Despite only living a mere two hours away, Newcastle is one city I've never had the pleasure of visiting before and with 2016 being the year of the staycation I thought it was about time I checked it out. My mum had offered to take me away for my birthday and with plenty of shops, sights and night life I thought Newcastle would be a great little trip.
Here's what we got up to and a few little tips if you are thinking of visiting this iconic Northern city too...
We travelled up after work on Friday night and arrived at the Hilton, Gateshead to be greeted by a sunset view of the Tyne river and bridge, beyond beaut! Our room as comfy and clean but unfortunately we didn't have a river view which would have been a bonus, I would recommend asking for one if you book here as it really is the cherry on the top.
After a quick change we headed out across the water for dinner and drinks. I had found a quirky pizza place online called The Herb Garden which I really wanted to check out. It was a short walk from our hotel to Westgate were we found a life size statue of a horse wearing roller skates waiting to greet us outside the restaurant. It was packed inside and the atmosphere was relaxed and warming, we grabbed a table on a long bench alongside another party. The food was rustic and cooked to perfection. I am a big pizza fan so had high expectations and this place really didn't disappoint. There was a good selection of toppings and for those who didn't want pizza, the meats and fish options were just as interesting and considered. At the risk of sounding too much like a Trip Advisor review, I just wanna add the staff were super friendly too, there's something about the Geordie accent that just puts me at ease.
The next morning we put on our comfy shoes and set out for a day of exploring and shopping. The Intu Eldon Sqaure shopping center is huuuge and a top destination for shopping in Newcastle. I picked up some autumn wardrobe updates in Topshop, Primark and New Look, roll on cosy jumper and scarf weather.
We stopped for a quick tea and cake break at Violets cafe on the Quayside, a cute, Instagram-able cafe with an Alice in Wonderland theme. We were tempted by the afternoon tea for two option but chose a cuppa and a slice of handmade cake in the end.
We had a great view of the passing street whilst sat in Violet's. There is such a mix of people in Newcastle, from hen and stag party's to families and friends out shopping. We had a little wander along the riverside after lunch, which packed with people enjoying the late September sunshine sat along the banking.
We were woken by another beautiful sunny morning on the Sunday, so headed down to breakfast in the Hilton early and enjoyed the views over looking the Tyne. I am used to hotel breakfasts in European cities now so was loving having British milk, yogurt and eggs on the buffet, it was a real treat to have so much choice.
After we checked out and before heading back home we stopped off at the iconic Angel of The North sculpture just a few minutes along the road. It was cool to see such a well known landmark up close and the backdrop of bright blue sky made the copper colour look even more magnificent.
Arriving home after a great weekend of eating, shopping and laughing with my mum I realised that actually you don't always have to leave the country to 'get away' from it all. I felt revitalised, refreshed and got my fix of wanderlust from just a little two hour road trip up the A1. Staycation complete!
Thanks for reading, I hope this little city guide to Newcastle has given you some ideas and tips if you are planning a staycation. Where do you want visit next?