What To Get Up To On A Weekend In Newcastle

2 March 2022

Two days is a lot of time if you know what to do with it. 

On a city break, it’s a good idea to have a few destinations and attractions in mind before you head out, just so you’re not left wandering along streets trying to figure things out on the fly.  

Well, if you happen to be heading up north to the city that bleeds black and white, and a walk through the town is actually a walk through the ‘toon’, we’ve got you covered. 

Let the adventure begin!

On a weekend trip to Newcastle, you can go from a morning spent strolling around one of the finest art galleries in the whole country, to sinking puts under the neon lights of a crazy golf course a few hours later. 

It’s a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet has a culture of artistry and architecture that can compete with anywhere in the world.  

It’s really the best of both worlds. Newcastle gives you the opportunity to experience the fun of life wherever you find that fun. 

So, let’s go! 

Exploring Newcastle’s art scene

First things first, a trip to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a must to start the weekend.  

The building sits by the south bank of the River Tyne, its glass and brick architecture reflecting up from the water’s surface.  

Originally, the building was an old flour mill, but after years of disuse it was converted into BALTIC at the end of the 1990s.  

You can see traces of the building’s old life from the outside, but as soon as you step through the doors the contemporary world of art takes over. 

Depending on when you arrive at the centre is all part of the excitement. Exhibitions are ever-changing, from open submissions to commissioned artists showcasing their life’s work, there’s never a lack of interesting pieces to gaze at.  

A little hint, Catherine Cox-Field, the Marketing and Communications Assistant for BALTIC told us: “experience [the] spectacular views from the internal and external viewing boxes, browse BALTIC Shop and relax in BALTIC Front Room”. 

It’s almost impossible to leave the shop without an armload of goodies. Frida Kahlo egg cup anyone? Or can I interest you in a set of David Bowie baubles for this year’s Christmas tree?  

A rebellious lunch at Pizza Punks 

After a morning of discovering Newcastle’s incredible art scene, its’s time to head out and see the nature of the place.  

But first, time for lunch.  

Take a stroll over the iconic Tyne Bridge, watching the river flow below you through the city that’s grown up on its shores, and head to Pizza Punks on 34-40 Grey Street. 

Take a seat in their vibrant pizzeria and watch the masters at work in the kitchen, with a constant playlist of classic punk records setting the mood. 

Choose one of the curated pizzas or pasta dishes on the menu, or even top the sourdough base with whatever you like. Go classic with a Margherita or take a jump into the unknown and give the Breakfast Club a go.  

You can’t really go wrong, so order in the peaceful knowledge that whatever comes out of the kitchen is going to leave you dreaming of pizza for the whole of next week.  

The nature of Newcastle 

Exploring the city is really the best way to start the weekend. But here we’re going a bit rouge for a minute and taking this city break outside of the busy streets and tall buildings. 

The Washington Wetland Centre is a 20-minute or so drive south from the city centre and is filled with some of the county’s most incredible natural landscapes and wildlife. 

Stroll down pathways where the land stretches away beside you in shades of green, running into tree-lined boundaries curving away in the distance. 

Wildlife is everywhere at the centre – all you have to do is turn your head one way to discover flamingos hovering above the water, then turn it the other and spot otters lounging in the sun.  

Back to the city

After a day so far of busy adventure, why not take a more casual approach to your evening?  

Head to By The River Brew Co at the southern end of the Tyne Bridge.  

The HWKRMRKT is open every weekend and showcases some of the best food from around the world, the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening in our books. 

Fancy a vegan Banh Mi sandwich? Or how about delving into the culinary world of Japan?  

You’re sure to find a range of delights at the market, whether you’re looking for something you’ve never tried before or after a tried and tested buttery croissant, with a fine cup of coffee to wash it down with. 

24 hours to go

After such a busy Saturday, taking a slower approach on your last day in Newcastle is the perfect way to round off the weekend.  

Head in the direction of Newcastle Castle but there’s really no rush. Stroll through the city, taking in all its vibrant atmosphere and modern flare. 

You can’t really miss the castle so don’t worry about that. It stretches up way past the height of all the buildings it surrounds. 

Explore its ancient stone passageways and grand halls, discovering the fascinating life of its centuries-old life. 

Or if your trip to BALTIC has sparked an interest in the world of contemporary art, be sure to visit The Biscuit Factory for a morning filled with some of the most intriguing and curious works in the city. 

Crazy golf champ

It’ll be time to head back home soon, but there’s always time to sneak a quick round of crazy golf in, what do you reckon?  

To end your adventure in the city, make your way to Mr Mulligans on 117 Newgate St and become the champion of miniature golf.  

Try not to take it too seriously because we all know where that path leads, just have a few laughs and try sink a few hole-in-ones to boast about all the way home.  

Spare weekend coming up?

That’s not a bad weekend, right? You’ve covered everything from crazy golf to art galleries and been kept happily full by some of the terrific restaurants and cafes in the city between it all.  

Don’t feel obliged to follow this itinerary step-by-step, but if you’re looking for a little inspiration of why Newcastle should be your next weekend adventure, we think you might’ve now found it.  

And all those things you had to miss because you didn’t have enough time? Well in our books that just means you have an obligation to return to the city to explore it once again. 

So, time to hit the ‘toon’, what’d you say?