London is obviously the number one destination to visit in the UK, but it can be crowded, stressful and expensive. This little country has so much more to offer; here's why we think you should ditch the capital and visit Newcastle-upon-Tyne on your next trip close to home.
The city of the year
Newcastle (officially Newcastle-upon-Tyne) is the capital of the North East of England, situated just an hour and a half's drive south of the Scottish border. Although it was named the number one place to visit in 2018 by Rough Guides, Newcastle is often overlooked with people still choosing London for their city break. Keep reading to find out why you should swap the south for the north. Newcastle is the new London!
A big little city
Newcastle is fairly small in size, but still manages to have that big city atmosphere, making it the perfect place for students and young professionals alike. In fact, Newcastle could fit into Greater London over 13 times, showing just how vast the capital is. Living in a smaller, yet still very modern, city is not only better for your mental health, but it also means you're closer to the countryside, and it's easier to make friends.
Speaking of friends, Newcastle is known around the whole of the UK as one of the country's friendliest cities. Strangers will happily chat to each other while waiting for the bus, and locals are more than happy to help tourists by giving directions and insider advice. The welcoming, honest residents of the city are just another reason why Newcastle is such a safe place to live and visit. And of course, it's home to one of the most unusual yet brilliant accents in the UK, the Geordie accent. Why aye man!
Nearby towns and cities
Just over the Tyne River on the south side is Gateshead, where you'll find the famous Angel of the North. Keep travelling a little further south and you'll come to the city of Durham, most famous for its incredible Cathedral and Castle, which together make up one of the world's first designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. So, if you ever run out of things to do in Newcastle, there are plenty of small towns and cities close by waiting for you to visit.
Newcastle is without a doubt the UK's number one party city. Popular among students, stag and hen dos and tourists, there is nowhere quite like it. The drinks are terrifyingly cheap and the choice of bars and clubs is endless. Newcastle's nightlife has been voted the best in the country countless times over the years, and continues to hold up its proud reputation to this day. If you don't believe us, take a trip down to the Quayside and see for yourself. Locals are known for braving the cold and heading out with bare legs and no jacket, even in the depths of winter!