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Newcastle

Next summer we will take the ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle. Is Newcastle worth a night or two? Otherwise thinking about 2-3 nights in Durham.

Posted by
5107 posts

I stayed overnight on my way to Hadrian’s wall country. I was pleasantly surprised at Newcastle and wished I had scheduled more time.

Posted by
923 posts

Karen -

Why aye pet, Newcastle’s dead canny, like. (Here endeth the first lesson in Geordie, which you’ll be getting acquainted with! It says Newcastle is wonderful.)

Ian

Posted by
5617 posts

We finished in Newcastle, after walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall, west to east. Stayed 2 nights. Really a nice city, with Rani, the best Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant this side of India, at 2 Queen Street! A stroll along the River Tyne, with new buildings and its variety of bridges, was nice, in the City of Geordies.

A surviving section of Hadrian’s Wall is in Heddon-on-the-Wall, about 6 miles west. An easy walk, if you’re up for that. The Wall actually ended where the suburb Wallsend sits now, and there’s a museum, with some recently excavated Roman foundations.

The suburb of South Shields has a reconstructed Roman Fort sight, worth visiting if you’re interested in the Ancient Roman history in Britain.

Watch your step, though, pigeons seem to like to perch on some tall buildings, and their droppings were all over, at the base of some. But, then, pigeons aren’t necessarily particular.

Posted by
21026 posts

I spent 3 nights (about 3 full days) there this year, during which I walked around the center of the city, admiring the late 19th/early 20th century architecture, went to the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead and the Laing Gallery downtown, hit the Saturday flea market at Tynemouth, and trekked to Penrith for a big ceramics fair. I'd be happy to go back to Newcastle, but I trust you realize that the bulk of its architecture is newer than you'll find in a lot of other UK cities. That's a comment, not a criticism: I found Newcastle much more visually appealing than Bath, because there's much greater variety in Newcastle.

Posted by
5531 posts

I would take Newcastle over Durham every time. The nicest people in the country (if you can understand the accent!) and some great coast and countryside nearby.

Posted by
4653 posts

Just remember, no matter how cold it is you never wear a coat in Newcastle!

Never a truer word said. If you truly want to live like a local in Newcastle then the no coat rule applies, even in the dead of winter.

Posted by
27707 posts

and in addition to no coat, you'll blend in better if your skirt is up to here

Posted by
4653 posts

OK, guys, you need to explain the In jokes.

Geordies (people born and raised in Newcastle) have a reputation for being hard as nails and therefore to go out for an evening wearing a coat, even in the middle of winter is regarded as being soft and is a social faux pas. This odd approach also extends to women who are expected to wear the skimpiest of clothing when spending a night on the town despite how inappropriate it may be for the weather conditions. This outlook is primarily taken by the young (late teens/twenties) but some never grow out of it.

I blame the Vikings.

Posted by
923 posts

True story. I drove up to a friend’s house in Morpeth 20 or so miles north of Newcastle a couple of years back. It had been snowing and there was snow on the road and pavements and it was still coming down. I had the heater way up in the car as I slithered through the slush and snow up the Main Street. I was aghast to look out of my window to see a large group of young women wobbling through the snow in six inch stiletto heels, not a coat between them, and clad in the skimpiest, rather revealing dresses. No idea where they’d come from or where they were going I merely thought ‘they’ll catch their deaths...’.

This was a repeat of a New Years Eve in the centre of Newcastle. On passing through the notorious Bigg Market I was astounded at the amount of flesh on show - male and female - on a freezing, sub zero evening. They are built of special stuff up there. The joke about the lads wedging their packet of tabs up their short sleeved shirts/t-shirts is 100% not a joke! I am too much of a gentleman to try and see where the lasses were concealing theirs!

Ian

Posted by
1549 posts

Thanks for the explanation, I was a bit confused! Especially since in Italy everyone wears scarves and winter puffy coats when the temperature drops below 70.

Posted by
21026 posts

Curlers in public used to be a small town/southern US thing, back in the day before hot curlers and curling irons.

Posted by
27707 posts

You will probably put the stress on the first syllable - NEWcastle. Locals say it the other way around - newCASTLE. The accent in the northeast takes a little practice to understand, but most Geordies know that and will be patient.

You know, it isn't every town that has a winking bridge.

Posted by
1219 posts

I quite liked it although I preferred Durham. You can’t go wrong with either. Durham is smaller and lacking for nightlife unless you’re a student. Durham has the Cathedral, castle, and university which are all interesting.