In collaboration with Newcastle Gateshead

Since moving to the UK, I’ve discovered that there’s a lot more to it than London (which is basically what every American thinks of when you tell them you live in the UK). We’ve been to some beautiful cities with lots to see and do and seen some amazing countryside villages and lovely coastal towns.

I always encourage other Londoners to get out and about, which is why I’m participating in #TheTyneisNow campaign with Newcastle Gateshead. This vibrant area (made up of the city of Newcastle and Gateshead just south of the River Tyne) has loads going on this holiday season for the whole family to enjoy which makes Newcastle Gateshead a must this Christmas.

You can go direct from London by train in just a few hours, which makes Newcastle Gateshead really easy to access. I love the idea of heading further north for Christmas, as well, as you’ll get more Christmassy weather and a better chance for SNOW! (I mean, as a Florida girl, I feel I either need a full on snowy Christmas or the warmth of the Florida sun. No in-between!)

I’m a full-on trip planner (I have our upcoming trips planned down to the minute), so I thought I’d give you a rundown of some of the festive options you need to add to your itinerary now.

Christmas

Shopping

If you’re headed to Newcastle Gateshead in the run up to Christmas, you’ll definitely want to get your shop on. Check out Intu Eldon Square, right smack dab in the city center, where you’ll find 130 + names in retail so you can tick everyone off your shopping list. Boom, done. Those looking for handmade goodies should go to the International Christmas Market, on now until December 10th. Vendors from across Europe will give you a taste of authentic foods and crafts to make sure you get something unique for your loved ones.

Credit: Newcastle Gateshead

Activities

Keep the kids active with a visit to Newcastle Castle, a preserved Norman stone castle with stunning views across the city. Strap your skates on and do some figure 8’s at Skating @ Life, a fun ice skating opportunity outside the Science Center. After skating, keep warm with a classic Christmas movie on the big screen. Options include Home Alone Live (3 December) at Sage Gateshead and It’s a Wonderful Life at the Tyneside Cinema (complete with mulled wine if you like!)

Just a few days before Christmas, there’s even a craft session for kids (recommended ages 3 to 13) that includes the chance to make your own festive snowflakes. To let their imaginations run wild (without you running behind them to pick up the glittery they’re leaving everywhere), take them to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on December 23 and 24th.

New Year’s

If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate New Year’s, Newcastle Gateshead has everything you need. Stroll through Exhibition Park to see the animals painted underneath a giant beast’s lair. The event draws its inspiration from mysterious folklore, so bring your camera ready to capture all of the creatures you’re sure to find! There will also be a fireworks display on the Town Moor.

Credit: Newcastle Gateshead

For those who crave a New Year’s party, the Boiler Shop is putting on a shindig complete with funky music, plenty of food and drinks to last the whole night long. This is one for the adults only, so put the kids to bed early and book the babysitter now!

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