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A Weekend Away in Newcastle

1 December 2017 | Nicola Freedman

Located in Northeast England, Newcastle is fast becoming one of the country’s most popular destinations. Although famous as a notorious party town, and the birthplace of Geordie Shore, the former industrial hub also has plenty of terrific galleries, historic attractions, and an increasingly diverse culinary scene. See the best of the northern city with our guide to a perfect weekend away.

Saturday

Morning


Image credit: Pink Lane Coffee/ via Instagram
 
Start your weekend the right way with a great cup of coffee at Pink Lane Coffee. Using their own PLC Roastery beans, the café is serious about coffee, serving a range of specialty brews and a stellar flat white. Breakfast is also available until 11am, while a selection of delicious pastries and other sweet treats can be purchased all day.
 
After breakfast head over to Newcastle’s most historic buildings - the Castle Keep and its 13th century gatehouse the Black Gate – which are also Newcastle Castle’s most prominent remaining structures. Inside, exhibits cover the history of the Castle and the city itself from Roman times onwards. Better still, climb up to the keep’s rooftop and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking 360 degree views of the city.


Image credit: mrgarethm/ via Flickr
 
Standing 40m above Newcastle’s city centre, Grey’s Monument is hard to miss. Erected in 1838 as a tribute to Prime Minister Early Grey, the monument is open for seasonal and private tours. Climb the narrow spiral staircase (164 steps) and take in a spectacular panoramic view over the historic Grainger Town.
 
 

Image credit: Laing Art Gallery/ via Facebook
 
Round off your morning with a visit to one of the city’s premier galleries. Founded in 1901, The Laing Art Gallery boasts some of the best of British art, from oil painting and watercolours to silver and glassware.
 
Midday
 

Image credit: Dabbawal/ via Facebook
 
Hungry? A short walk from the Laing is Indian street-food kitchen Dabbawal. Named after the famous Dabbawalla lunch delivery men, the award-winning eatery serves some of the city’s tastiest Indian cuisine. Top tip: Try the Bombay Bomb – crisp mini puris stuffed with mashed potato, topped with sev - and warm up with a cup of their excellent Masala Chai.
 
Afternoon
 

Image credit: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art/ via Facebook
 
Experience innovative and provocative new art at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. As one of the largest contemporary arts venues in the world, the former flour mill is a must-visit. While there aren’t permanent collections, the diverse and international programme includes a rotation of exhibitions, artists and events. Check the website before visiting to see what’s on.
 
Walk, or cycle, across Gateshead Millennium Bridge towards the Bridge Hotel. Linking Gateshead with Newcastle via Gateshead Quays, the bridge is used by pedestrians and cyclists alike, and also attracts visitors as the world’s first tilting bridge and an iconic public artwork in its own right. Once at the Bridge Hotel settle in and enjoy a pint or two. Nestled beneath the Tyne Bridge, the popular pub has an onsite microbrewery and serves a range of hand-pulled ales and craft keg beers, many of which are sourced from local companies.
 
Evening
 

Image credit: Fat Hippo Underground/ via Facebook
 
Grab dinner at Fat Hippo. Occupying a vaulted cellar, this local favourite whips up some of the city’s best, and biggest burgers. Served with triple-cooked hand cut fries, burgers range from a veggie spicy bean to the heart-stopping 4x4 (four 4oz patties, topped with bacon, cheese and Fat Hippo Sauce).
 
 

Image credit: Madame Koo
 
Consistently rated among the best cities for nightlife in the U.K, Newcastle is teeming with a mix of pubs, clubs, and cocktail bars. Start with a fantastic cocktail at Lola Jeans, before heading over to Madame Koo - one of the city’s most popular bars and nightclubs. For something a little wilder, stop by Digital - the Fabric of the north, or the Boiler Shop which hosts club nights in addition to live music, exhibitions and food and drink festivals.
 
Alternatively, for a calmer evening, visit the iconic concert venue Sage Gateshead. Located on the Tyne, the Gateshead offers a range of music to enjoy, from classical to jazz, in their state-of-the-art halls.
 
 
Sunday
 
Morning
 
A short walk outside the city centre, The Butterfly Cabinet is renowned for their stellar breakfasts. Enjoy a top-notch full English, or choose one of the mouthwatering stack of pancakes – buttermilk, banana, apple and cinnamon or the decadent triple chocolate.
 

Image credit: Newcastle Quayside Sunday Market/ via Facebook
 
After breakfast stretch your legs and potter about at the Sunday Quayside Market. The bustling, vibrant market is a popular spot to pick up local goods, with traders selling everything from local crafts and artwork to fashion and jewelry.
 
Midday
 

Image credit: Blackfriars Restaurant/ via Instagram
 
Tuck into one of the city’s best Sunday roasts at Blackfriars. Winner of the Taste of England award in the North East Tourism Awards, the restaurant is located within a historic 13th century medieval friary and offers a seriously impressive Sunday lunch menu. Choices range from roast Northumberland beef and leg of lamb served with all the trimmings, to roast North Sea haddock and the traditional Northumbrian pan haggerty. Save room for the excellent desserts as well, which include a decadent sticky toffee pudding and a fabulous crème brûlée.
 
Afternoon
 

Image credit: Tim Rich and Lesley Katon/ via Facebook
 
For football fanatics, no trip would be complete without visiting St James’ Park. Home to the Newcastle United Football Club, St James is of one of the biggest stadiums in the UK. Book a stadium or roof top tour and, if you can, take in the thrilling atmosphere at a match. 
 
Evening
 

Image credit: Peace and Loaf/ via Instagram

Go out with a bang and reserve a table at fine dining restaurant Peace and Loaf. Helmed by Dave Coulson, who has worked for Michelin award winning chef Michel Roux Jr., the restaurant uses only the freshest, locally sourced produce to serve new, inventive takes of traditional British cuisine. The meticulously crafted, technically elevated dishes are sure to leave a lasting impression.
 
Head back into the city centre and end your weekend with a show at The Stand Comedy Club. From international touring acts to up and coming locals, this comedy basement is the perfect spot to catch some of the best comedians performing live.

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