While Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool are the most well-known gay spots in the North of England, it amazes me that Newcastle tends to get ignored. There’s more to the city than football, Cheryl Cole and Geordie Shore! Expect amazing architecture, fantastic food and a gay scene just as vibrant as you’d find anywhere else.
Here’s my gay travel guide for a weekend break in the city I call home, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Arriving: Newcastle Airport is connected to the city by metro. The overnight ferry from Amsterdam gets here early but you might not be feeling fresh– it’s nicknamed the “booze cruise” here in Newcastle! If you’re arriving from somewhere less exotic, the train station is just a stone’s throw from ‘The Pink Triangle’.
First Night: You might have had a long journey here so tonight’s going to be a chilled one. If you fancy a walk into town, catch a movie at the Tyneside Cinema. Its Newcastle’s only independent cinema and has a great bar and café that serves delicious food (you won’t find good food in ‘The Pink Triangle’). If you’re in the mood for drinks and something a bit more active, head to The Eagle.
Rise and Shine: Head down to the Quayside by bus or foot. If you’re feeling flashy and don’t mind queuing, treat yourself to breakfast at Quay Ingredient– best eggs in Newcastle. This should set you up for great day of sightseeing.
Culture Vultures: as tempting as it is to take advantage of the ludicrously cheap booze here- double measures are the same price as singles at Eazy Street- you should do something cultural. After breakfast, cross over the Millienium Bridge to the Baltic gallery in Gateshead for touring exhibitions and fantastic selfie opportunities from the viewing platform. Then head to the Castle Keep, where the city gets its name from, before heading to gorgeous, Georgian Grey’s Street and the Monument.
Shop Until You Drop: Around the Monument is Newcastle’s shopping district. From the designer shops next to the Monument to Fenwick’s, Newcastle’s iconic department store, there is something for everyone. My personal favourites for clothes are END and the vintage shops on High Bridge Street.
Fabulous Food: Once you’ve hit the big shops, it’s time to explore the Grainger Market. Not only can you buy
everything here from second hand books to new Dr. Martens, it’s a foodie’s paradise- fresh seafood is on display next to prime cuts of meat. For street food, I recommend Fez Food for delicious Turkish cuisine, Nam Bei for its aromatic dim sum, and Pizza by the Slice for its traditional pizza slices. For amazing cakes and perfect pastry the Pet Lamb Patisserie is hard to beat.
Night Owls: After you’ve returned to the hotel with your shopping and relaxed, it’s time for an infamous Newcastle night out. ‘The Pink Triangle’ is close to the Metro Radio Arena so a concert is a good way to start the night (book well in advance). For cheap and trashy drinks before you hit the dancefloor, I’d recommend Rusty’s or #Central. For something slightly more civilised hit Switch. Depending on what’s on at SR44, you’ll invariably end up in Powerhouse dancing until the early hours of the morning.
Lazy Sunday Afternoon: If you did your night right, you won’t be up for strenuous activities today. If it’s a sunny afternoon head to quirky hipster centre Ouseburn for traditional Geordie pubs and great beer gardens. If you can stomach a matinee performance, check out a show at Theatre Royal, Northern Stage or Live Theatre. Alternatively, there are two saunas in the gay village for you to unwind in- Base and Number 52.
Last Supper: Before you leave, squeeze in one last meal. For gourmet pub food, try The Earl of Pitt Street or House of Tides. For good Italian food try Marco Polo. Newcastle’s Chinatown offers a range of oriental joints to choose from but my favourite is probably Sky.
We love Newcastle and it’s quirky Geordie culture. Do you agree with us? Tweet us @travelgayeurope
11-Apr-2017 by Jamie Shepherd | More: Gay Newcastle