The latest Coronavirus restrictions in North East England mean that pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm by law.
Newcastle is a world famous party city but there’s more to the home of the Geordies than brilliant late bars and partying until sunrise.
We still need time away and a chance to escape work, home and the daily grind.
The team at Sleeperz Hotels Newcastle has come up with 10 great things to do in Newcastle & Gateshead before 10pm, when the coronavirus curfew kicks in.
It might be a different kind of Newcastle city break to the one you planned but you’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover, from kayaking down the River Tyne to visiting the North’s ‘Cathedral of Football.’
1. Hit the Quayside on two wheels
Where once there were shipyards and heavy industry, now you’ll find art galleries, city farms, concert halls, bars and eateries.
One of the best ways to explore Newcastle’s Quayside and Ouseburn Valley is on two wheels with bike hire from Cycle Hub.
Cruise along the banks of the River Tyne and explore the lanes of the regenerated creative quarter in Ouseburn.
Stop off and enjoy great coffee, quirky cafes, pop-up eateries and traditional craft and real ale pubs with inspiring views over the city’s Bridges and iconic riverscape.
2. Canny canoeing on the River Tyne
Newcastle boasts stunning bridges, seven in total, spanning a short but iconic stretch of river.
Our favourites include the Tyne Bridge and the Millennium Bridge which locals call the ‘winking eye bridge’.
It’s no exaggeration to call them architectural wonders.
An amazing way to view them is from the water with a kayaking tour of the River Tyne led by CBK’s Adventure Co. of Whitley Bay.
Glide along past sights like The Baltic art gallery, Sage Gateshead concert hall and snap photos as you go.
These tours are so good, CBK’s took home Gold for ‘Experience of the Year’ at the North East England Tourism Awards 2020.
3. Winter walks in Jesmond Dene
In a trendy Newcastle suburb, popular with young professionals and high flyers, is Jesmond Dene – a wonderful expanse of natural beauty – winding paths, flowing streams and a wistful waterfall.
A perfect place for a romantic or restorative Winter walk, this is a haven of trees, tranquillity and time to think.
Autumn is the perfect season to explore the Dene with a riot of rusty leaves framing quiet pathways, bridges and the old waterside Mill.
Families love Pet’s Corner in the heart of Jesmond Dene and the park’s café serves sweet treats and great hot drinks.
To make a day of it, keep on walking to nearby Armstrong and Heaton Parks and make sure you look skyward to see Newcastle’s famous ‘shoe tree,’ an old Sycamore full of hanging shoes.
4. Eat Al Fresco
It’s Autumn now and we know it’s getting colder but if you have a good coat and an adventurous spirit, you can enjoy some great spots to eat and drink outside in Newcastle & Gateshead before 10pm. Stack and By The River Brew Co. are two we recommend.
STACK is a street food haven and meeting place in the centre of Newcastle.
Book a bench for a bubble of six at STACK or just head along for a socially distanced session. Take your pick of a wide range of food from sushi to Middle Eastern wraps, loaded fries and oven fired pizzas.
This is a perfect daytime to evening hang out and has plenty of bars to choose from alongside the street food vendors.
By The River Brew Co, Gateshead Quayside
Pick a bench overlooking the Tyne Bridge – the pride of Newcastle. Here you can enjoy a range of great ales plus burgers from local favourite Fat Hippo’s patty van on the riverside terrace.
You can just turn up and be taken to an available seat at By The River Brew Co.
5. Chill out on the North East Coast
The North East coastline is easily reachable by car, taxi, bus or the Tyne and Wear Metro from Newcastle city centre and two places in particular, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, should be on top of your bracing day at the beach list.
Tynemouth is a trendy town, you guessed it, at the mouth of the River Tyne.
Locals call it ‘The Village,’ and it’s known for its independent retailers, artisan shops, market stalls, wine bars and cafés.
Wander around and soak up the laid back atmosphere and fresh sea air before heading down to Longsands at King Edward’s Bay, the real jewel in Tynemouth’s crown.
Longsands, true to its name, is long and beautiful.
The white sand beach affords great views of Tynemouth Castle and Priory (English Heritage, adult admission £5.80) and the local surf community braving the chill North Sea in search of waves.
If you want to brave it, you can learn to surf at the Tynemouth Surf Co. or try gentler stand up paddle board lessons.
A great place to eat during the pandemic is Riley’s Fish Shack, where if you book in advance you can reserve socially distanced deck chairs that come with a wooden table, windbreak, parasol or fire pit – depending on what the weather is doing.
The food is award winning, from North Shields crab to wild, native lobster and locally brewed North East lager made with Lindisfarne Oysters.
For afters, visit Gareth James Chocolatier at 12 Front Street. This bespoke chocolate maker has deservedly earned a reputation for melt-in-the-mouth delicacies. You can also grab a barista made coffee here while you browse the sweet treats.
