Tag Archives: newcastle

Newcastle Student Summer Bucket list

It’s May, which means the sun is coming out and, for us students, the books are stacking up fast and thinking about the summer is perfect procrastination. For some, me included *tear*, this is the end of their time in Newcastle, but even between drinking your body weight in trebles and re-painting your stained walls to try and secure the return of that mystical deposit, there’s still plenty of time to squeeze in some of the best sunny day activities that Newcastle has to offer. Trust me, after the last month in the library, the vitamin D will be good for you.

1) Visit the Quayside Seaside

Now this concept baffles me. Newcastle is lucky enough to be located near a plethora of beautiful beaches, easily accessible on the Metro, so why do we need a fake beach in our already stunning Quayside? The truth is, we don’t NEED one, but we still WANT one, and what we want, we get. Despite it not holding a candle to the natural beauty of Tynemouth, the Quayside beach is still some of the most fun you can have on a piece of concrete, although to be honest there isn’t must competition for that title. Relax with a drink and look out over the glorious river or just take a break from all that strenuous Netflix watching you’ll no doubt be filling your days after exams end; and, while it certainly is a just a novelty, it’s something that everyone should experience at least once while in the sunny North East.

2) Picnic in Jesmond Dene

Yes, there are many other beautiful parks in Newcastle that are also acceptable to picnic in, I’m just biased as the Dene is about a minute away from my house and I’m very, very lazy. As well as it’s proximity to my bed, it also boasts plenty of space to eat, a petting zoo and of course, the waterfall, subject of many an Instagram post (including my own). After eating, you could always challenge your pals to a game of rounders, as we all know nothing says friendships like competitively hitting things with a large stick.

3) Spend the day in Ouesburn pub gardens

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Tyne Bar is my spiritual home. That’s a fact. I love the beer garden, I love overlooking the river, I love the music events, and most of all, I love that they serve weird ciders and mac n cheese. It’s heaven. But one thing can make it better, all of the surrounding pubs and bars are fantastic too. Most students don’t know about these hidden gems because the rahs are too scared to leave the safety of Osbourne Road and most other people don’t really like walking all the way there but it is just so worth it to spend all day there in the sun. Make sure you also check out The Cluny while you’re in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

4) Have a BBQ in your garden

Last year I lived with six girls and one guy, so when we decided to have an end of year BBQ we just assumed that Dave would man up and take charge. We were wrong. Turns out that living with us for a whole year has dried up the man’s primal urge to grill meat, so with much fear and very little confidence the girls took the reins. Two bottles of wine and litre of Pimms later and we sat down in our “garden” (the small patch outside our door) to eat a very successful and delicious meal. The point of this story is that if we can do it, then so can you. And to be honest, if it fails, or if you in fact don’t like waiting two hours for your food, then just put it in the oven and eat it outside. It’s the same thing really.

5) Relax at a festival

From laughing at Jesterval in Gateshead to discovering new local artists at Evolution Emerging, there are festivals for everyone in Tyneside over the summer. Ouseburn Valley is usually packed full of events at this time of year so take yourself, your sunglasses and whichever pals you can drag with you and head down there to hear some music you definitely won’t have heard of, but possibly might enjoy.

What will you be doing this summer? Any other events we should know about?

Katie x

This post is in partnership with Easiliving so if you’re coming back next year make sure you check them out before making that all important housing decision!

Heaton vs Jesmond: Where to Live as a Student in Newcastle

Moving out of halls and into the city can be scary, especially as there are so many options and things to think about. The most important decision, after picking your housemates of course, is which neighbourhood you’re going to call home. Don’t have a clue? Well here’s a guide to the most popular areas.

Housing

Jesmond is one of the fanciest areas in Newcastle and is inhabited by some of the more wealthy locals which means that the rent here is high. You can expect to pay between £65 and £90 a week for a house or flat and they seriously vary in quality. Make sure you look around as there are some hidden gems lurking but in general, the houses here are not good value.

