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From Boardrooms to Bridges: Making the Most of Your Conference Visit to NewcastleGateshead

The North East is most known as a hotspot for nightlife and partygoers, but the region goes far beyond this reputation. From its rich history and stunning architecture to its vibrant cultural scene, Newcastle and Gateshead offer so much for visiting conference delegates.

Why not extend your stay and add two extra days of exploration before or after your conference? After all, who says a conference visit needs to be all work and no play! If you’re seeking inspiration for a memorable 48 hours of things to do in the region, look no further — we’ve curated a rough itinerary to help you uncover why it’s such a great place to visit.


Day 1: Rest and Recuperate


After a long week of planning, preparing, or participating in your conference, it’s time to indulge in some well-deserved rest. Start your morning with a lie-in or treat yourself to a delicious breakfast at one of Newcastle’s popular spots:

Naked Deli: For the health-conscious, enjoy a nutritious breakfast and protein shake at Naked Deli, known for healthy and wholesome food options.
The Dispensary Coffee House: Savour a cup of expertly brewed coffee and a scrumptious breakfast at this coffee house offering items from pancakes to chicken and waffles (and it’s halal!)
Tyneside Cinema Cafés: If you prefer a cinematic atmosphere, head to the café at Tyneside Cinema or Vicolo by Tyneside Cinema and enjoy breakfast in a unique setting — be sure to try one of their cannoli.
Pink Lane Coffee: Grab a specialty coffee and delectable breakfast at Pink Lane Coffee, a favourite among local coffee and brunch enthusiasts, as well as city centre professionals.
Super Natural Café: For those looking for vegan or vegetarian options, Super Natural Café offers a range of plant-based options that don’t compromise on flavour.

Once you’re feeling refreshed and invigorated, join a City Guides Highlights Walking Tour, starting at the city centre’s Central Arcade shopping centre. For just £5pp, this volunteer-led guided tour gives fascinating insights into the history of Newcastle, presenting an excellent introduction to the city by people who are passionate about it. The tour concludes by the Castle and Quayside. Feel free to continue your journey on from there or head back into town.

For those who would prefer to see the city at their own pace, Toon Tour buses offer a fantastic non-walking alternative to see the sights. Running daily from May 27th to September 3rd (and on weekends between Sept 9th – Oct 1st), these convenient hop-on-hop-off buses stop at major must-visit locations around the Toon, as well as offering discounts on restaurants and things to do in the city.


The very ornate Central Arcade shopping centre in Newcastle city centre, featuring the JG Windows music store.

Photo by Sara Farid of Central Arcade, starting place of the City Guides Highlights Walking Tour



After your tour (or during), take advantage of the glowing cultural scene and diverse attractions in Newcastle city centre:

Tyneside Cinema: Catch a matinee viewing at Tyneside Cinema, a historic independent cinema founded by Dixon Scott, the great uncle of film director Sir Ridley Scott, in 1937. Check their website for showtimes and browse their selection of films, both indie and mainstream.
Museums and Art Galleries: If you’re in a curious mood, check out the Great North Museum, Discovery Museum, Laing Art Gallery, or the Life Science Centre. Each offers engaging exhibits and experiences to immerse yourself in.
Shopping Excursion: Enjoy some retail therapy in popular shopping destinations like Eldon Square, Central Arcade, or Grainger Market. Explore a wide range of stores, from high street brands to independent stores.

For a quick bite, head to Grainger Market or Eldon Square food court, where you’ll find a variety of cuisines. Experience flavours from around the world, with options like Bao Down, Cubanos, Snackwallah, or Slice in Grainger Market, and chains like ASK Italian, The Bake, or Tortilla in Eldon Food Court.



To finish off the first day, enjoy an upscale evening on Grey Street, known for its elegant architecture. Here, you’ll find an array of impressive culinary experiences and bars, as well as the Theatre Royal — consider catching a show if one intrigues you. Afterwards, explore the selection of bars and restaurants leading down to the Quayside.

