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What I love about Newcastle

As a Newcastle local, born and bred, I can safely say that Newcastle is the best city in the UK!

OK, maybe I am biased, but I think it truly is a wonderful place to live and study. In this blog post, I will talk about what I love about Newcastle and what I believe it could offer you if you decide to come and study at Newcastle University.

Practicalities

One of the things I love most about Newcastle is how convenient it is to get around the city. Even if it is your first time in the city, it won’t take long for you to find your way around. Shops, cafes, restaurants and gyms are all within walking distance of each other in the city centre and other popular spots to visit, such as Tynemouth, Durham and York are all well connected to the city via bus, Metro or national rail.

Places to visit

There are some really wonderful places to visit both in and around Newcastle. Within walking distance of the university campus, you can walk along the city’s Quayside, take in some art at the Baltic Art Gallery or stroll around the Great North Hancock Museum.

My family and I often enjoy grabbing a coffee and going for long walks in Jesmond Dene or on Longsands Beach in Tynemouth (if you fancy somewhere a little further out from the city centre, and easy to get to on the Metro).

There are some other incredible towns and attractions that are well-connected to the city. Durham and York are an absolute must-visit if you’re new to the region; known for their quaint cobbled streets and ancient cathedrals. Both cities are just a short distance from Newcastle by train.

Other fun attractions and landmarks in the area include Beamish Museum (an open-air British history museum that includes period streets, transport and shops), the Angel of the North, St James Park (for football fans) and Housesteads Roman Fort (Hadrian’s Wall).

Local People

One thing that Newcastle is renowned for is the warmth and friendliness of the local people. Moving to a new country or city can be a daunting experience and you may worry about how quickly you’ll be able to settle in or ask for help when it’s needed. International friends of mine have often spoken of how accommodating and helpful they’ve found the local people of Newcastle to be.

The ‘Geordie’ Dialect

The local dialect of Newcastle, commonly known as ‘Geordie’, is pretty distinctive as British accents go. As a local ‘Geordie’ myself, here are some must-know phrases you may hear upon arriving in the city:

Alreet? – greeting meaning ‘Hi, how are you?’ Example: “Alreet pet, where ye gannin?” (= Hello, where are you going?)

Toon – town/city, used to refer to Newcastle upon Tyne Example: “I’m gannin’ to the toon” (= I’m going to town/I’m going to Newcastle, typically meaning the city centre)

Howay, man! – ‘come on, hurry up!’ Example: “Howay, man it’s freezin!” (= Come on, I’m freezing cold!)

Bairn– child Example: “The bairn’s been propa cheeky” (= The child has been really naughty[MF1]Opens in a new window /mischievous!)

Canny – can mean ‘very’ or ‘good/nice’ Example: “How was your day in Tynemouth?”, “Canny good!” (= pretty good/very good) /“He’s a canny lad” (= He is a nice guy)

Why aye – yes; used as an excited or enthusiastic expression of agreement Example: “Ye gannin doon Jesmond tonight?” “Why aye, man!” (= Are you going out to Jesmond tonight?, Yes/of course, I am)

Food & Drink in Newcastle

Besides being the birthplace of Greggs (a popular bakery chain famous for its pasties and pastries), Newcastle has many great cafes and restaurants to fit a student budget (many even offer a student discount). Here are some of my personal favourites:

Cafes

Super Natural Café: vegan-friendly bar, eatery and coffee shop, chilled atmosphere with a great range of vegan/vegetarian food and cakes. The café is situated in the heart of the city, just 5 minutes’ walk from both Newcastle Central Station and Monument (probably as central as you can get).

Laneway & Co: hip, independent coffee shop hidden down one of Newcastle’s narrow cobbled lanes. Great place to study (food/drink deals make it a great place for an affordable lunch out).

The Coffee Trader: Student-friendly coffee shop close to Newcastle City Library. It is a personal favourite study spot of mine and it even offers a 20% student discount on all food and drinks, what more could you want!

Restaurants

DOJO: a Japanese restaurant with a really great atmosphere, amazing sushi, ramen (including veggie options) and they also have a delivery option.

Pizza Punks: a really cool pizza place just a few minutes’ walk from Newcastle Monument (the very heart of the city). Affordable pizzas, a great selection of veggie and vegan options and some very interesting ‘specials’ (Full English Pizza anyone?)

Mannaza: a Korean restaurant and my personal favourite restaurant in Newcastle. ‘Mannaza’ (만나자) means ‘let’s meet’ in Korean and indeed it is a wonderful place to grab a bite to eat with friends. It has an amazing selection of authentic Korean dishes (also veggie-friendly); arguably as good as can be found on the streets of Seoul. For anyone who has never had Korean BBQ before, I would definitely recommend this place!

Final thoughts

All in all, Newcastle is a bustling city with a really warm, welcoming and student-friendly energy about it, truly offering a lively and affordable student experience to rival that of any other place in the UK. There is an abundance of cool places to visit, amazing bars, restaurants and cafes to try and a lively student lifestyle that rivals that of any other.

There are an endless amount of places to visit both close to home in the centre of the city and beyond, and a plethora of ways to kick back, chill out and socialise, whether in one of the city’s hip and trendy cafés with an oat milk flat white (my coffee of choice) or out on the ‘toon’ with your friends experiencing the famous Newcastle nightlife.

What more could you ask for?

 

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