Newcastle and Gateshead boast a diverse and exciting cultural scene. Whether you’re new to the Toon or a seasoned Geordie, you may want to deviate from the usual Newcastle tourist attractions and try something new. If you’re in the market for something a little different, why not explore our top ten unusual things to do in NewcastleGateshead and discover the North East’s best hidden gems…

Tea Sutra Teahouse

Nestled in the heart of Newcastle city centre, Tea Sutra is a quiet island of calm; perfect for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle on their visit to Newcastle. This independent teahouse offers over 100 teas and infusions from all corners of the world. From Kenya to Brazil, and India to Egypt, their internationally sourced teas are the perfect ticket to unwind. If you’re at a loose end, why not pop down, whip off your shoes, curl up on a bamboo matt, and sip on their notorious sweet and spicy Chai of the Day? They even proudly resist wifi so you can curb your screen time!

Gory Walking Tour

If you’re in the mood for a fright, then perhaps a ghostly walking tour is for you? While there are many ghoulish ghost tours in Newcastle to choose from, the Gory Walking Tour is by far one of our favourites. Beginning at Grey’s Monument and skulking all the way down to the Quayside, this tour focuses on Newcastle Gateshead’s dark past. From murder, gore and intrigue to bloody battles and spurned lovers, this walking tour has everything you’ll need for an evening full of spooks and surprises. As you learn about the murderous happenings of the city streets, remember to wrap up warm for a walk that’s bound to be chilling – and that’s not just due to the temperamental Newcastle weather.

Newcastle Arts Centre

Classes at the Newcastle Arts Centre are a unique and fun way to spend your time. If you’re a crafty creature with a knack for painting, or perhaps a novice with dreams of mastering printmaking, Newcastle Arts Centre will have something to appeal to you creative side. Housed in one of the many listed buildings that surround Central Station, and once home to Lord Ridley’s family during the 18thCentury, the Newcastle Arts Centre is now a hub of creativity, passion and colour.

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books

The perfect spot for adults and children alike, Seven Stories is The National Centre for Children’s Books. Situated on Lime Street in the quirky Ouseburn Valley, inside you’ll find unique exhibitions, captivating story tellers, interactive activities and visits from acclaimed authors.  Adults can indulge a passion for illustration or writing with regular masterclasses for hobbyist writers to those looking to become the next J.K. Rowling. Appreciate the process behind the creation of some of the countries best-loved books and discover that famous authors and illustrators make mistake too in exhibitions which explore the detailed journey to a published book.  Seven Stories Bookshop is also packed full of everything from baby and toddler books to young adult fiction, so there’s plenty of reading material to choose from to help your youngsters discover the imaginative world of stories and inspire your own creative juices. Once you’ve enjoyed one of their many activities on offer, you can kick back with a piping hot drink and sweet treat at Seven Stories’ Café.

Escape Newcastle

We’re not suggesting a fun thing to do in Newcastle is to leave it. Growing increasingly popular across the country, Escape Rooms are exciting interactive games, wherein you and your friends are locked in a room with nothing but a set of clues to help you escape. Together, you must secure your freedom, or face dire (fictional) consequences! Escape Key Newcastle is especially unique and a fun, challenging Exit game located right in the city centre. With a choice of rooms which include the Plaque Room with haunting reference to the distruction of the historic Black Death or a heart-racing Cold-War bunker room. This is the perfect place to put your logic and detection skills to the test. Locked in a mysterious room, you’ll have just 60 minutes to escape by solving logic puzzles, cracking codes and using your powers of observation. Escape Key Newcastle are a particularly immersive and exciting activity for any stag or hen do’s celebrating in the Toon!

Blackfriars Restaurant Cooking School

Located in a striking 1239 converted medieval friary, Blackfriars has a gripping history that even includes a brief spell as a hostel for King Henry III. More recently, Blackfriars, which is often listed as one of the top restaurants in Newcastle, has turned its hand to educating the public. Their cooking school covers everything from domestic butchery, vegetarian cooking and even artisan bread making. Check out the Blackfriars website for more information, and book a class today.

Alphabetti Theatre

Priding themselves in performances that are accessible, relatable and unique, Alphabetti Theatre is perfect for anyone wanting to soak up a bit of culture with a difference. From stand-up comedy and story-telling, to poetry and music, Alphabetti is your one-stop-shop for an exclusive peak at emerging artists and unrivalled entertainment. They even have their own theatre dog, Sir Rexalot! Located on St James Boulevard, Alphabetti is the place to go for those in the market for something unique. Don’t miss their ‘pay-what-you-think’ evenings.


Tucked under the arches of the Byker railway bridge, Ernest is a quirky gastrobar proud of its honest food and penchant for local music and art. Unlike other bars and restaurants in NewcastleGateshead, Ernest offers something for everyone. Do you fancy going for a dance? Tango Tuesdays are open to both beginners and regular movers to dance the night away, while Sunday Sessions offer deals on drinks until 11pm. Want to learn about the wonders of the universe while you sip on a cocktail? Cosmology Night invites guest speakers to discuss the nature of space and time, as well as offering ‘contemplation time’ to the audience between talks.

Ernest is right at the heart of the creative and unique Ouseburn area and, with its continually inventive range of events and notorious breakfasts, it’s an unmissable hidden gem for anyone visiting Newcastle Gateshead.

Ouseburn City Farm

Throw aside any predispositions you have about farms being in the middle of nowhere. Newcastle has its very own in the form of Ouseburn City Farm; a working farm nestled right in the centre, surrounded by a selection of quirky restaurants and friendly pubs. A great spot for both adults and children to explore, particularly during the summer holidays, the nearby eateries are the perfect pit stop as you weave your way around to see pigs, sheep and chickens up close. Free to enter for all visitors and a unique learning experience, this farm has been running since 1976. Now treasured by the community, Ouseburn Farm also offers training and work experience to people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

The Valley Climbing Centre

Calling all thrill seekers, it’s time to appease your inner child! The Valley Climbing Centre in Ouseburn is the perfect place for an active day out thanks to its impressive climbing facilities which allow you to spend an afternoon up in the air. Whether you want to perfect your existing climbing skills, scale walls like your favourite super-hero or simply try out something challenging and new, there are a number of great climbing and bouldering facilities at The Valley for you to while away the afternoon.

This fun and engaging interactive space is the second venue created by former British world climbing champion Andy Earl. With circuit boards and challenges for all abilities, The Valley is a fantastic day out for those searching for a dose of adventure on their visit to Newcastle. Once your feet are back firmly on the ground, you can shower and unwind with a coffee at their indoor café.

NewcastleGateshead has plenty to offer, but if the above don’t tickle your fancy, check out our Visitor’s Guide and plan your visit today. Don’t forget to tweet us your own favourite hotspots at @altweet_pet!

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Your Summer of Wonder Starts Here! Visit WWT
Your Summer of Wonder Starts Here! Visit WWT

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