Tom Stockwell a RoamRight Blog Author

A First Timer’s Guide to Newcastle, England


Famous for its local residents, the friendly yet feisty Geordies, Newcastle’s residents live by a ‘work hard, play harder’ mantra. The most important city in Northeast England, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, to call it by its full name, has given the UK a lot in the way of culture, from its Brown Ale and footballing legends, to Cheryl Cole and the popular TV show “Geordie Shore.” (Think Jersey Shore with different accents) Newcastle definitely warrants a few days’ worth of exploration and is by far my favorite city in the whole of England - although I may be slightly biased as I used to call this city home. What can you do in the city that Geordies so fondly call the Toon? Here are my top tips.


Newcastle is famous throughout the UK for its nightlife, and regularly gets ranked as one of the best party cities in the world. The likes of Tokyo, Revolution and Florita’s are best bets for cocktails with a touch of class. The notorious Bigg Market isn’t for the faint-hearted, although Blu Bambu is always a wild night out. The gay scene is well-developed, with Powerhouse being the club of choice for pink partiers, and the likes of North, World Headquarters and Head Of Steam offering everything from the latest Pitchfork-approved tracks to seventies funk. Only have one night? Then see what’s on at Digital, regularly rated as one of the best clubs in the entire world. Just be sure not to wear a coat; you’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you wear one.

Cheer The Magpies

It’s no exaggeration to say that football is a religion in Newcastle, and match days in the city are always a treat. Don your black-and-white kit and cheer on The Magpies, the nickname for Newcastle United. Spirits are always high, although remember never, ever, to say a nice thing about local rivals, Sunderland. Trust me.

Wander Round Jesmond

Newcastle’s main student neighborhood, Jesmond is packed with cute coffee shops and diners. Wander down residential streets to Jesmond Dene Park, and stop off for a sandwich at Dene’s Deli - they’re the best in the city. Thirsty after all that walking around? Sit down and enjoy a drink down Osborne Road, a legendary street packed with bars, restaurants and cafes; always a busy place on the weekends and holidays.

Explore The Quayside

Head down to the River Tyne and snap a few photos of Newcastle’s bridges - an integral part of its cityscape. Stroll along the river, and cross over to neighboring city Gateshead and see what exhibits are on at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (admission is free), and marvel at the quirky design of music venue The Sage. If you’re a fan of seafood, then cross the river back to Newcastle and make sure you satiate your appetite at Big Mussel.

Learn The Lingo

Listen to the local dialect and you’ll hear a form of English that’s the closest to ye olde Englishe still in existence. I grew up just ninety minutes south of Newcastle, and after moving up for university, it took me a good while to understand a lot of what people are saying. Some key words to know are ‘canny’ (good), ‘alreet’ (hello), ‘haway!’ (come on), ‘hinny’ (a term of endearment, like honey) and ‘tab’ (cigarette). Oh, and every lady over sixty is likely to call you ‘pet’.

Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.

Have you ever been to Newcastle?

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.


About the Author

Tom Stockwell

Tom Stockwell, a RoamRight Blog Author Tom has always had the travel bug and, after quitting his call centre job in the UK, he packed up and moved to South Korea to teach English for almost four years. Since moving on from South Korea, he's been travelling the world and loves exploring city streets, trying delicious new food, meeting great people and taking way too many selfies with his phone, although he'll disagree with you on that last point. Read about Tom's adventures on his blog, Waegook Tom, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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