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Top 10 'Hidden Gems' Northumbria students have to look forward to...

Out and about

Future Northumbria students take note. Being a first year student in one of the most buzzing cities in the UK, is an amazing experience in itself.

Here, we give the lowdown from current Northumbria students on some of their ‘must dos’ for anyone coming to study here. From weekend ideas to top restaurants and bars, we take a behind-the-scenes look at Northumbria’s ‘hidden gems’ from the people in the know.

1. The Students’ Union is the ultimate hang-out spot Aug 15 16 Hidden Gems Su

Whether it’s the bean bags in The Base or the stylish coffee and cocktail bar, Habita, Northumbria’s SU has it all when it comes to chilling with your mates. If the weather’s nice, there’s nothing better than finding your own little patch of grass in the ‘quad’ to relax and unwind in, and when the sun isn’t shining, don’t forget the coffee shops and cafes dotted around campus to warm you up. 

2. For some of the best views in Newcastle… Aug 15 16 Hidden Gems Quaysideatnight

Be sure to visit a real gem of a pub, Ouseburn’s olde-worlde Free Trade Inn, which offers THE best views of the River Tyne and its iconic bridges. It’s not only award-winning, it’s also famed for its real ale and a really good atmosphere. And don’t forget the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. It has an excellent viewing gallery, plus a very swanky restaurant with gorgeous views for extra special occasions. 

3. Newcastle has some great nights’ out

Newcastle has been voted the UK’s best city for students five times in the last seven years, and our students have some great ideas of where to go in town! Cocktails are top of the drinks list with Livello on the Quayside, the Botanist close to the Monument and Revolution near Central Station all recommended for their amazing concoctions.

For chilled music and tasty food, you can’t beat Holy Hobo, Sohe or Nancy’s Bordello, while Tilley’s and the City Tavern are recommended for beer connoisseurs. WHQ is a pretty cool venue with great DJs and some chill out vibes, while Powerhouse is inclusive and fun. 

4. You’ll never be short of value for money food choices in Newcastle

One thing all Northumbria students agree on is that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Newcastle. If, like us, you love your food, the eclectic mix the city has to offer just has to be sampled.

Our favourites include the Butterfly Cabinet in Heaton which does a fab breakfast worth every penny. We also love Pizzeria Francesca in Jesmond, Arlo in West Jesmond for the best in fresh food, Fujiyamas for delicious food cooked right in front of you and Zapatista, which has a great veggie offer. Northumbria students think Fat Hippo has quite literally the “BEST burgers”. It also offers the aptly named ‘hippo hour’, a fab happy hour deal for burger lovers on a budget.  

Top tip – Newcastle’s NE1 has some great updates on offers and deals so well worth keeping an eye on. 

5. The coast is just a short Metro ride away Aug 15 16 Hidden Gems Tynemouth

Hop on the Metro and take a trip to Tynemouth, Cullercoats or Whitley Bay, or head south of the Tyne to visit the fun fairs and famous curry houses of South Shields – all of which are less than 30 minutes from campus. You’re spoilt for choice with the beautiful beaches; ice cream and candy floss; attractions like Blue Reef Aquarium and Tynemouth Priory, and you just have to try the fish and chip options. We’d recommend Marshalls in Tynemouth, or Longsands Fish Kitchen – divine!

“Get the Metro out to the coast, for fish and chips, ice cream and hopefully some sun!”  Camilla, BA Marketing Management

6. Jesmond Dene is a haven away from it all.

If you’ve got friends and family visiting, Jesmond Dene is a picturesque little fairy-tale-like haven in the heart of the city. Home to lots of wildlife, walks, picnic areas and even a Pets Corner, the Dene is a real little gem – and our students love it! 

7. O2 Academy is the place to be for gigs.

More intimate than some of the bigger venues in Newcastle, the O2 is our students’ favourite. It plays host to some of the top names in music, from Jess Glynne to James Bay, as well as hosting special student nights and you can even find comedy there! The Cluny at the Ouseburn is another great venue for gigs.

“There are some great gigs in Newcastle. Everyone major has played either the O2 Academy or the Arena, and if you’re into up and coming bands, definitely check out The Cluny which has two smaller venues. It's a good pub too.” Katy, BA Marketing Management

8. Joining societies is a great way of meeting new people.

We thought we’d throw in a bit of advice too. When you first start university, be really open to meeting new people and trying new things. Make sure you go along to the Welcome Week Fair at the Students’ Union, and join some clubs and societies from the earliest point possible. Northumbria has more than 100 societies to get involved in, from hockey to dance and drama, surf or photography, there’s something for everyone. You’ll get lots of info in Freshers’ Week.

9. Try and experience as much of student life as you can.Aug 15 16 Hidden Gems Angel

Venture wider than the city and explore as much of the surrounding area as you can. Go bowling at the MetroCentre; Go Ape at Matfen Hall, the classic Tyneside Cinema, the Grainger Market’s famous food stalls, Northumberland, the coast, Beamish Open Air Museum, go to the see Newcastle United at St James’ Park’, walk along Hadrian’s Wall, there are so many amazing places just on your doorstep. Everything is so accessible and easy to find in the city itself and there’s so much to discover. 

10. Enjoy…

Most of all – our students say “enjoy it!” If you’re coming to Northumbria, you’re set to have the time of your life.

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