Go-to places to take your friends and family in Newcastle
Show them what the Toon’s really about
The time has finally arrived, your friends or family are coming over to visit. They want to see the place you now call home, and discover what you get up to in your day-to-day student life (well, maybe not all of it…). Whilst you’re buzzing and impatient, the only but is that you just have a few days to spend with them – so where do you take them? You may have to adapt your activities to the type of relatives, otherwise, here’s a go-to list of some of the gems in and around Newcastle.
When you type ‘Newcastle Upon Tyne’ on Google, most of the pictures that will come up are ones of the Quayside. As the city is located on the River Tyne, it makes sense that this place is considered a landmark, even more so as it has seven bridges linking Newcastle to Gateshead. One of them is the Millenium Bridge which is famous for its unique tilting features and its colourful lights at night.
The Angel of the North
Although it doesn’t actually resemble a heavenly creature with wings and a halo, the Angel is impressive. Based on the sculpturer’s body with vertical ribs symbolising an external skeleton, the steel material used gives the Angel a rusty colour. However, the size of this artwork is nowhere near that of a human body as the sculpture is 20m high, 54m wide (due to the wings), and it weighs 208 tonnes.
Clubs & Pubs
If there’s one thing Newcastle promises, it’s a class night out. No two days are the same, as the Toon holds different events each day of the week. If you’re wanting a more chilled evening, there’s loads of pubs on Osborne Road to seduce you, but if you’re going all out, go bust your moves in Soho, Digital, Grey’s Club, Market Shaker… the list goes on and on.
From Berwick-Upon-Tweed to Cresswell, the coastline stretches 95km and offers some extraordinary views of the large sandy beaches backed by dunes. If you want to stretch your legs, you can follow the Northumberland Coast Path and stop by some beautiful beaches such as Alnmouth, Seahouses and Bamburgh. And if you’re brave enough, go for a refreshing swim.
Since 1835, Newcastle’s indoor market has been a historic landmark replete with hidden gems. Many local/small businesses have stalls spread across the place, adding to the Toon’s already vibrant shopping and dining culture. You can find anything from florists and jewellers to butchers and greengrocers. Not only is Grainger Market a fun shopping experience, but its architecture makes it a go-to attraction in the city.
Town Moor & Exhibition Park
Whilst Exhibition Park has more to offer – like a lovely green area, some tennis courts, the Urban Green Cafe, the Wylam Brewery and a pond – the Town Moor is the place to be for a great view of the city, and a gorgeous sunset. There are two hills next to each other, formally known as ‘the tits’. Although one of them is noticeably higher and steeper, it’s worth the extra sweat as you can see as far as Sunderland on a clear day. However, nothing beats the fiery sunsets from that hill.
The perfect caper for music lovers. The Sage is a big music venue hosting concerts from a wide variety of international artists. Some who have performed there include Blondie, Sting, Mumford & Sons and the Pet Shop Boys, for example. It’s also where the renowned Royal Northern Sinfonia is rooted in. As there are events on every day, you can bask in both contemporary and classical music.
The Dene appeals to many people due to its peace and tranquility. Extending over 3km with large areas of lawn, it’s home to wildlife such as woodland birds, the Red Squirrel and the Kingfisher. If you follow the river and stroll over the bridges, you’ll arrive at the big waterfall surrounded by trees. Only thing is, you might feel overwhelmed by all the paths and get lost – so make sure it’s not too late in the day.
It’s kind of embarrassing visiting Newcastle without exploring the actual castle. In the city centre, this fortress takes you on a journey back in time when it symbolised royal authority, and when criminals were imprisoned and executed. Although the castle offers self-guided tours, you’ll still need to buy a ticket to enter the medieval world.
St. James’ Park
Many Saturday afternoons you’ll see an endless queue of cars from the motorway all the way down to town, metros filled to the brim and throngs of fans taking the streets. St. James’ Park is one of the biggest and most famous football stadiums in the UK. More importantly though, it’s home to the Premier League club Newcastle United FC, who are currently third in the league.
Related articles recommended by this author: