My mom is coming to visit! I get to show off my ‘home’ town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne to her. Though I’ve lived here more than 18 months and she has already been over twice there are still things she hasn’t seen! This is an opportunity for me to share snippets of my daily life here though I know I’m going to skim over the negative and only show her some of the things that I do actually adore… It’s also an opportunity to be a tourist in my own town. This is a kind of travel and non-travel at the same time – you’re not really going anywhere, certainly nowhere exotic, but it’s still a chance to see new things, meet new people and broaden your mind.
I’ve been making an itinerary for her visit. There are some great events on this weekend and a lot of my favourite places that we can visit…
The Late Shows. This is a free culture crawl in the city with loads of museums, galleries and artists’ studios opening late into the evening. There are loads of extra arty activities put on especially too.
Body Worlds Vital Exhibition at the Life Science Centre. This collection of human bodies dissected into nerves, muscles and more gives us insights into the structure and function of healthy and diseased organs.
Newcastle Fashion Week. This is a great event with fashion shows and shopping events with special discounts in loads of shops in the city centre.
Walk on the quayside. There is a multiuser promenade that runs down both sides of the Tyne River. This is the best place to see the iconic bridges of Newcastle and is full of restaurants and bars. I love to stroll or cycle here in the summer.
Settle Down Café. This is my favourite coffee shop in Newcastle found close to Central Station. They serve Ouseburn Coffee Co beans (the very best in my opinion and local too) and have amazing freshly prepared food – pizza, salads, sandwiches (the bread comes from their own bakery!) and a different soup every day. The café has a big indoor and outdoor space with eclectic furniture, cool background music and a bit of a hippie vibe.
Blackfriars Restaurant. This is a beautiful restaurant set in a renovated medieval monastery using fresh locally sourced ingredients to create mouth-watering traditional British food. I must admit I have yet to try this but I really want to go soon.
City Library. This is a beautiful building with 6 floors of books, computers and secret hang out spaces. The views from the top are impressive too!
Tyneside Cinema. This theatre still has its original 1937 art deco design and shows everything from Hollywood blockbusters to indie foreign language films. There is also a free guided tour and a chance to see an archived newsreel as it was in the past.
Great North Museum: Hancock. This is a really cool natural history museum that was established in 1884 and refurbished in 2009. Within the original Victorian building are exhibitions on geology, Ancient Egypt and Hadrian’s Wall.
Segedenum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum. This completely excavated fort and full scale reconstruction bath house is found in Wallsend, just outside the city centre, on the line of Hadrian’s wall. There is an 80m stretch of the wall still standing.
Grainger Market. This covered arcade, open since 1835, has everything from meats, fruit and vegetables to cards, fabrics and flowers. I come here for fruit, fresh bread rolls and for Italian pizza at Slice.
This is only a small selection of what there is to see and do in Newcastle. For more information you can visit Newcastle Gateshead Tourism. I hope you like what I have planned Mom!