48 Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018

It may be a brand new year but when it comes to the Newcastle social and events calendar some things are just guaranteed year after year. Seeing that an event is sold out or making plans that overlap is the worst, so to help you get organised I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite things to do in Newcastle in 2018. In addition to the fixed events for your diary, I’ve also thrown in some general ideas too.


Newcastle in the Sky

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Newcastle made the Rough Guides worldwide list of cities to visit in 2018, so it’s set to be a good year for showing off the city and all it has to offer.

It’s also the top destination for stag do’s, and second for hen do’s according to local based company Last Night of Freedom. Don’t assume this means our fabulous city is purely for party goers, of course it is, and Newcastle offers some of the best nightlife in the country, but there’s so much more available at your fingertips than this for people of all ages, with a huge variety of interests. With so many cultural events, beautiful architecture, a passion for the football team like no other, top class hotels and spas, and some of the best Northern shopping you’ll find, Newcastle has everything for however you choose to spend your stag and hen celebrations – whether you’re a party goer or not.


Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration for throughout the year!


Go ice skating on one of the regions outdoor ice rinks

Christmas is over but it’s still going to be pretty baltic over the next couple of months, so take advantage of some winter fun. The Centre for Life outdoor ice rink is there until 18th February, so head along for a whizz around followed by a hot chocolate. There’s also an ice rink at Beamish until 25th February if you want to go a bit further afield.



Take part in NE1 Restaurant Week

I’m so excited for this, as I am every year. Newcastle Restaurant Week runs twice a year, once in January and once in August and lots of city centre restaurants have two and three course options from £10. It’s a great way to enjoy the more expensive places for cheaper, or to try somewhere new. I’ve currently got two lined up, but have a look at the full guide here.


Dobson & ParnellPIN IT


Celebrate Chinese new year in Chinatown

Head to Stowell Street on 18th February to see the Chinese New Year celebrations, including the parade, colourful banners and performances, and of course a lot of food. It’s the year of the dog this year. If you miss the New Year celebrations, head there at any point this year to enjoy the Chinese cuisine on offer. Landmark is my favorite!


Date night in Newcastle

Head somewhere special for Valentine’s Day, or any other date night throughout the year. Try SIX at the Baltic for lovely views of the city from the top floor, a meal and stay at the Malmaison overlooking the bridges, or push the boat out at the award winning House of Tides.


Newcastle Quayside - MalmaisonPIN IT


Newcastle Vintage and Street Food Market

I’d not heard of this event before the past week, but it’s on at The Boiler Shop on 4th February.


Watch the Newcastle Falcons

The cities rugby team are playing on new territory in March this year when they host Northampton Saints at St James Park. The two universities, Newcastle and Northumbria are also playing beforehand on the same day, so it’s been given the title of ‘The Big One’ for local rugby fans.


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Great scenes at KP today

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World Book Day book show

For World Book Day on Saturday 3rd March, Newcastle Theatre Royal is hosting ‘The Biggest Book Show on Earth’. A literary celebration with authors and bookworms alike. For more info see here.


Celebrate Mother’s Day with afternoon tea

This year Mother’s Day is 11th March and Newcastle has some of the loveliest places to take your mum’s, mam’s and any other important women in your life. Some of my favourites are the Great British Cupcakery, The Vermont, Browns and further out on the coast The Grand in Tynemouth. This year we are heading to Jesmond Dene House for the first time.


Afternoon teaPIN IT


Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Join the regions Irish community in celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Watch the parade, head to an Irish pub, or why not go to the St Patrick’s Raceday experience at Newcastle Racecourse. I went last year with Ladbrokes and had a great time.


St Patrick's RacedayPIN IT


Try the best pies in Newcastle as part of British Pie Week

Every year I see so many local pubs tweeting photos of their pies for British Pie week. Some of my favourites can be found at the RedHouse on the quayside, the Botanist and of course – Greggs! This year it’s the week of 6th-12th March.


The BotanistPIN IT


Newcastle Film Festival

I can’t find too much info on this yet, but at the end of March and start of April Newcastle film festival is running 4 days of film celebrations from around the world.



