Escaping the student city: Newcastle

26 Sep 2016

Freshers’ week is over (sigh) and the semester is in full swing. It’s time to hang up your (many) fancy dress costumes and focus on being the model student — or at least that’s the plan!
However, there’s more to life than studying, so it’s important to pencil in some downtime to clear your mind and have some fun! Studying in Newcastle? Here’s how to get away from the toon (and your mountain of books/endless to-do list) and explore all that the local area has to offer.

South Shields: Life’s a beach

south shieldssource: Wikipedia

Hop on the X34 from Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street and take a trip to the seaside town of South Shields. Get off at the Marsden Lane stop and you’re just a few minutes’ walk from the coast. 

There’s nothing quite like a beach walk to blow out the cobwebs — especially after a heavy night of, ahem, studying. Follow the coast towards South Shields town centre and grab fish and chips from the award-winning Colmans chippy

No matter what your mum says, you’re never too old for the fair. Save up your 2ps before youand  go and hit the arcades. The rides are only open during peak season, so if you are’re  visiting during autumn or winter, why not challenge your friends to a game of bowling at The Dunes?
If you do just want to relax with a quiet pint — or if the ever-changing British weather takes a turn — there are plenty of pubs along the seafront you can dive into.

Historic Hexham

hexhamsource: Wikipedia

Need to stretch your legs further than the takeaway or your usual stroll to the lecture hall? Take the 85 bus from Newcastle St James and head to historic Hexham

The town is home to the legendary Hadrian’s Wall. Constructed in AD122 as a way of controlling north-south movement, trade and people, the wall stretches from coast to coast and took 15,000 men six years to build.

Although it’s no longer used as a barrier, the wall remains the greatest Roman monument in Britain and a popular tourist attraction. You’ll probably not be able to see it all during your trip — it’s 84 miles long, after all — but it’s definitely worth a visit. Just don’t forget comfy footwear or your camera — those views deserve an Instagram post or ten!

Metrocentre: A shopper’s paradise

metrocentresource: intu

Sometimes, only a shopping day will do. Catch the 100 bus from Pilgrim Street or Central Station and escape the city for a spot of retail therapy at the Metrocentre. In just 16 minutes, you can enjoy over 340 stores in Europe’s largest shopping mall — perfect for making the most of your student discounts!

If your student loan is low and you can’t afford a full-on shopping spree, there’s plenty of other stuff going on at the Metrocentre. Why not pay a visit to the Odeon IMAX cinema? If you have Meerkat Movies, you can get two for one cinema tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday or, failing that, you get 25% off student tickets with your NUS card from Monday to Thursday.

What are you waiting for? Purchase your unirider student bus ticket from Stagecoach and get exploring!