I know I’m a bit of a wanderer and I like to go to different countries and continents, but I do truly love North East England and I am so grateful to live in such an amazing place. With that being said, I thought I’d share with you some of amazing things I have right on my doorstep: namely in Newcastle and Northumberland.
Firstly, if you ever want to go for a walk and get out in the nature there are countless places to go. Going for a walk by the river surrounded by trees is probably one of my favourite things to do. I quite like to go alone, to clear my head – my head is just too much sometimes. Last week I went for a walk along Keelmans Way; down by the River Tyne, along Wylam and The Willows, which is just a few minutes from my house.
However, if you’re looking for specific places, the list is quite substantial. Places like Saltwell Park in Gateshead is lovely, with a lake and a maze (incase you’re feeling like a big kid). Also, Hadrians Wall is incredibly close and it’s got a lot of history and visitor centres along it, if you want more than a walk. There’s also Kielder national park, which you could get lost in (I did). The views from the hills down to the lakes over the forest are breath taking, even on a cold winters day.
Of course, there’s always the coast too, if you fancy a bit of sea air. All along the seaside, from Dunstanburgh, way up north, down to South Shields, the coast is beautiful.
Some of you may know, but my beloved Hull is city of Culture this year, I’m so proud.
Newcastle is full of culture too and boy, do we have a lot to offer. We have free museums such as the Discovery Museum which covers local history, music history and science too. It’s a pretty fun day out, especially if you have some kids to take along with you. There’s also the Baltic; very impressive building, filled with even more impressive artwork and it’s free to visit. The exhibitions change quite frequently; the most recent one I attended was the evolution of the playground – pretty interesting!
We have two Cathedrals; St Nicholas and St Mary’s and if you want to branch even further a-field there’s always Durham Cathedral, which is incredible. Newcastle also contains the Laing Art Gallery and the Centre of Life which have some fascinating exhibitions on as well as the Lit and Phil library – the largest independent library outside of London, holding over 160,000 books. You gotta admit, that’s pretty cultural.
You’re never short of entertainment in Newcastle. We have some incredible venues that host everything from Comedy, to Theatre to sell-out arena shows. I feel so lucky that I’ve seen some of my favourite bands and artists in Newcastle, from Steps when I was about 7 years old to most recently, Bastille. Both were hosted at the Metro Radio arena, and both were equally incredible – although for very different reasons.
Continuing on the theme of music, there’s also the O2 Academy where I’ve seen James Bay and Rae Morris and there are other venues such and City Hall and The Cluny – there’s something for everyone in Newcastle.
If music gigs aren’t your bag, then there’s theatre and comedy. The Stand is an incredible venue on High Bridge Street who have fresh new comedians performing every week. I recently went to see local lads “The Mimic Men” there and they were hilarious. For theatre we have the Theatre Royal, a beautiful building which hosts West-End Shows that are touring alongside amateur productions and the most incredible Christmas Panto. We also have Northern Stage which hosts smaller performances but just as entertaining. So, if you’re ever looking for a gig or show to go to, you’re bound to find something!
If you’re in the city centre of Newcastle, you’ll find it hard to avoid Grey’s Monument, situated at the top of one of the most beautiful streets in the world, in my humble opinion. Then, of course there are the bridges; the famous, beautiful bridges that span the Tyne and are without a doubt an iconic sight for Newcastle. I’d recommend you pop down to the quayside to see them morning, noon, day or night – they’re always a beautiful sight.
If you’re driving up from the south then you’ll see our Angel of the North, she’s kinda hard to miss and you might even sneak a peak at Penshaw Monument, depending where you’re coming from – I climbed up here with my 90 year old grandad last year, go Stan!
What can I say about it, except there’s lots of it? It’s kind of what the Geordies are known for. However, my favourite places to go for a drink are no longer on Collingwood Street like I used to love; but much more chilled and gin filled at places like Pleased To Meet You, or if I’m splashing out, a fancy cocktail at The Botanist under it’s beautiful dome.
That’s pretty much all I’m gonna cover although, I know there is much more to Newcastle and Northumberland than my brief list here. If you’re ever visiting, I hope this gives you a few ideas of things to do and if you have any additions please let me know!