A few weeks ago, I decided to travel to the North of the UK with a lab colleague from London. We have both made a concerted effort to travel more within the UK on weekends and Bank Holidays. This time, we decided to go to Newcastle as we had heard lots of good things about it and the weather that weekend seemed decent enough!

We travelled by the National Express coach service, and this only cost £17 return, in comparison to £100+ by train! The only downside was the time it took to travel there – 7 hours. I managed to take some work with me and downloaded some programmes from the iPlayer app to keep me occupied for some of the journey. We left London Victoria at 7am and arrived in Newcastle at 2.30pm.

As soon as we arrived, we began exploring the city, beginning with the Science Centre and surrounding areas. It was clear that all the students had arrived in the city, ready to begin the new year at university. The atmosphere of Newcastle seemed very youthful.

Luckily, the skies were clear and blue during the day, perfect for a casual stroll around the city. We walked across the main bridges in Newcastle and grabbed a hot chocolate in the shopping centre. After enjoying some dinner at a Thai restaurant, we stayed the night in a hotel in the city of Durham.

The next morning, we woke up early and grabbed some breakfast from Olive & Bean in Newcastle City Centre. The food here was absolutely delicious, and a great atmosphere for Sunday morning brunch. After breakfast, I got the chance to walk around the Sunday market and found an amazing stall selling handmade mirrors. I was THIS close to making a purchase, before I remembered that I had another 7 hour journey back to London in a few hours.

Our coach back to London was booked for 4pm on the Sunday, and the time was rapidly approaching as we walked around the markets enjoying all the handmade items on sale. We caught the coach on time and managed to catch the last tube home on Sunday night!

I would definitely return to this part of the UK. It’s definitely no London, but a nice place to getaway for the weekend. The people up there were great, and life did seem a bit slower than in London.

– AY –

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