Las Iguanas: Delight in Latin American flavours, enjoying vibrant dishes and refreshing cocktails, with 2-4-1 cocktails running on most days.
The Muddler: This stylish bar offers an extensive menu of expertly crafted cocktails, food and drinks, perfect for unwinding with friends and colleagues.
Sushi Me Rollin’: For fans of sushi, satisfy your cravings at Sushi Me Rollin’, a popular spot for creative sushi rolls.
Dabbawal: For a taste of authentic Indian street food and bold flavours, visit Dabbawal on High Bridge. Appreciate a sensational dining experience surrounded by beautiful décor (most items are also halal)
Gaucho: Spoil yourself with a sumptuous steak dinner at Gaucho, known for its delicious Argentinean cuisine and exceptional cuts of meat.

This first day delivers a mix of relaxation and cultural exploration, letting you unwind and get to grips navigating Newcastle and Gateshead pre- or post-conference.


Day 2: Relax and Reflect


Start your morning by taking a quintessential stroll along the Quayside. Marvel at the iconic Tyne Bridge and Gateshead Millennium Bridge (and be sure to snap some photographs while you’re there!). If you’re visiting on a Sunday, seize the opportunity to explore the Quayside Market, a haven for foodies and trinket-lovers, which offers an array of delicious treats and quirky finds.

If you need your daily dose of cat-feine, check out Catpawcino, a charming cat café where you can enjoy a coffee in the company of feline friends and a stunning view of the Quayside. Alternatively, if you’re a dog-lover, visit Dog and Scone, a dog café where you can enjoy comforting cakes and cuddles from adorable pups.

After breakfast, make sure to visit the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, located just across the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead. With free entry, this once flour mill turned contemporary art space always has something fresh to offer visitors. Make your way to the top floor for excellent panoramic views of the city and the River Tyne.

The Biscuit Factory, the UK’s largest independent contemporary art & design gallery, is also nearby in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter. Additionally, consider visiting the Side Gallery, an art and photography museum that often goes unnoticed but platforms powerful exhibitions.


The Millennium Bridge and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, with the Sage Gateshead and Tyne Bridge in the background along the River Tyne on a cloudy day

Photo by Sara Farid of the bridges, BALTIC and The Glasshouse International Centre for Music at the Quayside



Take advantage of the Metro and head to the North Tyneside coast to spend your afternoon listening to the soothing sounds of the waves as you bask in the northern sun. Explore the scenic coastal towns, enjoy a seaside stroll, and be sure to indulge in some fish and chips!

You could also really push the boat (or board) out and book a surfing lesson at the Tynemouth Surf School, or try kayaking with CBK adventures. You can still head to the coast even in less pleasant weather and explore the cosy pubs, cafés and eateries scattered around the seaside, as well as Tynemouth Market in Tynemouth metro station on weekends.

If you fancy a trip further afield, head to must-visit attractions like Beamish Museum or Alnwick Castle and Gardens, located in Durham and Northumberland respectively, which are easily accessible by bus and car. Alternatively, take a scenic drive to nearby historic stately homes Cragside and Wallington, both managed by the National Trust. The North East has fantastic places to immerse yourself in history and nature.

Cragside House in Northumberland poking through a green scenery of trees and nature, with a bridge running across the middle and a blue but cloudy sky

Photo by Sara Farid taken at Cragside, Northumberland of Cragside House


Venture to the colourful Ouseburn area and experience its bustling evening scene. Enjoy live music at venues like The Cluny or The Ship Inn, both with brilliant outdoor spaces. The Tyne Bar has great food and a relaxed atmosphere by the river, while the Free Trade Inn provides a stunning view of the sunset over the Tyne.

As your time in Newcastle draws to a close, reflect on the experiences and activities you’ve enjoyed during your stay as well as all you’ve learnt during your conference. If your conference is yet to happen, contemplate everything you’ve been up to while getting to know the region as well as what’s to come for the rest of your stay.

The North East offers an abundance of things to see and do. This itinerary serves as inspiration for your visit – be sure to swap things around and out depending on what you want to do! Please also be sure to check opening and closing times, as well as company websites for more information on their events and services.

Happy exploring, we can’t wait to see you again in the future whether it be for business or for pleasure!

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