5 ways to get out of Newcastle for the day!

 

 newcastle central 2

With bank holidays coming up and all this warm weather (!), it’s the perfect time to get out of the city and discover some of the beautiful places the north east of England has to offer. We’ve put together some suggestions of day trips to places that you don’t want to miss before you finish your Erasmus year! They’re all accessible by public transport, too.

Hexham, Corbridge and Wylam

Hop on the train from Newcastle and for around £7, in under 40 minutes you can go west to the historic market town of Hexham to explore independent shops, pubs, and fascinating ancient abbeys and buildings. You will arrive into one of the world’s oldest train stations, which is a short walk from the town’s big green park. You can then continue slowly back to Newcastle stopping off at Corbridge, just 5 minutes from Hexham by train. You can take a stroll along the more rural part of the river Tyne and enjoy the beautiful traditional village. We particularly like this very British home and gift shop that’s in an old petrol station!

If you still have time left, 15 minutes down the line is the popular village of Wylam, where you can stop at the Boathouse to try some local beer, grab a unique and delicious pizza from the Wood Oven, or just walk along the river and appreciate the views before heading back to Newcastle for the nightlife.

*Good to know*

- If it’s a rainy day, take the same train but just stop off at the Metro Centre - the second biggest shopping mall in the UK - to get your fix of shopping, entirely indoors.

- If you’d like to visit Corbridge in the evening, there is a famous Indian restaurant attached to the station called The Valley, which also offers a special service from Newcastle where you can order your meal on the train before arriving!

 

Hexham

 

Tynemouth and Whitley Bay

Get your beach towels ready to visit the most popular destination for Geordies in the spring and summer! Tynemouth not only offers upmarket restaurants and cool cocktail bars, you can find fish and chips made the traditional way - Riley’s Fish Shack down on the beach, and Longsands on the main street are our latest favourites!

If you love walking and want to take in the sea air, go north along the seafront. You’ll pass Cullercoats (where you can rent bikes and kayaks) and Whitley Bay, where you’ll see the games arcades and more beaches and fish and chips cafes. You will eventually arrive at St Mary’s Lighthouse on the wild rocky coast where, if you’re lucky, you might see seals relaxing on the rocks! See our previous blog post for more information on
Tynemouth.

                        Tynemouth

Beamish Museum 

Dive into another world and see how people lived between the 1820s and 1940s in this award-winning open-air living museum. Beamish is a town with real shops, a bakery, and pubs, where you can experience life in the Victorian era. You can visit the bank, the dentist, take the tram or the steam train, see the houses and schools, and even go down a coal mine for a truly immersive experience. You can take the bus from Eldon Square bus station and you get a discount on entry with your bus ticket! Don’t forget your student card - and your ticket will last all year if you want to go back. This is a real must-see if you want to know the close-up history of the north-east.

 

Beamish

 

Alnwick

Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, Alnwick has something to offer everyone. Directly between Edinburgh and Newcastle, you can get there by bus in about an hour, and you can easily spend the whole day there.

The main attraction is the Castle, which was famously used to film the Quidditch scenes in the Harry Potter films. More recently, scenes from Downton Abbey were also filmed here. For the Harry Potter fans among you, you can even take a flying lesson! Aside from its recent fame on the screen, the castle holds a lot of history dating back 1400 years.

You may wonder why there is no railway station in Alnwick… the station has been transformed into a magical book shop known as Barter Books, where you can buy and sell second-hand books, or simply sit by the fire and read with a cup of tea or coffee. You’ll be reminded that it was once a train station by the miniature train that runs around the shop. If you ask the friendly staff, they’ll be happy to tell you about how Barter Books is the birthplace of the world-famous “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters.

On a sunny day, you won’t want to miss the beautiful Alnwick Garden. Famed for its Treehouse restaurant (one of the world’s largest wooden treehouses), its Grand Cascade fountain, and stunning themed gardens (poison garden, rose garden, cherry orchard...) you’ll struggle to find a more enchanting place. Check opening times online before you go, as there are often weddings and events!

To experience Alnwick like a local, on Saturdays, a market sets up among the town’s cafes and shops, where you can discover local artists, and delis offering tastes of traditional specialities.

 

Alnwick garden

 

Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park

If you don’t want to travel too far, or if you woke up late and still want to make the most of the day, you should head down to Jesmond Dene. We’ve talked about it before in our blog, but this suburban park deserves another special mention. Perfect for picnics and complete with “Pets’ Corner” where you can see birds, pigs and goats, Jesmond Dene is a bit of countryside just outside of the city. You can get lost in the wooded paths and under ancient stone bridges, and walk along the Ouseburn stream that runs down to the Tyne. You can easily get there by bus, or it’s a little walk from the Jesmond metro stations. Walk over Armstrong Bridge, which is nearly 150 years old, and be sure to check online for the many food markets that set up on the bridge at the weekends. You’ll then be just a few minutes from Heaton Park, where you can continue through to Heaton. If you're not a picnic person, you can still have a cheap Italian lunch at Sambuca in the Heaton Park Pavillion. Don’t forget to look out for the famous Shoe Tree!

 

shoetree

 

Written by Lucy Walker
26/04/2018