A Weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle


G went to university in Newcastle and lived there for several years afterwards, and he often talks about it fondly. He’s been eager to head back up for a while which was our motivation for planning a weekend in Northumberland. After our night in York, and after visiting my cousin and her gorgeous new baby, we set off up the A1 towards the Toon.

Despite G’s fond talks, I didn’t have high expectations of Newcastle. I didn’t have anything against it but for some reason, I had this assumption that it was a pretty standard city; not unpleasant but nothing to shout home about.

And well, I was wrong. In fact, I was very pleasantly surprised.

It’s a city full of character. Friendly people, a biiiiig shopping centre, independent food haunts and beautiful architecture. There’s enough restaurants and pubs to keep a gal busy for a good while plus enough bars and clubs to keep a gal busy for a freakin’ lifetime if that sort of thing floats ya boat – yes, we did see about eight million stag/hen dos.

The look of the centre reminded me a lot of Edinburgh and a little bit of Bath, two of my favourite cities, with its curved streets, big open squares and tall monuments.

Also, there’s a castle. WHO KNEW. (Well, a lot of people. Sorry for being such an uncultured swine.)

The way the Tyne Bridge comes down right into the middle of a street reminded both me and G of the Brooklyn Bridge so, yeah, I did just liken Newcastle to New York. I’m full of surprises eh?

On our way in to the city, the Angel of the North welcomed us with open arms and we stopped off to say a proper hello to her. She looks majestic up on the hill from a distance, but she’s really quite something up close. When you stand right at her feet and look up, the vertigo is real! If you haven’t already seen her, I would highly recommend adding the Angel of the North on to your list of sights-to-see-in-Britain.

We stayed for two nights at the Copthorne Hotel which is a little out of the town centre but still within walking distance. It is right on the river with a side-view of the bridges which G and I both particularly enjoyed. After we’d arrived and slobbed in the hotel room for a couple of hours, we glammed up and headed out on the toon.

(Like, for dinner and stuff. Not owt owt. Jeez, it’s like you don’t know me at all.)

We wandered down the river just as the sun was setting and it was a mighty fine view with all those bridges. Big fan of the bridges.

We’d pre-booked a table at Dobsen & Parnell which I’d recommend if you’re looking for somewhere a bit fancy but don’t want to entirely cripple your bank account – the cosy yet stylish interiors, friendly staff and really tasty food all won points in my book.

G took me into town afterwards to just wander and witness Newcastle on a Friday night which is how I learned that Geordie girls a) don’t seem to feel the cold, like, at all and b) seem to possess the ability to walk up streets which are not only freakin’ steep – Newcastle has hills a plenty – but are also cobbled, in stiletto heels. Seriously gals, I have nothing but respect. I’d have two broken ankles and a hella lot of bruises if I even attempted such a thing.

So that was fun to observe in a bemused, hectic kind of way but we weren’t really tempted to join in.

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

Next morning, we had brunch in a little café called Violets and, well, it was up there in the top five brunches of Kate’s life. Yeah, I know. Smoked salmon & creamy scrambled eggs with chives on sourdough toast – pretty standard in the brunch world so we all need to find out what they did to make it so particularly heavenly. Also the shabby-chic décor was very much up my street.

We spent the rest of Saturday out of Newcastle and touring the Northumberland coast which I will save for a separate post.

We started Sunday by grabbing a croissant from Pret and sitting right underneath Grey’s monument and looking across Grey’s street (which curves round in this freakin’ beautiful way). G took me for a look round his old university campus, we did a spot of shopping (by which I mean, I bought 3 books in Waterstones), we sat in a square that was randomly showing the final Harry Potter film. We breathed in the city.

I liked it. I liked the feel and the look and the fact that people weren’t manically marching around in a frenzied fashion.

G had discovered that Newcastle has a cat café (2 in fact, plus a dog café) so naturally, I booked us in for lunch. Because if a city has a cat café, I am going to find it. Mog on the Tyne has a simple, chilled vibe and so many characterful cats. My faves included Stan whose tongue hangs out his mouth due to an accident, a teeny kitten called Gladys who was unbelievably cute and a mischievous fella called Gary who stole half my cake (the human Gary could never get away with this).

We took a wander through the quayside market on our way back to the hotel to collect our things and we were both regretful that we couldn’t stay in Newcastle longer.

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle

A weekend in Newcastle


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