Enjoy the seasonal colours around the city

I always think Newcastle looks pretty, even in the rain, but it always looks even better in Spring and Autumn. Find the pockets of seasonal color and enjoy a walk in the fresh air.


48 Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018


Be a tourist and go on a Newcastle Guided Walk

The Newcastle Gateshead tourist board offer daily and unique walks around the city, including specific areas, heritage and sightseeing. Have a look on their website if you’re interested.


Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018


Play the Geordie Jackpot

I used to play this at the match, but it’s now something anyone in the region can take part in. Tickets are £1, the draw is weekly and the top prize is £25,000. Money from each ticket purchased goes towards local initiatives like Cash for Kids. Visit the Geordie Jackpot website for details.



Join nearly everyone in Newcastle at the bars and pubs for Bank Holiday

Without fail, the bars and pubs of Newcastle will be spilling out onto the streets every Bank Holiday. From Easter, to the two in May and the August summer bank holiday places like Osborne Road, the quayside, and central Newcastle are heaving. This was Pitcher and Piano on August Bank Holiday last year.


August round upPIN IT


Visit the Newcastle Quayside market

Every Sunday the market comes to Newcastle quayside, and is hugely popular. With food stalls, crafts, beautiful photography, or just a nice walk out with the dog the Quayside market is one of my favorite places to spend a Sunday morning. Followed by lunch at the Broad Chare!


Newcastle Quayside


In the summer go to the Seaside on the Quayside

Get Into Newcastle set up the little beach huts, the fish shack and deck chairs on a makeshift sandy beach on the quayside.


Quayside seasidePIN IT


Get cultured at one of the cities museums or art galleries

Pay a visit to the Laing Art Gallery, the Baltic, the Biscuit Factory, the Hancock Museum, the Life Centre or the Discovery Museum to name just a few. Their individual sites will give you full details of whats on and when. The Baltic is my favourite and it’s free.


Millennium Bridge


Have a laugh at a comedy event

Comedians like John Bishop, Michael McIntyre, Sarah Millican and Jason Manford are all doing gigs in Newcastle this year, but if you’ve missed out on tickets try one of the comedy clubs as a different night out.


Find one of the many outdoor and rooftop terraces

There’s plenty about, and they’re so popular in summer there’s often a queue or waiting list. A few off the top of my head include The Botanist, Bar Luga, Pleased to Meet You, Tokyo, The Vermont, Livello, Aveika and YOLO Townhouse. For a full review of all types of bars and pubs with outdoor spots, take a look here. 


Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018


See your favourite artists perform

This year the arena, city hall and St James Park are hosting Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Little Mix, Katy Perry and LOADS more. A lot are sold out but you never know if you keep an eye on the Facebook events people change plans and often resell at face value.



Celebrate Father’s Day with a cracking Sunday dinner

With so many mouth watering places for Sunday dinner in Newcastle you have plenty choice. My go to’s are Broad Chare, The Bridge Tavern or the Town Wall.


The Broad CharePIN IT


Run the Blaydon Race

I can’t really preach about this because I have no plans to ever do it, but if I was ever going to do a run it would probably be this one. The locally famous Blaydon Race on the 9th June, otherwise known as Geordie Day.


Run or support the Great North Run

Again, no plans to ever do it, but I do love the Great North Run weekend in September. The ballot just opened for this years entries, but even if you aren’t running it’s an event the whole region gets involved in to support. It’s a great atmosphere and you can see the Red Arrows flying over the Tyne Bridge. For runners needing some other inspiration and local runs, have a look at Katie Jane Online’s list of the ones she did last year.



Go to the races

I love both of the biggest race days at Newcastle Racecourse, Northumberland Plate Day which is 30th June this year, and Ladies Day which is 28th July this year. Both are great excuses to get all dolled up and try your luck on the gee gee’s. For the full years racing program and tickets visit the Newcastle Racecourse website.


Newcastle racecoursePIN IT


The Hoppings

For a whole week in June you have to visit the famous Hoppings funfair. Even if you don’t want to go on any rides, go for the sights and the food. And because it’s tradition. Have a look at my past blog post here.


