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Newcastle on a Budget

17 July 2018 | Stephanie Brandhuber

Set against an eclectic backdrop of Victorian elegance and Industrial grit, Newcastle is a city that blends historic roots with urban sophistication. Known today for its lively student population, Newcastle has a lot more to offer than just a great night out. With stunning historic buildings, beautiful architecture, and an exciting foodie scene, this Northern city is fiercely independent and exquisitely singular in its arts and culture offerings. If you’re looking for a place with deep-rooted traditions, friendly folk, and fun activities for all ages, this is the city for you. Howay man – you don’t have to spend big to enjoy a day in Newcastle, here’s how to do it for under £20.

10 am - Newcastle’s Castle (£6.50)
Although today it’s pretty hard to imagine this ancient fort putting the “new” into “Newcastle”, this medieval stronghold sits on the site of the Norman fortress that gave the city its name. Although not much is left of the original structure, visitors can still get their historic fix by walking around the square Norman keep and the Black Gate. These two restored buildings house exhibits that recount Newcastle’s history, that of the castle, and tales of its people from Roman times to the present day. Don’t miss your chance to see the stunning 360-degree views of the city from the keep’s rooftop; it’s the best viewing point in town.

Image Credit: Andrew via Flickr
Newcastle’s Castle is located at Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ.
12pm - Grey Street and Grainger Market (Free)
After taking in the ancient ruins of Newcastle’s namesake, stroll over to Grey Street, voted Britain’s most picturesque street on multiple occasions. With its stunning architecture combining both classical style buildings along with modern builds, Grey Street is a true Insta-worthy gem at the heart of the city. After taking some snaps along this elegant stretch, head over to Grainger Market, home to more than 100 local traders where you’ll be able to find everything from seeds to video games to artisanal baked goods. There’s a reason this market has been the city’s go-to shopping hub for nearly two centuries, as there truly is something for everyone.

Image Credit: Photos of the North East via Flickr
Grainger Market is located at Grainger St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5QQ
2pm - Lunch at Quay Ingredient (From £1.95)
It’s time for a break, so head over to Quay Ingredient, one of Newcastle’s friendliest, tastiest independent coffee houses. Tucked away underneath the Tyne Bridge just off Newcastle’s picturesque Quayside, Quay Ingredient serves up quality fare that won’t break the bank. Indulge in one of its scrumptious toasted sandwiches from just £1.95, or dive into one of their comforting bowls of homemade soup for only £2.95. With its Chesterfield sofas and chic white-tiled counter, you’ll be making yourself at home in no time in this cafe that’s as comfy as it is snazzy.

Image Credit: Quay Ingredient via Facebook
Quay Ingredient is located at 4 Queen St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3UG
3pm - Bessie Surtees House (Free)
Now that you’ve rested your feet and had a delicious lunch, invite yourself over to Bessie Surtees House, a rare example of Jacobean architecture. This beautiful building was once home to merchants of that era, and is famous for the elopement story between Bessie Surtees, an “It Girl” of 17th century Newcastle, and John Scott, a coal merchant's son who eventually became Lord Chancellor of England. Inside the house, you’ll find an exhibition illustrating the full history of the Bessie Surtees House, alongside rare and wonderful examples of Jacobean domestic architecture and gorgeous period interiors such as fine carved oak panelling and elaborate plaster ceilings.

Image Credit: Jamie Barras via Flickr
Bessie Surtees House is located at 41-44 Sandhill, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3JF.
4:30pm - The Seven Bridges (Free)
One of Newcastle’s most notable features is its collection of bridges that stretch across its River Tyne. Although it’s the Tyne Bridge for which the city is best known, there are six other bridges nearby - Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Swing Bridge, High Level Bridge, Queen Elizabeth II Metro Bridge, King Edward VII Bridge and Redheugh Bridge - all offering spectacular views of the River Tyne and the city as a whole. If you can, be sure to find a spot on the Swing Bridge when the sun starts to set, as you’ll get picture-perfect views of Millennium Bridge’s coloured lights.

Image Credit: Ardunno via Flickr
6pm Dinner - at Thai House Cafe (From £7.95)
After a long day of sightseeing, it’s time to settle down for a scrumptious meal to polish your busy day off. Head over to the colourful Thai House Cafe for some Thai cuisine, which is as comforting as it is delicious. Don’t be surprised if you see a staff member pounding away at a pestle and mortar as you enter the door, as the restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients and bold flavours when crafting every one of its dishes. You’ll be wowed by the vibrancy and boldness of the cafe’s curries and soups, and if you want a real treat, be sure to order their special “old fashioned pork”.
Image Credit: Thaihouse Newcastle via Facebook
Thai House Café is located at 93 Clayton St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5PZ
So there we have it, a proper day out in Newcastle for just £16.40. From picturesque walks to culture and history, this city has it all. Don’t delay in booking your day-trip soon!

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