The month of May brings with it not one but two bank holiday weekends and where better to make the most of these much-needed three-day weekends than with a city break in NewcastleGateshead?

A long-weekend means more time for activities with enough chill-time left over for the beer garden or enjoying the sand between your toes at Newcastle Quayside Seaside (reopens late-May bank holiday). Have you ever actually sat at the feet of the Angel of the North? Or perhaps you keep meaning to walk across the High Level Bridge and add your own love-lock to the hordes of padlocks. Why not be a stay-at-home tourist during May’s double-whammy of bank holiday weekends?

If you’ve not yet visited the Toon, May bank holiday is the perfect occasion to enjoy a city break in Newcastle and Gateshead with plenty of time to travel a little further and explore more of the North East of England while you’re here. 

You’re spoilt for choice for things to do in NewcastleGateshead at the best of times so we’ve asked the team here at NewcastleGateshead HQ to give you some inspiration for enjoying a long weekend in the North East.

Brunch at The Factory Kitchen at Ouseburn's The Biscuit Factory

Art Appreciation and Brunch

Newcastle is a great city for art and culture. A number of Team NewcastleGateshead recommended a trip to The Biscuit Factory to admire all the art and fantasise about fitting it into our homes. Ali in the Marketing team recommended a tasty late breakfast at trendy Ouseburn hotspot Ernest first while Carly suggests you “treat yourself to brunch at The Biscuit Factory’s The Factory Kitchen to make the most of their urban rooftop with panoramic views over the Ouseburn Valley.”

If like our Marketing Manager Michele, you’re looking to do some art appreciation in the city centre, head to Laing Art Gallery to explore their mix of permanent and touring exhibitions before having a cool drink at By the River Brew Co. on Gateshead Quayside.

Newcastle and Gateshead are not in short supply for brunch hotspots! Don’t rush through your bank holiday weekend in Newcastle – start it right with brunch at Violet’s on the Quayside... you’re going to need to be well fuelled for your busy city break in the North East!

Cycling along Newcastle Quayside

Get Active

If the sun’s shining during at least one of the bank holiday weekends in Newcastle and Gateshead, you could hire a bike and pedal part of the C2C cycle route all the way from The Cycle Hub on Newcastle’s Quayside to Tynemouth and the glorious coast for fish and chips.

World Transplant Games Marketing Manager Michele suggests you get on your bike and cycle south along the coast from South Shields to Whitburn with a stop off for a Minchella’s Ice Cream or fish and chips at Colman’s.

Senior Account Manager, Jodie recommends you don’t just pedal alongside the sea but you get out there into the water by booking a tour with the local outdoor adventurers and hopping into a kayak for a fun and physical guided paddle along the Tynemouth coast to legendary Riley’s Fish Shack for a slap-up brekkie. You’ll have earned your breakfast.  

Cullercoats Bike and Kayaking along Tynemouth coast, Newcastle

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside...

Visitors to the North East are certainly spoilt by striking coastline and seaside entertainment just a metro ride away from Newcastle and Gateshead.

Our Digital Marketing Manager Lisa has quite the day out at the coast planned for you! “I’d recommend a day of indulgence at Whitley Bay, starting at the iconic Spanish City enjoying an Espresso Martini at the Champagne Bar taking in the live music and grandeur of the gloriously golden ceiling, followed by some authentic Italian pizza and gelato at Di Meo’s (there’s a good pic of Ant McPartlin there recently). If the weather is on my side, then a walk down to St Mary’s Lighthouse to see the seals is a must!”

Don’t tell everyone but, our Head of Marketing and Communications, Lucy suggests heading further north to experience the stunning Northumberland coast line during your bank holiday weekend. “A trip to Cambois beach always refreshes me. It’s a little off the beaten track but when you get onto the beach on a sunny day you really could be anywhere.”

“Northumberland is good for the soul”

A long, bank holiday weekend especially in sunny May means you have chance to explore outside the city. Ciara from our Invest team loves to explore the beauty of Northumberland’s countryside and award-winning National Park: “Our little family always try to get out in the car and explore rural Northumberland – we love to explore and have endless opportunities including Ingram Valley, Linhope Spout, Barrow Burn, The Sill and Kielder. Northumberland is good for the soul!”

Graeme Peacock photography. Gibside National Trust, Gateshead

Get into Gateshead’s Great Outdoors

Rural Gateshead is a stone’s throw from Newcastle city centre and a great place to get some fresh air whilst on a city break. Jenny in the Marketing team likes exploring our local countryside parks, with the ever-essential café stop! You can do a lovely circular trek along the Derwent Walk, heading out via Hollinside Manor and down to the Nine Arches Viaduct then making a detour to the café at Gibside at Rowlands Gill. Gibside National Trust also host regular events for all the family while you’re passing!

Family Fun

The North East of England is not short of attractions and things to do with the family from Newcastle Castle and Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books to Life Science Centre, WWT Washington Wetland Centre and Great North Museum: Hancock. Carly works in our Convention Bureau and recommends you “dust off your moon boots and head to Mr Mulligan’s Space Golf for some seriously extra-terrestrial family fun at bank holiday!”

Meet the Locals

You’re never too old for a little animal magic. The brilliantly named goats, Kevin and Gary, at Pet’s Corner in Jesmond Dene and the Meerkats at Kirkley Hall Zoo always make me smile.” Lucy in our Marketing team would love you to meet the locals while you’re here!

But that’s not all, there are plenty of events and activities in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East during May bank holiday weekends. Find out in our full What’s On listings.

Do tweet us @altweet_pet to share your best bank holiday ideas with us.

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