In my first article a few weeks ago I wrote that students often travel to Newcastle, as it is only a 12 minute rail journey away. I’d been to Newcastle once in Fresher’s Week, and once for an Imagine Dragons concert last November. However, I’d never really visited the city in the day, and after writing about its close proximity to Durham, I felt that I ought to pay it a visit. So last Wednesday, on my birthday, I decided that my girlfriend and I were going to explore a new city.
A return journey from Durham to Newcastle only costs about £5 with a student rail-card (the equivalent of a medium pizza), trains run regularly, and the journey lasts less time than a Tube from Zone 2/3 in Greater London to Central London. Newcastle is an extremely quaint city, and the people are much friendlier than their counterparts in the South. Its winding, hilly streets, coupled with the biting wind, reminded me of Edinburgh.
On my birthday, I decided that my girlfriend and I were going to explore a new city
We arrived at lunch-time and walked straight to Grey Street, where a variety of restaurants and bars are situated. Being in control of my finances has definitely made me more responsible, and learning to sniff out good deals is a key part of uni life. We took advantage of Fat Hippo’s lunchtime £5 Burger & Fries offer, and then strolled up Grey Street and into a bar called the Botanist. It had a quite a hipster vibe about it, and wouldn’t have been out of place in Shoreditch (London). Part of the beauty of being a university student, and an international student, is meeting people from all over the world, learning about where they are from, and what their lives are like. In this case, a friend who lives in Newcastle had suggested we visit it, and had also told me to visit the famous Quayside.
The Quayside was absolutely beautiful, but my friend had forgotten to mention the ridiculous, freezing winds that swept across the waterfront, punishing my foolish decision to leave my hat, scarf and gloves in Durham. We were lucky to witness the Millennium Bridge opening to let a large boat pass through, and noticed that it didn’t open like a standard bridge. Instead of being split down the middle and being raised vertically, like Tower Bridge in London, six hydraulic rams bridge rotate the bridge back on large bearings. It only takes about 5 minutes to complete its 40 degree rotation, and seemed an impressive feat of engineering.
The advantage of living 12 minutes away from a major city in North-East England, is that 40 minutes after I had been walking along the Newcastle Quayside, I was back in my bedroom, looking at Durham Cathedral out of my window. Visiting Newcastle was an intriguing day out, and I certainly plan on returning soon.
Subscribe for more