The house prices in Heaton are much more affordable, ranging from £45 to £65 a week. Not only are they cheaper, they are often less “studenty” and feel more like a proper home than a dingy lair. There are drawbacks though, but that’ll be discussed later.

Food

Jesmond is packed full of restaurants like local institutions Fat Hippo and Longhorns. It’s also home to a serious amount of Italian restaurants, all of which offering happy hour deals which allow you to pick up a 2 course meal for around £6. There is also a Tesco, Waitrose (I told you it was posh) and Sainsburys for those forgotten essentials. 

While Jesmond excels in stylish, trendy eateries, Heaton sticks to the simple cafe. The main roads are lined with greasy spoon style places serving fry ups and sandwiches. A few good restaurants stand between them though such as local favourite, The Butterfly Cabinet, and newly opened Man vs Food. There is also a little Tesco and Sainsburys but the surrounding areas are packed with full size supermarkets if you dont want to mess around with the baby kind.

Drinks

With Osborne Road on your doorstep, it’s hard to ignore the social pull that Jesmond has. In the summer the street is packed with students enjoying the sun from one of the dozen of bars located there. They’re all targeted at students, offering happy hour deals and £2 Tuesdays to distract you from that all important work. Want more of a chilled evening? Head to The Lonsdale for a quiet pint and a pub quiz. 

Bars in Heaton are non-existent. Instead opt for one of the many pubs that call it home. The Cornerhouse is your typical chain pub whilst the Hussar provides more of a local feel. There was once a trebles bar but it closed down pretty quickly and its shattered remains still sit there as a reminder that bars can’t survive here.

Transport

Both neighbourhoods have a metro station that goes directly into town (although they don’t go directly to each other which is very annoying) but you have to live pretty close to it for it to be useful. It’s much easier to walk to university and into town from Jesmond and living in Heaton would mean you’re much more likely to spend money on a metro ticket, buy a bike, or get up even earlier for those 9ams. Taxis back from a night out are also cheaper to Jesmond and it’s usually easier to find people to share with.

Conclusion

The winner very much depends on the kind of person you are. If you’re very concerned about money then Heaton is your best bet. Medics and post grads also often chose Heaton as they don’t have the time to enjoy the perks of Jesmond.  However, if you’re the sociable kind who likes to be in the middle of everything then Jesmond is definitely for you. There’s always something to do and somewhere to go. Don’t worry though, living anywhere will be great if you’re with the right people!

Looking to rent in Newcastle? Head to EasiLiving for all the support you need.

Katie x

Newcastle’s Hidden Gems

For a small city, Newcastle is packed full of culture and excitement, so much so that some amazing places may slip under the radar, especially for students. Don’t worry though, here are some recommendations for you to really experience what The Toon has to offer.

Ouseburn

For an entire neighbourhood, Ouseburn is pretty hidden. Located on a hill, ending on the bank of the Tyne, the area is full of  independent bars, creative businesses and music venues so you’ll be able to find something for you if you hunt hard enough. Try The Cluny to catch a glimpse of the newest up-and-coming bands, The Tyne Bar if you fancy an unusual pint by the river, or Ouseburn Farm if you fancy, well, you know, animals. For a city, Newcastle really does have an abundance of farms.

Pizzeria Italia

From the family who brought you Slice in Grainger Market comes Pizzeria Italia where you can bag yourself a 12 or 18 inch version of their incredible pizza for under a tenner! The simple cafe has flown under the radar because of its location in Benton but it’s definitely worth the metro ride. Authentic Italian ingredients and old family recipes makes this pizza something truly special. Do not leave Newcastle without experiencing this at least once. Trust me, you’ll be begging to go back!

Benton Park Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7LX

Cook House

Located in a shipping container in Ouseburn, Cook House is run by a successful local food blogger, Anna Hedworth. A great place to eat, drink and relax, the container has been transformed into a bright and airy space which makes you instantly feel at home. You can go for lunch or their famous supper club which features an ever-changing menu featuring fresh and seasonal ingredients. If you want to get involved then they also run a food school which caters to anyone from a student beginner to a wannabe masterchef.

