffee and enjoy a mooch around the once-industrial hub.
The Giant Spoon
We’ve seen it all over Newcastle TikTok. The Giant Spoon is located in Cramlington, which is a mere 20-minute drive away. It’s quite literally a giant (roughly 15-foot) spoon in the middle of a field, but hey – it’s pretty unusual and acts as an iconic photo opportunity.
The Shoe Tree
Another iconic Newcastle spot – The Shoe Tree, situated in Armstrong Park. Along with being a unique spot to walk to, this tree actually has quite an impressive status, having been shortlisted by the Woodland Trust for the title “tree of the year” in August 2020.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a car and fancy a unique day out, take a trip to Northumberlandia. It’s basically a huge woman made out of mounds of earth, also called “The Lady of the North”. If you stand on the lady’s head, hips or boobs, you get a fantastic view of the area and a pretty one-of-a-kind experience!
The Angel of the North
Continuing with the lady-shaped theme, what better way to pay homage to the North like a trip to the Angel herself. Just a few minutes down the road, a trip to the Angel of the North is a rite of passage for any Newcastle student. It’s a must for that iconic Insta pic to never let your mates forget that you are indeed a student at Newcastle or Northumbria.
Nothing says Newcastle City Centre like the shouts of fruit sellers bribing you with their juicy deals. For you bargain hunters out there, Grainger Market is remaining open throughout lockdown to fulfil all your market needs. It truly ticks all the boxes. Iconic? Check. Shopping locally? Check. Bargains? Check! See you there.
A Jesmond-themed photoshoot
Why not spend the day hitting all of the quintessential Jesmond spots and snapping pics as you go? A picture at the Waterfall in Jesmond Dene, one on Armstrong Bridge, one outside Blanc, at a Metro station… the list of potential shoot locations is endless. Now is the perfect time to get those iconic Jesmond shots; you know, the ones you can show the kids in 15 years. A must for final-years who will miss The Toon so much they will need to live vicariously through Newcastle pics post-graduation.
A takeout bucket list
Your bank account may not be fond of this one, but we can’t deny that Newcastle is home to a copious amount of good food places. Jesmond alone boasts 1901, Jam Jar, Cake Stories, Arlo… you get my point. If you’re like me and can’t resist saying yes to a food purchase, why not devote your energy to trying all the flavours The Toon has to offer? We recommend 1901’s funky hot chocolates and Dot Bagel’s (you guessed it) bagels.
It’s undeniable that one of the best things about going to uni in Newcastle is the beach. We are so lucky to have some beautiful beaches just a stone’s throw away. Now is a great time to get your regular dose of seaside air, so hop over to Tynemouth for an aesthetically pleasing seaside trip, or to South Shields for some impressive and scenic landscapes.
Overall, although this isn’t the semester we’d imagined, there are still ways to make it memorable. Lucky for us, we live in a city full of beautiful spots, and now may be the best time to check them out. Let’s make the most of lockdown – add as many of these ideas to your Newcastle bucket list as you please!