Misc.

9 Reasons to Love Christmas in Newcastle

Everyone’s favourite time of the year – well most people’s anyway. A time to get together with friends and family, share gifts and relax. Sure, it can be expensive but for many people it is the highlight of the year and well worth every penny.

Here are 9 reasons to love Christmas in Newcastle…

 

Fenwick Christmas Window

A huge attraction each and every year...

A huge attraction each and every year…

During early November each year, residents of Newcastle look forward to the new Fenwick Christmas window being revealed. A tradition that has been welcomed every year by people on Tyneside (and beyond) since 1971, the display represents the largest of its kind in the UK outside of London, with an estimated investment of around £200,000.

Prior to 1971, the window received only a minor festive makeover, as seen in the picture above. Since then, Fenwick have used the same Bavarian company to design the displays, with each one being a closely guarded secret until the day it is officially unveiled.

Fenwick Christmas window - 1965. Image courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Fenwick Christmas window – 1965. Image courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

It’s always nice to take a break from some Christmas present shopping and gaze at the beautiful display before heading on to the next shop.

 

Continental Christmas Market

Not just food - plenty of gift ideas too...

Not just food – plenty of gift ideas too…

Another great excuse to take a break from the Christmas shopping crowds – The Continental Christmas Market.

This market is every foodie’s dream, wish so many delicious variates of food from all over Europe. Currywurst from Germany, paella from Spain, waffles from Holland and crepes from France, to name just a few of the handmade items that feature each year.

The German sausage stall is always a popular choice...

The German sausage stall is always a popular choice…

It’s also a great place to find a unique gift for someone, which is great if you are looking for something special that wont be found in the big department stores and high street retailers.

 

Perfect City for a Christmas Work Night Out

Photo courtesy of The Chronicle

Photo courtesy of The Chronicle

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live in a compact city with so many great restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs to enjoy. But around Christmas time it really makes a difference. If the weather is cold, you know it wont take long to walk to your next destination and there are plenty of excellent places to enjoy a Christmas night out with your work colleagues.

Whether you are just going on a random bar crawl to celebrate another year of work or your employer has hired out a venue just for you and your work-mates, it’s always an enjoyable time of year.

The hangover the following morning will be less enjoyable though!

Also on Newcastle Uncovered12 Toys You Wanted for Christmas if you Grew Up in the 1990s

 

Newcastle Christmas Lights

The Hairy Bikers switching the lights on in 2008. Photo courtesy of The Chronicle

The Hairy Bikers switching the lights on in 2008.
Photo courtesy of The Chronicle

Joining the crowds to see the Newcastle Christmas lights being turned on for the first time by a famous face is always enjoyable and really helps you to get into the festive spirit.

You know when this happens that Christmas is just around the corner and the lights give Newcastle a great feeling on the run up to the big day.

 

Newcastle Gin

Newcastle's very own gin can be found at Bealim House

Newcastle’s very own gin can be found at Bealim House

Many people like to have a drink around Christmas time and recently the popularity of gin has risen significantly throughout the UK.

This year, the city has its very own gin – by the Newcastle Gin Company. Unlike Newcastle Brown ale, which is no longer made in the Toon, Newcastle gin is distilled and bottled at Bealim House, a new bar which opened at the end of August on Gallowgate.

It is the only gin distillery in the city and the end product is a drink Newcastle can definitely be proud of. Bealim House also has a great food menu, so we are looking forward to trying their Christmas lunch.

 

Bealim House

Bealim House

 

Ice Skating at the Centre For Life

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You can’t rely on the UK providing families with a white Christmas, but even if we don’t have any snow, you can still get into the festive spirit thanks to the ice skating rink at the Centre For Life.

 

 

Going for a Christmas Eve skate would be a great way to get ready for the big day. Due to high demand on the day before Christmas, you will have to book to ensure you can skate there visit the Centre For Life website for details.

 

Winter Festival

NNP-ENCHANTED_SALTWELL_PARK_15

The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival organised by the NewcastleGateshead Initiative as part of its festivals and events programme.

Usually over 80 events make up the festival programme across several different areas with Newcastle and Gateshead, from artistic events and happenings, to festive performances and an eating and shopping offers.

If last year is anything to go by, expect parades, firework shows and much more – with celebrations continuing right up to New Year’s Eve.

Visit the NewcastleGateshead website for more information.

 

The Busiest Night of the Year

Get your Christmas jumper ready! Photo courtesy of the Chronicle

Get your Christmas jumper ready!
Photo courtesy of the Chronicle

The last Friday before Christmas is usually the busiest night of the year in town for bar operators. Unfortunately dubbed as ‘Black Eye Friday’, this popular night to party has passed peacefully over the last few years with very little incident, despite the huge numbers of people descending on Newcastle’s pubs, bars and clubs.

Usually this is the last day of work for people before Christmas so it’s the perfect excuse to celebrate and probably the only time you can be excused for wearing a Christmas jumper on a night out!

 

Newcastle Christmas Market

Christmas Market

Another great market to look forward to on the run up to Christmas. The Newcastle Christmas Market occurs after the Continental Market. This year it will take place between Wednesday 2nd December and Sunday 6th December at the same place as usual, next to Grey’s Monument.

Unlike the Continental Market which contains stalls from all over Europe, Newcastle’s Christmas Market welcomes vendors from closer to home.

Expect to see delicious home-made jams, beers from local microbreweries, together with awesome cakes and handmade chocolates.

Once again, there is more than just food to enjoy at this market. Each year there plenty of unique gifts on offer – which will be perfect if you are looking for a special Christmas present.

 

We all hope you have a great Christmas! Let us know your favourite things about Christmas in Newcastle in the comment section below.

Why not check out our post about 12 Toys You Wanted for Christmas if you Grew Up in the 1990s?

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