20 Ouse Street, NE1 2PF

Heaton Perk

Heaton Perk is a small cafe in Heaton (duh) which attracts a huge variety of customers, from students to mums and their toddlers. Whilst it takes its inspiration from the iconic Central Perk cafe from Friends, it definitely isn’t a replica. Instead it is decorated in an interesting and quirky fashion packed with retro pieces. The cafe serves great coffee and has a outdoor patio for you to enjoy an old school soda float on a warm afternoon. This isn’t your ordinary coffee shop though. The Perk is also home to a book trading scheme and has a selection of board games for you to play whilst you indulge!

103 – 105 Heaton Park Road, NE6 5NR

Quay Ingredient

OK so this gem probably isn’t very well hidden any more as the Quay Ingredient, located on the Quayside (haha, get it?) is now a favourite amongst the brunch lovers of Newcastle. The tiny cafe doesn’t take reservations so you’ll have to be lucky to get a table but it’s definitely worth trying. They’re open all day but make sure you go before 12 if you want to experience their legendary breakfast. It won’t disappoint!

4 Queen Street, NE1 3UG

The French Oven

The French Oven Bakery is part of a family run group of stalls in Grainger Market. It sells an amazing range of freshly made pastries, pies and cakes, all for a reasonable price. The owner’s French background and passion for baking really shine through in everything she makes. Why settle for Greggs when something like this is on your doorstep?!

Unit 27-28, Grainger Arcade, NE1 5QF

Where’s your favourite hidden gem in Newcastle? Comment below!

Katie x

Katie Reviews: Bill Ryder Jones @ The Cluny

You will have heard of Bill Ryder-Jones. You just might not know it yet. Don’t worry though, even Bill Ryder-Jones isn’t convinced that you know who he is. Despite being on his third solo album, the poster for his UK tour still proudly states Bill Ryder-Jones (The Coral) as a pleasant reminder of his teenage talents.

I often saw Bill Ryder-Jones in my favourite café in my home town of West Kirby, the same town that inspired his latest album. I’ve always looked up to him as a reassurance that a kid from this unknown place can make it big (and by “make it big”, I mean “become friends with Alex Turner”). However, despite close geographical ties and a few mutual friends, I had never experienced his music live until now.

Bill-Ryder-Jones

It was quite surreal for me to see Ryder-Jones take his place on the stage of The Cluny in front of one of the most complicated sets of loop pedals I’d ever seen. This wasn’t a man who’s living the high life with a myriad of famous pals. This was a guy who just wanted to make music away from the pressure of the limelight. Dressed in clothes he realistically could have bought during his days in The Coral, with a beer in hand, he looked as though he belonged on the intimate stage in front of a dedicated and passionate group of people, connecting with them, rather than in a huge arena.

I was worried that Ryder-Jones’s haunting melancholy was not going to go down well in my sleep deprived state, however, his music and subtle stage presence were captivating. The set featured a mix of old and new as well as a band-free segment showcasing his dulcet vocals on songs including imaginatively named ‘Put It Down Before You Break It’, while crowd favourite ‘Two to Birkenhead’ upped the tempo and had people slightly shuffling their feet, with about as much vigour as you could reasonably expect during such a laid back track.

Ryder-Jones

Ryder-Jones plays with the effortless skill of someone who grew up with a guitar in his hands, something which is definitely true considering he joined The Coral at the tender age of 13 as somewhat of a child prodigy. It was blindingly obvious that his confidence lies in instrumental music as you saw him get lost in himself every time the lyrics paused. His closing number, ‘Satellites’ showcased his compositing skills perfectly with an extended instrumental section that blew the audience away. He looked almost disappointed to have to return to singing, however his lyrics, personal and powerful, resonated with the enchanted crowd.

I’m disappointed it’s taken me so long to see Bill Ryder-Jones play live and even more disappointed that I did so around 200 miles away from the town that shaped both of our lives, however, it was well worth the wait.

Katie x

Written for NE:MM

Photos by Matt Flynn