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If you’re planning a festive city break or a weekend away in the UK to get started on your Christmas shopping then let us be the first to throw a North East staycation into the mix. To make it even easier for you – we’ve created a packed festive itinerary of things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead at Christmas and top tips on where to stay and where to eat while you’re here.

Visit Newcastle and Gateshead this Christmas and enjoy all of this...

Day 1 | Christmas in Newcastle

Where to stay: Roomzzz in the heart of Newcastle city centre.

Stay in the thick of the festive action at Roomzzz Newcastle. Roomzzz Newcastle is located in a Grade 2 listed Friar House building with 14 individually styled, spacious serviced apartments – with something to suit every pocket. The lively Quayside is a stone’s throw away if it’s nightlife you’re after, or if you like to shop until you drop, Eldon Square is close by, as is the iconic Theatre Royal and the stunning Castle Keep

Start your day with a little Christmas shopping in Newcastle

Start your weekend by wandering into the centre of Newcastle to hit the Christmas shopping on offer in the city centre. If markets are your thing, then don’t miss an opportunity to stroll through Grainger Market a vibrant indoor market that has been part of Newcastle’s bustling retail experience for 185 years. From 18 November, browse over the festive stalls around Grey's Monument and Old Eldon Square, all showcasing crafts and food from local traders, artisans and makers at the Newcastle Christmas Market

It wouldn’t be a visit to Newcastle without a trip to admire the Fenwick Newcastle Christmas Window  - an enchanting and elaborate window display which in previous years has retold the stories of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Snowman and Paddington Bear and this year is dedicated to Clarice Bean. Duck into the flagship department store and marvel at the racks of artisan products on offer in foodie's paradise - Fenwick Food Hall. Get ready for wall-to-wall delicacies, local produce, artisan treats and top-quality patisserie, meat and grocery counters. Fenwick’s dedicated Christmas floor is well-worth a browse too – especially to marvel at the glistening wall of Christmas decorations in every possible colour and variation.

Stop for lunch

All that shopping will build up an appetite. Choose from a wide range of great places to have lunch in Newcastle or take a stroll towards Newcastle Quayside and stop off at Great British Cupcakery to indulge in a decadent afternoon tea. There are a great selection of festive Afternoon Teas to book at excellent venues across the city so why not go all out?

Festive evening vibes in Newcastle

If you’ve still got any energy after a busy day of shopping and navigating the Tyne… head to one of the many tipis and festive igloos in Newcastle for a drink and nibble. Head into Lazy Bear tipi, located just outside of the station for a hot mulled wine, cider and a pie minster pie around their open fire. 

The beauty of staying at Roomzzz means you can dash home and spruce up before joining the festive revellers for a glass of fizz and celebratory cocktail in Newcastle’s famous and vibrant nightlife. Head to Victor's, arguably one of Newcastle's most 'instagramable' venues and sample their festive menu. Indulge in the decadent two or three course menus, priced at £28 per person for two courses or £38 for three courses where starters include smoked salmon and caviar sushi rolls, chicken skewers, shrimp tempura or panko smoked tofu. Followed by main course options of stuffed turkey ballotine, teriyaki salmon, the Victors way burger, chargrilled ribeye or miso and harissa roasted vegetables, all accompanied by a selection of side dishes. Finish the meal with a too good to drink cocktail from their expansive range.

If you are after more content and party vibes, head over to Banyan and Leila Lily’s for an impressive array of cocktails and all your Instagram needs. If you're keen to go 'out out' then head to The Lofts to party the night away in Newcastle's 'super club'.

Day 2 | Christmas in Newcastle

Lazy morning in Newcastle

Start your second day in Newcastle with a slap-up brunch (with bubbles!) at Blackfriars where you will be dining in one of the UK's oldest restaurants - brunch is only served at the weekend and until 10.45am so there's no time for a lie in!

Hop on the metro at nearby St James' Park and travel the short journey to Manors. You can then talk a 10-minute walk to Ouseburn where you will find Newcastle’s cultural quarter and a great range of pubs and things to do. 

Explore Ouseburn and the Quayside

Ouseburn was voted one of the Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World by Time Out magazine in 2021 and it lives up to this accolade! Browse the art galleries and independent shops at The Biscuit Factory and Seven Stories for Christmas gifts. Browse the shelves of Ernie, the shop, deli and takeout nestled underneath the popular Café in the Ouseburn, Ernest and pick up artisan gifts and unique and local produce. Pop in to say hello to the animal residents at Ouseburn Farm before wandering along the river to the Quayside.

As you make your way down the Quayside, browse the Quayside Market which runs on Sundays in the lead up to Christmas, and walk along the Swing Bridge to By The River Brew Co. Take a break and sup a craft beer or two and refuel with lunch from local street food traders in the Hawker Market

Stroll back along the Quayside to complete a loop and enjoy some contemporary art on display at BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art which also has a brilliant gift shop where you can pick up some unique Christmas gifts and souvenirs. 

Treat yourselves to a final festive activity before you go home

Once you are feeling full and rested from a calm morning, wander from the Quayside back into town and end your trip with a competitive and unique afternoon at Point Blank Shooting. If you are heading home on the train and fancy leaving Newcastle slightly merry, opt in for their Sunday Bottomless Brunch, which gives you bottomless fizz and beer, unlimited pizza and unlimited shooting for £35 per person.

If you are wanting to finish the weekend on a quieter note, head to one of the cities independent coffee shops and get cosy. Pink Lane Coffee, The Canny Goat and Flat Caps Coffee are all popular spots in the city. 

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Quentin Blake at Washington Wetlands
Quentin Blake at Washington Wetlands

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