If the weather is wild, then head to Whitley Bay and its newly restored Spanish City an entertainment and leisure venue originally inspired by Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach and opened in 1910.
Spanish City was lovingly restored and returned and is now home to a steak and seafood restaurant, champagne bar, waffle and pancake house and one of the best afternoon teas anywhere in the North of England.
6. Muse the Great North Museum
Plan ahead and book a slot at the free and fantastic Great North Museum.
One of Newcastle’s best cultural attractions, a visit here can transport you to the time of the Dinosaurs, into Ancient Iraq and Egypt, through our living planet of wildlife and their habitats; then back through the development of world cultures and human society.
Our personal favourite is the Hadrian’s Wall gallery which charts the history of the ancient Roman Wall which runs 73-miles from Cumbria to the North East coastline.
The British Museum’s travelling exhibition on Ancient Iraq, click for more, is running here until November 1.
Due to Covid-19, the museum is quieter than usual – without school and educational visits – and isn’t running a café service.
7. Explore Ouseburn Valley
This former industrial hub is now Newcastle’s cool creative quarter.
It’s what Shoreditch is to East London but more down to earth and less hipster.
Ouseburn is home to creative businesses, start-ups, art studios and independent cinemas and venues. Alongside, you’ll find an outstanding selection of real ale pubs, quirky cafes and interesting restaurants.
Ouseburn is also home to a city farm, Seven Stories – the national centre for Children’s Books – and The Victoria Tunnel, an underground coal waggonway that runs subterranean visitor tours.
Ouseburn is easily reached on foot from Sleeperz Hotels Newcastle by walking down the Quayside, it’s a great way to work up an appetite for this list of cafes and eateries in Ouseburn.
8. St James’ Park Stadium
There are no fans allowed in football stadiums across the UK just now, so there’s no better time to get up close at Newcastle United’s famous St James’ Park, a ‘Cathedral of Football,’ and the only Premier League ground in the North East.
Where normally there’d be 52,000 Geordies jostling to get to their seats for a Saturday kick-off, the Stadium and club shop will be relatively quiet.
Outside of Covid-19, the club runs exclusive access stadium and rooftop tours but they aren’t running at present.
Continuing the football theme, stop for a drink in The Strawberry, the closest pub to the ground and home to lots of NUFC memorabilia, or nip across the road to explore Newcastle’s ChinaTown or The Gate, entertainment complex.
9. Angel of the North & Saltwell Park
Antony Gormley’s enormous iron Angel of the North is one of Britain’s best loved pieces of public art. It is a symbol of the North’s industrial past and its transition into a new information rich future.
The Angel sits on the site of a former coal mine in Gateshead, a short taxi or bus ride from Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle in the city centre.
Made of weather resistant Cor-ten steel, the Angel’s wing have the same span as those of a jumbo jet and it is designed to withstand winds of up to 100 miles an hour.
There is no better photo opp, for a selfie or the ‘gram,’ while you’re on your Newcastle city break at Sleeperz Hotels. There’s plenty of open space and parkland to enjoy around the Angel and in nearby Gateshead you can stop off and enjoy Saltwell Park with its fairytale castle, café, gardens, maze and lake.
10. Exhibition Park and Newcastle Town Moor
You are never far from the tranquillity of a leafy park in Newcastle despite being in one of the biggest cities in the North of England. Exhibition Park, which lies between the trendy suburb of Jesmond, Newcastle Town Moor and the city’s University and shopping district – is one of the best places to wile away the hours enjoying peace in the park.Exhibition Park has a Victorian bandstand, boating lake, tennis courts, basketball court, skate park and croquet lawns. It is also home to Wylam Brewery at the Palace of Arts a micro-brewery, bar and event space which resides in the impressive art deco, Grade II listed building at the heart of Exhibition Park. The Wylam Brewery tap-room is currently closed (*at time of publication) under the current Covid-19 restrictions but you can sample its great beers by supporting its online web store.
If you love running, Exhibition Park and the Town Moor are hugely popular with runners and host the city’s Parkrun at weekends.
Stay in style for less at Sleeperz Hotels
We hope you’re inspired by our 10 before 10 in the Toon. There’s so much to do in Newcastle and Gateshead beyond the nightlife, clubs, bars and casinos.
Why not fill your days with fresh air, outdoor activity and celebrate the culture and beauty of this great city and its surrounding areas.
At Sleeperz Hotels Newcastle, we want you to have a great stay and so we’ve changed things up in light of the new North East coronavirus restrictions.
Bottle Drop – have a bottle of wine or a few beers delivered to your room after 10pm if you order in advance at reception.
It’s best to book in advance for our Bottle Drop service as it’s subject to availability and works on a first come, first served basis.
To get the best deal on your stay with Sleeperz Hotels, don’t forget to sign up to our Sleeperz Select loyalty program and get 10% off your room when youbook direct with us at www.sleeperz.com plus lots of extra perks like early check-in, late check out and discounted breakfast.