We only got a small taste of Newcastle upon Tyne on this trip, but enjoyed our time there very much. It’s a quirky little city with a lot of heart. Plus, there’s nothing better than having a friend show you her hometown. Thanks Tracy!
Newcastle is located in the northeast of England very near the coast of the North Sea. The Tyne river divides sister city, Gateshead, from downtown Newcastle. There are many bridges connecting the two sides of the town and shipping was once a big industry here. The town started as a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall and has grown into a thoroughly modern little city.
Newcastle United F.C. will return to the English Premier League this season (2017-2018). If you happen to be in Newcastle during a match you’ll be in for some quality football, lots of songs and chants, and probably a lot of swearing. If you’ve never been to a football match in the UK check out these dos and don’ts:
- Plan ahead. If seeing a match is important to you purchase your tickets well in advance.
- Get a pint before the game at the club’s supporter pub usually near the stadium. There is no drinking allowed in stands.
- Sit with other supporters.
- Join in the songs and chants.
- Don’t stand up unless other people around you are standing.
- Most importantly don’t ever sit in a section of opposing team supporters.
There are some gorgeous buildings in Newcastle including a street, Grey Street, that claims the title of “The Finest Street in England”. There are shops, cafés, a monument to Earl Grey, and a theater in this historic section of the city.
Just like Austin and Nashville, Newcastle has become a place for a raucous good time. In recent years pubs and clubs have been granted licenses to stay open much later than the norm, some are open 24 hours a day.
A Word on Hen Parties
Hen Dos are the British equivalent of our American Bachelorette parties. But they definitely have some quirks. Even though I have been to Nashville and live in a city that gets its own share of sash wearing girl weekenders, I was still surprised at what a Hen’s night out looks like.
In the US you might see the bride and her bridesmaids in matching shirts (usually sporting a cringe inducing pun or something like “Bride Squad”), in Newcastle I saw groups of grown women dressed in matching outfits that look like something from the adult section of a halloween store. Think German barmaids, etc. The most low-key group was dressed up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Just like in Nashville and Austin, if you’d rather skip the woo-hooing crowds aim for the more off the beaten track establishments. Ask your barista or someone else in the service industry for the really good spots. If you’re lucky you just might make a new friend. Locals always know best.