Last weekend I was given the opportunity to go on a weekend trip to Newcastle, provided by DFDS Seaways. Obviously I can’t resist travel opportunities so I spend some serious quality time in this beautiful city, Newcastle upon Tyne!

On Friday my friends and I took the DFDS ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle, located in the northern part of England. I never traveled that far on a boat and to be totally honest, I had chosen the wrong weekend for a boat trip. The weather was really bad and got worse during the night. Instead of an easy steady float we had more of a “rock the boat” kind of trip. Normally the trip should be more easygoing and relaxed but because of bad weather and seasickness I did not really enjoy it.

We arrived in Port of Tyne on Saturday morning and took the shuttle to the Newcastle train station. From the station we walked to our hotel and dropped our bags and immediately took off for some serious “Dora Explora” time!

Newcastle-01The bridges were first on my list, since Newcastle has seven impressive bridges that are each interesting in their own way. The millennium bridge is well known and easily recognized because of its shape. But to be honest, every bridge has its own charm and they all are very photogenic! When you cross the millennium bridge you can go to the Baltic museum. They have an open rooftop floor, which provides an overview of the entire city, the river Tyne and all of the bridges! It is a nice place to take some pictures and enjoy the view!

Afterwards I definitely needed to ease the munchies so we crossed the millennium bridge again but this time to stop at Pitchers and Piano’s. A really nice place to go for lunch, have a drink en re-energize. It is lovely decorated and the location is ideal! The restaurant has a glass wall so you can still enjoy the view on the River Tyne. They serve really good food and its personnel were really friendly, definitely a place I would visit again.

Since Newcastle is kNewcastle-03nown for its Premier League playing soccer club Newcastle United, a stadium tour for the boys joining me on this trip was not negotiable. Sure I went along and to be honest, it was nice hearing our tour guide talk with so much passion about this club he has been working for more then thirty years. He proudly named all the Dutch players and kind of managed to make me feel proud too of them playing in Newcastle.

After the stadium tour we explored the streets of Newcastle for a bit, to kill some time and just soak in this amazing city. While being there I could actually see its history echoing thru this city. The old architecture has been restored and maintained so well, it gives Newcastle its unique look and feel.

We decided to go for Newcastle-04dinner at Lane 7, a place to go for bowling and dinner. This concept provides a complete night out, or at least provides a real good warm up before you hit the club. It was a nice, simple menu. They serve pretty good burgers with sweet potato fries, simple but nice. Lane 7 has 4 bowling lanes, make sure you putin a reservation cause during the weekends they are fully booked.

While we ate dinner I just did the thing you do when you go out; observe. Obviously Newcastle has been known for more then just its history. I am talking Geordie Shore. I actually had to see it with my own eyes to believe that the Geordie culture is much bigger then I expected! Some girls go way overboard with their make-up, hair extensions and shortskirts. It is a true culture shock. But next to the real Geordie shore kind of girls, I noticed all the girls really dress up for their night out. Something we Dutch people often lack to do, a shame in my opinion. I actually regretted that I left my killer heels at home during this trip.

So totally underdressed we deNewcastle-05cided to go out to a place called the Botanist. I did not know this concept so I thought we would be going to a small bar. The doorman led us thru and I was actually amazed by this club. The theme, botanic, reflects thru the entire establishment: a lot of green, flower painting on the walls and lanterns gave it a classy botanic look. The best part, there is live music and they are really good and entertaining. I actually fell in love with this place. I strongly advice you to go to the Botanist if you are visiting Newcastle. Bring your best dress
and heels and I promise you will not regret it!

Day two we decided to do some serious shopping and go see more nice places for food and drinks. After breakfast we decided to go to the shopping areas. Since we do not have Topshop in the Netherlands, I needed to take a look. (I found myself a lovely playsuit btw). I also stopped at URBAN OUTFITTERS. Got into a fitting room with more then ten pieces and ended up buying nothing. Hate that when it happens, probably not my best day shopping.Newcastle-06

We had lunch at the Herb Garden, which is located near Newcastle’s trainstation. The boys ordered the hung over pizza, I did not have a bite but since they were actually hysteric with every bite and were thinking of ordering an extra pizza, I assume it actually was really good. I got myself a feta beetroot salad, which was just as good in my opinion. The restaurant has some machine placed in their restaurant and I asked about it. The waiter explained they tried to grow their own veggies for their dishes. He also told us the owner made the machine himself actually but it didn’t work. Bummer, but hey, the food was good though!

After dinner we decided to go for some beers and we had been advised to go to The Bridge Tavern. It is located, as could be assumed, next to the Tyne bridge. It has two floors and an outside deck. We had some beers while the bartender told us a little bit more about the bar and the beers. We really enjoyed the Wylam Jakehead IPA and the atmosphere in the bar. I absorbed some vitamin D on the terrace and enjoyed the final hours before we needed to head back to the boat.

We grabbed our bags and took the bus back to the Port of Tyne. I dreaded going back on the boat because I did not feel like being nauseous for another 15 hours. Fortunately during our sail back to Holland the ocean was steady, so that trip was a piece of cake and a lot more fun! We had dinner, enjoyed some live music and I eventually slept really well! Before I knew it we were already back in Holland.

Looking back on an amazing weekend I have to give a big thanks to DFDS Seaways for this amazing trip! I really enjoyed it.


Lovely bars and restaurants:

The Botanist
The Herb Garden
The Bridge Tavern
Pitchers and Piano’s
Lane 7
Blue Ribbon (Restaurant on the DFDS ferry)