Growing up in a small Yorkshire village surrounded by fields was wonderful as a child. Getting on your bike and riding up the road to your friend’s house to run through the fields making up wild stories was idyllic. However, when it comes to choosing something important like where to study at university, the idea of relocating to a city can be daunting. Choosing the city where I would be for the next three years living and studying was a really important decision, but after visiting Newcastle for the first time I knew it was the perfect place to enjoy student life!
Arriving in Newcastle, I was so excited to experience the culture and heritage of the city. A short walk from the city centre and you reach the beautiful Newcastle Quayside. Crossing the Millennium Bridge takes you to the Gateshead Quays, with cultural venues the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Sage Gateshead. The BALTIC is one of my favourite places to visit! The building has different floors showcasing beautiful art and talented artists, and at the very top, you get a fantastic view of Newcastle and Gateshead, overlooking the bridges. When you visit, be sure to sample the lovely high tea in the rooftop restaurant, SIX. A charming way to enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee whilst looking over the city! After visiting the BALTIC, it is just a short walk to The Sage. I love the graffiti mural wall, my favourites being Prince and the mural for David Bowie.
As a student in Newcastle, you want affordable sociable events and activities, so I am always on the lookout for fun things to do on a budget! A visit to the beautiful Tyneside Cinema on Pilgrim Street is the perfect way to relax with friends after a long day of studying, showing both new releases and the timeless classics. At Christmas I watched ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in the old theatre, and as the red curtain rolled up, the black and white movie played. Being there made you feel as though you’d gone back in time – even if it’s just for a few hours! Or if you fancy something more active, Lane7 is always such good fun with a group of friends. And for music, try the Metro Radio Arena and O2 Academy Newcastle for a fantastic start to your night!
Moving to Newcastle, I was so excited to explore the bars & eateries – as it is undeniable the nightlife in the city is renowned! Newcastle has quite the reputation for nightlife (not mentioning any names!) – so it was exciting to have so much choice, from bars & clubs, to the perfect place to sip a cocktail or G&T on a sunny afternoon. My favourite places to visit include The Botanist, Barluga, Pleased to Meet You and Pitcher & Piano – to name a few. Or is craft beer more your thing? Try Hop & Cleaver, BrewDog and The Bridge Tavern.
If you’re more of a foodie – you are spoilt for choice in Newcastle. With well-known chains such as Jamie’s Italian, Georges Great British Kitchen and Miller & Carter, to amazing independent restaurants using the best of local produce and suppliers, such as Dobson & Parnell, Peace & Loaf and The Jolly Fisherman on the Quay.
All of this makes Newcastle such a lively and lovely place to study and live. Life as a student can be difficult and often lonely at first, but being able to visit all of these wonderful places makes spending your time here a lot easier. The transport links such as the Metro makes visiting areas outside of the city centre accessible, and there is so much scope to explore further afield! I particularly like the picturesque town of Tynemouth, where you can enjoy fish and chips by the seaside at Longsands Kitchen. If like me, you miss seeing more greenery, there are plenty of parks & heritage sites to visit like Jesmond Dene Park and Cragside, Northumberland to explore.
Not all students can say they live in a city that provides all of the above for them – which is why I knew that I would spend three fantastic years in Newcastle!