Most people come to England and go to London, Manchester or Liverpool but many forget about the North East of England and its main city: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I have moved here from France for my studies and nobody in my circle could really tell me anything about it. The only information I could get was about its football club and stadium but since I’m not too much into sports, it was not really the kind of useful information I was expecting. So if you’re thinking about coming to England, here are some informations and come to Newcastle for a change !
Life in Newcastle
First things first, with two massive universities in the city centre, Newcastle is a very dynamic city with over 60000 students living in or around the city. They ought to have good restaurants, bars and nightlife to accomodate everyone… and they do ! You’ll find everything you need around the city and at reasonable price because they have to be affordable for students.
How to get around ?
Newcastle is easy to get to, if you arrive by plane, the metro will take you straight to the city and if you arrive by train, you’ll be directly in the city centre. Once you’re in town, everything is within walking distance! If you need to go anywhere outside of town, the easiest is the metro but they also have very good bus and train systems. You’ll be able to go anywhere at almost anytime!
What to visit ?
I arrived a few weeks ago so naturally, I have visited most of the attractions around and I’ll admit that my favourite thing is walking around the city centre and the river. Go check out Newcastle’s castle in the city center and then, move on to Grainger market, which is great to stroll around and have a hot drink on a cold day. The intu shopping centre is quite big and has everything you need for a good shopping session. One emblematic monument of the area is the Angel of the North which is a massive statue located outside of the city. It watches over the North East of England and offers a sense of protection. Finally, if you need some outdoor time, take a stroll by the river, especially around sunset. One of my favourite thing is to watch the sun set over the bridges and the city.
Let’s get some culture ?
Since I’ve arrived, I visited a few museums, mainly science and natural history but I did also go to the Lain art gallery to see the Alice in Wonderland exposition. The Great North museum is a natural history museum with free entrance, which, let’s be honest, makes everything better ! Another great outing is the Centre for Life which is a science museum. They have a great exhibition on the brain and an experiment zone where you can put on a lab coat and googles and role play as a real life scientist. They also have a 4D motion ride and a planetarium which are both really cool ! The best part is their themed Friday nights for adults only. You don’t get any kids in, they have drinks and some food and some cool activites ! I went for Halloween and got to make insect sushis… yes, insects ! And they also had snakes, scorpions and other animals that we could handle. They present a whole range of activities especially for adults and it’s really fun, I absolutely recommend.
Where to eat ?
With over 950 restaurants registered on Trip Advisor, it can quickly get complicated to find a nice place to eat but don’t be discouraged ! I’m here to help. You’ll see plenty of fast food all over the city and they are the same as everywhere else such as KFC, McDonalds, Subway ect. However, one that is not fully mondialised yet is Five Guys, which makes quite good burgers although I was expecting better after hearing all the praises.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about fast food. If you want a good burger, try Byron, next to the big monument in the city center. They make good quality burgers and even have discounts for students. If you feel more like having delicious and juicy chicken, try COOP chicken house. From outside, it doesn’t look like much but it’s one of my best meals in Newcastle so far and is ranked 27th on Trip Advisor. After having quite a few not so good pizzas, I found The Herb Garden which makes delicious pizzas. If you fancy anything else, take a pick, there are so many around that I can’t try them all. I’m sure you’d be thirsty by now ?
Where to drink ?
I have been around quite a few pubs in Newcastle and have a few favourites by now. One that I enjoy is Passing Cloud, it’s a nice place to relax and is never too crowded so it’s good to have a chat. If you’re into live music, Filthy’s is next to it and has a nice, industrial design. A roof top that I love is Tokyo and they have heaters around so you won’t freeze to death in the cold british air ! There are many more bars around, just head to Bigg Market street, that’s where all the bars are !
Let’s go to the coast !
If you want some fresh air, go to the coast ! I love taking a stroll on the beach, watching the North Sea. If I feel like going to a more populated beach area, I go to Tynemouth and walk all the way to Whitley bay while taking a few stops along the way for food or hot drinks. When I feel like I need some wilderness, I go to South Shields take a stroll. I walk to the light house where you get a nice view on the Tynemouth castle and priory and then walk along the beach towards the cliffs. You can climb on the cliffs and take a walk, the view over the sea is beautiful !
Now that you know all the cool things you can do, come for a weekend and enjoy all the city has to offer ! Don’t worry, it’s not that rainy over here !