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Student City Guide: Newcastle


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For those willing to venture north of the Watford gap, there are a wealth of great cities to be discovered in the north of England and Newcastle is  amongst the best. Culture, craic and great clubbing - what more could an adventurous student want?

Where to go sightseeing

Walking upstream along the Tyne takes you towards the Byker area of Newcastle – made famous by Byker Grove. It's a quirky area with lots of artists' studios and nice pubs, as well as a thriving city farm underneath the Byker Bridge.

If it's warm, the beaches at South Shields are a short bus ride from the city and boast an aquarium as well as some cracking fish'n'chips and the usual seaside attraction.

On a rainy day, Newcastle has some surprisingly good museums for such a small city. The Hancock museum has some impressive taxidermy on display and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art across the river regularly hosts big-name shows. Both have free permanent collections and the cafe in the BALTIC comes highly reccomended.

Where to eat

Next to the Centre for Life museum, near the train station, A Taste of Persia delivers authentic food at a very authentic price. Serving two courses for just £6.95 in happy-hour, it's some of the best food in the city.

For more of a cafe atmosphere, check out the Cafe Du Vie on Saville Row, serving excellent coffee as well as baguettes and a stellar French onion soup. St Sushi has two outlets in the centre and offers a range of boxes as well as a made to order sushi menu, so you can spend as much or as little as you want.

And if you're really feeling brave, the Rupali serves the world's hottest curry, scalding Geordie insides for several decades. Pre-dating the recent fad for food challenges, the Rupali offers anyone who finishes the “Curry Hell” challenge their meal for free.

Where to party

Where to start? Newcastle is graced with a fine selection of bars and clubs, playing every kind of music. Start off your night in Opera with £2.50 cocktails between 5 and 7pm or for a quieter night, check out the Head of Steam pub, opposite the train station.

The 'diamond strip' of clubs including Madame Koo's, Tup Tup Palace and Perdu play more mainstream music and attract a slightly geordie-shore crowd, but are friendly and fun nonetheless. More interesting is World Headquarters, which hosts nights quite sporadically. It's worth going down if there's a night on and it's something you fancy – the atmosphere is not to be missed.

Where to shop

The centre of Newcastle is packed with chain stores but go a little further out or turn down the backstreets and there are some real gems to be found. The gift shop at The Biscuit Factory gallery has a great selection of unique jewellery and homewares as do many of the shops around about it.

The Grainger Market hosts a wide selection of small stallholders and twice a month hosts an arts and crafts market. On Sunday mornings you can enjoy a stroll along the quayside whilst shopping from the stalls which spring up there, offering a range of plants, bric-a-brac and food as well as arts and crafts.

It's cheap to access via train or megabus from lots of places so why not give the jewel in the crown of the north a visit, next time you fancy a city-break?

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