With two international sporting events taking place near NewcastleGateshead over spring bank holiday, it's a great time for sports fans to visit. There's Test Match cricket to look forward to with England v Sri Lanka and the England football team has a friendly against Australia. We had a look at what else is going on and have a whole weekend planned out for you.

Test Match bank holiday weekend

Friday 27 May

Somewhere to stay: Sleeperz Newcastle

Sleeperz Newcastle

Just round the corner from Newcastle Central Station, Sleeperz is an ideal base for the weekend, being close to Newcastle Quayside, and the bars, restaurants, shopping areas and attractions of the city centre - as well as the transport links. The stylish 98-bedroom hotel offers all the amenities you'd expect from a city-centre hotel, at great-value prices. If you use the code NGI10, you'll even get 10% off flexible rates*.

*Availability checked on 31 March 2016.

A sporting warm up: England v Australia

England v Australia at the Stadium of Light

England face Australia at Sunderland's Stadium of Light on Friday 27 May. It's the second of three friendlies as part of the team's preparations for Euro 2016 and it's just a 25-minute Metro ride from Newcastle Central Station. So you could spend the evening in Sunderland, cheering on Kane, Vardy, Alli and local lad Jordan Henderson to a confidence-boosting win, and be back in Newcastle for a night on the toon by 11pm... Tickets go on sale to non-members at noon on Thursday 7 April. 

Saturday 28 May

The main event: Investec Test Match England v Sri Lanka (Fri 27 - Tue 31 May)

Test Match cricket at Emirates Riverside

After a series win in South Africa over the winter, England's Test team seems to be on the up. Their second Test against Sri Lanka falls on the spring bank holiday weekend and (weather permitting) there promises to be plenty action at the Emirates Riverside. Fingers crossed for a view like this picture! The nearest rail station, Chester-le-Street is less than 10 minutes from Newcastle Central Station by train, although it is advised that you check the timetable in advance for direct trains. Test Match tickets available here.

Somewhere to eat: The Redhouse / Hop & Cleaver

The Redhouse

Back in Newcastle, just a 6-minute walk from Sleeperz (according to Google maps) is Newcastle Quayside and, in case you've been drinking in the sun all day, we can recommend some places for a hearty meal. The Redhouse and Hop & Cleaver are housed in 17th-century listed buildings with timber fronts - they're historic and photogenic but cutting to the chase, The Redhouse specialises in pies and Hop & Cleaver specialises in smoked and barbecued food.

We couldn't choose between pictures for this part so here's one from Hop & Cleaver:

Hop & Cleaver

Seeing the sights with a drink in hand: The Quayside

NewcastleGateshead Quayside (c) Graeme Peacock

There's not too much to say here really. This is the Quayside. Get yourself down there and enjoy the view. Pitcher & Piano on the Newcastle side is a good place to stop on the way to the next destination on the list... 

Live music: Evolution Emerging

Evolution Emerging

The Ouseburn Valley area of Newcastle is on the east of the city centre, just a 10-minute walk from the Quayside. The Tyne Bar in particular is popular in the spring and summer months for its beer gardens and vantage point for watching the sun set over the Tyne. The Tyne Bar and The Cluny, which is renowned for intimate gigs by up-and-coming artists, are just two of 10 independent music venues hosting 40+ emerging talents for the festival on 28 May.

Sunday 29 May

Breakfast: Twisted English at The Herb Garden

Breakfast pizzas at The Herb Garden

There are plenty places in NewcastleGateshead to get a delicious breakfast but if you've never had one before, we recommend you give breakfast pizza a chance. Not the one you have left over from the night before but one of Herb Garden's thoughtful creations. There's sweet and savoury to choose from. Call us traditionalists but we like the Twisted English (sausage, parsley, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, ricotta, egg and rocket).

A quiet Sunday afternoon activity: Animal Inside Out

Animal Inside Out at Life Science Centre

See some of the world’s most spectacular creatures like never before in Animal Inside Out at Life Science Centre in Newcastle. From goats to giraffes, elephants to eels and octopuses to ostriches - embark on an anatomical safari exploring more than 100 real animal specimens. Marvel at the muscles supporting the neck of the 5m tall giraffe, stand face to face with an adult gorilla and discover the dense network of blood vessels in a shark. The exhibition opens on Saturday 28 May and runs to Tuesday 3 January.

A night on the toon: DJ EZ at Digital

DJ EZ at Digital

Digital is one of the North's biggest nightclubs, with world-famous DJs regularly on the decks. After a run of sell-out shows across the UK, it's DJ EZ's turn on Sunday 29 May. Saluted by the electronic dance music industry for being one of the most creative mixers with a unique instinct and unbelievable technical prowess, DJ EZ has been at the top of the game for many years. Get your tickets in advance here.

By Shelley Johnson




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