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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: Motel One in the heart of Newcastle city centre.

Stay in the thick of the festive action at Motel One. The modern hotel is both stylish and well-placed for Christmas fun in Newcastle city centre. Tucked along the cobbles of High Bridge Street just off the historic Grey Street, Motel One has a range of comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.

Start your day with a little Christmas shopping in Newcastle

Enjoy a slap up breakfast at Motel One before 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 2 December, browse over 30 stalls around Grey's Monument, 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 Shaun the Sheep. 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?

There's time to squeeze in a truly unique experience this afternoon with a guided tour of the River Tyne... from the water. Book a Glow Tour with CBK Adventure and take to the River Tyne in an illuminated kayak to experience the iconic Quayside and light up the dark evenings. Tours last approximately 2 hours and the December dates typically start at 2.30pm and end with a rewarding hot drink. 

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. Choose from a range of street food kiosks in STACK which make up the open air entertainment hotspot or head into Hadrian’s Tipi for a hot mulled wine or cider around their open fire. There is always a lively atmosphere in STACK and if you’re feeling up for a bit of chair dancing, hang around for live music and party classics.

The beauty of staying at Motel One 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. Try 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 newest 'super club'.

Christmas Market

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

Browse the art galleries and independent shops at The Biscuit Factory and Seven Stories for Christmas gifts. Pop in to say hello to the animal residents at Ouseburn Farm before wandering along the river to the Quayside.

Take in the bridges that you will have kayaked underneath yesterday, browse the Quayside Market which runs on both Saturday and Sunday 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 feed before you go home

Wander back the way you came and you will be spoilt for choice for places to eat on the Quayside. Stop off at Hard Rock Cafe and indulge in a side of rock 'n' roll with your dinner! Nearby River Beat, situated on Gateshead Quayside is another excellent choice for relaxed but delicious dining – this time with an Asian-fusion vibe.

Alternatively, wrap up warm and take to the skies for a birds-eye view of Newcastle from ABOVE - a brand new rooftop bar and restaurant that is as exclusive as it is stylish. 

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