48 Hours Christmas Newcastle Gateshead

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

48 Hours Christmas Newcastle Gateshead Bridges

Where to stay: Take your pick from hotels right in the heart of Newcastle city centre.

There are so many unique hotels to choose from this festive season in NewcastleGateshead. Whether you are looking for a luxurious stay with stunning river views or a budget-friendly option in the heart of the city, there are plenty of options to make sure your 48 festive hours in the toon are as enjoyable as they can be. The Malmaison Newcastle, situated on the Quayside, combines modern comfort with industrial-chic design, while the iconic Hilton Hotel in Gateshead offers breath-taking views of the River Tyne and the city's famous bridges. The Vermont is the perfect choice for a luxurious stay, combining timeless elegance with warm hospitality. For those looking for a slightly cheaper option, head to the stylish Motel One. The hotel is in a prime location along the cobbles of High Bridge Street where Christmas Markets, lights and cosy bars can be found just around the corner. 

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. Throughout the festive period, Grainger Market will be opening on Sundays. From the 18th of November until the 23rd of December, 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 The Chronicles of Narnia. 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, such as the many independent food stalls in the Grainger Market or head for a slightly more sophisticated affair at Dobson and Parnell. Enjoy a Christmas set menu with all the trimmings at the welcoming spot on the Newcastle Quayside. Be sure to venture into The Hooch for an after lunch coffee and marvel at the views of the river. 

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 or go into the Markets and warm yourself up at Moosenwirt, the pop up Alpine bar and village in the heart of Newcastle’s city centre. If a late night on the town isn't your cup of tea, head to Tyneside Cinema to catch a Christmas classic in the leading independent cinema. If it's some light-hearted festive fun you are wanting, catch the panto at Tyne Theatre and Opera House. The production of Peter Pan will be sure to put you in the festive mood. 

If you want some innovative cocktails, look no further than Gaucho. Although known for their delicious steak (why not try it while you are there?), the restaurant has become known for its cocktails. Indulge in a digestif in the late-night cocktail bar before heading to crowd favourite Banyan to continue the evening.

Day 2 | Christmas in Newcastle

48 Hours Christmas Newcastle Gateshead Quayside

Lazy morning in Newcastle

Start your second day in Newcastle with breakfast in the city. If good coffee and pastries is what you are after, make your way to Pink Lane Bakery on Pink Lane. For vegans and vegetarians, the Super Natural Café is a must to start a festive day in the toon. Once you have finished your breakfast, hop on the metro at 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. 

Explore Ouseburn and the Quayside

Ouseburn was once crowned one of Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World by Time Out magazine and it lives up to this accolade! Browse the art galleries and independent shops at The Biscuit Factory and Seven Stories for Christmas gifts. For the foodie in your life, be sure to pick up some goods from the shelves of Ernie, the shop, deli and takeout nestled underneath the popular Café in the Ouseburn, Ernest. Pop in to say hello to the animal residents at Ouseburn Farm before wandering along the river back 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. The market is a great place to pick up gifts and have a spot of lunch. Cross over the swing bridge and make your way to BALTIC, Centre for Contemporary Art which also has a brilliant gift shop where you can pick up some unique Christmas gifts and souvenirs. 

Once you are done in BALTIC, make your way up to The Glasshouse. Revel in the uniqueness of the big silver building towering over the river before making your way inside. If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a festive concert at The Glasshouse. Be sure to check their events here before you visit. 

Treat yourselves to a final festive activity before you go home

Lighting up the iconic Leazes Park like never before, Northern Lights Newcastle is the perfect way to round off your festive trip. The stunning after-dark attraction of immersive visuals, audio and jaw-dropping illuminations is sure to impress. The festival of light in the heart of Newcastle’s oldest park includes original audio compositions, and dynamic choreography. The fully accessible, mile-long route will see epic illuminations light up Leazes Park, along with a Christmas Village filled to the brim with delicious festive food and drinks by local traders.

48 Hours Christmas Newcastle Gateshead mulled wine

Want to find out more about Christmas in NewcastleGateshead?

There is so much going on at Christmas in NewcastleGateshead. Take a look at Christmas events to book now in time for the festive season. 

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