Local student Sian Dickie reveals her favourite places in and around Newcastle.
Welcome back or Welcome to Newcastle. I’ve lived here all of my life and I thought I’d share some of my Geordie knowledge with all of you. Some of these places you will definitely have heard of, and some you might not. However, I know they are definitely worth a visit whilst living in the city.
The City Centre
The Toon is where you’ll probably spend most of your time whilst on campus. I’ve been going to The Grainger Market since I was a bairn. It first opened in the 1800s, and has had many shops and business’s come and go since its original incarnation. Essentially the market’s atmosphere and local vibe has never changed. The types of items the market sells are second hand records, vintage clothing, funky cakes, fruit, vegetables and meat. Another town treasure for me is The Brownie Bar, located in Eldon Garden. The gooey, luxury brownies are around £2 and if you sit in they can serve it warm on the plate. My favourite combo is a warm Oreo brownie and a blob of vanilla ice cream. From the town you can also get the 100 bus over to the Metro Centre in Gateshead. Formally the largest shopping centre in the UK, the Metro Centre hosts a variety of shops, restaurants, bars and an IMAX cinema.
Moving a bit further out, the metro is a great way to get around Newcastle, especially getting to the coast. Unfortunately, a metro ticket can be a bit pricey but it is certainly worth it for those beach views. It can be a touch cold in the winter months at the beach, but if you’re feeling brave enough, Marshall’s fish and chip shop is the place to go. The chippy, which has seen the likes of Jimi Hendrix enjoy a hearty portion, can easily be seen as a bog standard cafe. Nonetheless, there always seems to be a queue out of the door on a sunny Saturday for proper beach side chips.
Somewhere which many of you maybe familiar with in second year is Jesmond. The quirky and up market neighbourhood is well known for its restaurants, bars and cafe culture but it’s also a wonderful area for walking and exercise. Jesmond Dene is a lush and leafy woodland area, boasting beautiful waterfalls and fabulous views. The steep hills within the Dene tend to make it treacherous in the autumn and winter so sensible footwear is advised, but once you have travelled down the winding walkways there are lovely fields for picnics. Additionally there is a small animal centre called Pets Corner where you can see llamas, goats and rabbits!
If you want your budget to stretch a bit further, Heaton is a good alternative for Jesmond. It certainly doesn’t have the hipster, student vibe that Jesmond has in abundance but it does have some pleasant restaurants and unique treats. Clough’s sweet shop is a well-loved, authentic, old fashioned sweet emporium. Established in 1934, it certainly echoes a time which has long gone, with traditional British sweets in jars, stacked high with white mice, jazzies, boiled sweets and bonbons. If you want a unique souvenir of Newcastle, getting some tuck shop sweets from here is definitely the way to go.