It’s starting to look a look like Christmas in Newcastle! Newcastle is actually one of the largest cities in England, located in Tyne and Wear. Situated North of the River Tyne, it used to be known as the county town of Northumberland. It’s such a great city, I think I take it for granted being so close but there really is something about it.
I’m from the neighboring city, Sunderland which is around a 20/30 minute journey away (depending on traffic!!). Newcastle is just on a whole other level compared, there is just so much to do and see. I often venture into the ‘toon’ but I especially love spending time in the city over the Christmas period because it definitely gets a sprinkling of festive magic from the North Pole.
NewcastleGateshead, a platform created way back in 2000 by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council Newcastle, which has developed a strong brand for the area, promoting it as a place at the forefront of innovative culture-led regeneration and a world-class place to live, learn, work and visit, are currently in the process of promoting Newcastle as a leading European Christmas and New Year’s getaway with their #TheTyneIsNow campaign.
The campaign has really got me thinking, why is it that Newcastle is that extra special for Christmas and what is it that makes it feel so enchanted?! I thought I’d put together a post on why YOU NEED to visit Newcastle this Christmas and how to get the most out of a visit to the toon.
You really are spoiled for choice with festive markets and two of the UK’s best shopping centres (intu Eldon Square / intu Metrocentre) alongside a selection of independent brands selling a range of unique gifts. Festive cheer is served-up everywhere in the North East with a selection of events and experiences including an outdoor ice rink, the return of Enchanted Parks, and a New Year Spectacular.
Let’s start with one of the first places I visit in December, Fenwicks Window. Fenwick’s window is legendary in Newcastle! Located on the famous Northumberland Street, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Fenwick shop front. Every year the department store unveils a spectacular Christmas window, with moving characters, music and sparkling lights. The store also creates an incredible 12,000 square foot Christmas Department on the Second Floor for everyone’s festive needs.
Grey’s Monument, located smack bang in the middle of the city centre hosts to the international Christmas market! It’s absolutely fabulous, I love browsing the handmade food stalls and of course picking up a hot chocolate complete with a crepe.
This market brings Geordies (and Mackems like me!) gourmet ingredients and a very real taste of Europe. You can get a currywurst from Germany, waffles from Holland, and even paella from Spain! The markets on from Friday 17th November till Sun 10th December.
The Life Science Centre, located within Times Square, a thrown stones away from the Metro Radio Arena is home to an ice rink throughout the winter months. We don’t have an ice rink near in Sunderland or Newcastle, therefore, this is the perfect place for a spot of wintery fun with friends and family. It’s light up all Christmassy and they usually place Christmas ballads while you’re sliding around like Torvill and Dean. The ice rink is around from Saturday 11th November until Sunday 18th February.
Hadrian’s Tipi is an 8-week winter pop-up Tipi which offers mulled wine, mince pies, and many more festive treats! Inside you’ll find a warm burning log fire, cute seating areas with a Scandinavian interior feel welcome couples, families, and friends.
Enjoy the outdoor Winter Beer Garden with Christmas trees, atmospheric lights & outdoor shelters. Hadrians Tipi is located on the Old Odeon Site, Pilgrim Street.
Oh, I do love the Metrocentre! Now, this is where I do all of my Christmas shopping! You’ll be sure to get everything you need for the festive season at Europe’s largest shopping and leisure complex, with 340 shops to choose from and free parking! There’s so much to do for all of the family at the Metro, including a Santa’s Grotto, 60+ Restaurants and stunning Christmas lights displays around every corner!
Boiler Shop New Year’s Eve Party
Boiler Shop Presents: New Year’s Eve, The Last Hurrah
The Boiler Shop is one of Newcastle most famous venues! I’m desperate for tickets to this New Years Eve party. This will be a proper party for those old enough to know better. Hosted by Sean Rowley (Guilty Pleasures), plus very special DJ guests at Boiler Shop this New Year’s Eve. MEAT:STACK (formerly of the Grind, who create the best burgers I’ve ever tasted!) will be there for drunken scran!
These are only just a handful of places and events you can join in with the festive fun, Newcastle really is for everyone over Christmas and New Year! You can plan your journey here!