The Hoppings, NewcastlePIN IT


Do the Ouseburn pub crawl

A good one for the summer my family used to do this every year for a different charity. With plenty of pubs serving real ale, pubs include the Cluny, Tyne Bar, the Ship, The Cumberland and the Free Trade. You’ll get some good views of the city too…


Things to do in NewcastlePIN IT


Go to the Great Exhibition of the North

From 22nd June until the Great North Run weekend in September the Great Exhibition of the North is coming to Newcastle. You might have seen the artists impression of what the fountain over the river Tyne will look like, (I can’t share it for copyright reasons but you can see it here). The exhibition is a collaboration of technology, events, performances and culture throughout the city. I’m really looking forward to seeing what sorts of things will be included.


Tyne Bridge, NewcastlePIN IT


Newcastle Motor Show

The open air motorshow in Newcastle city center is returning in 2018 the weekend of 7th July. Last year it was a boiling hot day and there were so many people out enjoying the different cars on display. Have a look at my photos from the 2017 motor show here.


Newcastle Motor Show


Watch a film at Screen on the Green

The outdoor cinema screen returns to old Eldon Square every summer showing a big variety of family friendly films free of charge. On a nice day pull up a deck chair and enjoy.



See the Millennium Bridge blink!

For passing ships, including the party boat the bridge is cleared of pedestrians for it to tip upwards, or blink.

Millennium Bridge blinking


Dine over the Tyne

After being fortunate enough to do a Dine in the Sky press event last summer I am without a doubt keeping an eye open for it returning this year. I haven’t seen any info just yet, but it was in August and was such an amazing experience. You’re strapped in to a rollercoaster style seat at a big table, whinched up over the city and served a meal of your choice from all the participating restaurants. I would totally recommend it and you can read more on it here.


Newcastle in the Sky 2017 with Artisan


Newcastle Pride

There’s not much info on this just yet but the date has been set as Monday 24th July. It’s also the 40th anniversary of the rainbow flag this year so celebrations are bound to be colourful!



Sing along with the Ladyboys of Bangkok

The touring cabaret show will glitter it’s way back into Newcastle in September 2018. Always a laugh.


Battle of the Burger

Held at Wylam Brewery the Battle of the Burger sees local restaurants submitting their entries for the best burger in toon. Burgers are £3 each, and the event itself is free. Lola Jeans is the current title holder, but from what I’ve been hearing Bar 28 makes a decent burger and if they enter this year there might be a new winner.



Get tipsy at a Gin Festival

Alcohol festivals have gained popularity over the past few years, especially gin festivals. The first one in Newcastle is a Gin and Prosecco festival which will be held the weekend of 6th April at the Civic Centre. I think there’s usually one in September too but details haven’t been announced yet. I’m also a big fan of Tynedale Beer festival at Tynedale Rugby Club which is held in June.


Try Newcastle’s own gin

Or if you want to just try Newcastle’s own gin then pay Bealim House a visit.


Bealim House gin cocktailPIN IT



A lot of pubs get involved in the Oktoberfest spirit, the Broad Chare for one pushes German beers, and puts on a full Oktoberfest menu. Then there’s also Newcastle Oktoberfest festival itself in Times Square, which sells out every year. Beer steins, live music, dancing and German sausage galore!



Get into the Halloween spirit with a Newcastle Ghost Walk

I’ve done one of these once, around the Castle Keep and despite not believing a single thing about it, it was actually hilarious and very spooky in the dark! Round off a funny evening with a drink in the pub to warm up afterwards because it’s freezing.


Ghost walk


Escape from an Escape Room

This was something I did for the first time with my team at work, and it was really good! There are others in Newcastle but we went to EXIT Newcastle on Westgate Road. One team had to find the antidote to a contagious disease (hello Mission Impossible II), and my team had to escape from a horror murder mystery scene. It was a lot of fun and very competitive. A great thing to do in a group.


Indulge on the local seafood

Being a coastal city there are some unbelievable seafood options available, from fresh fish and chips to the finest catch of the day, prawns and oysters. My favourite place is the Saltwater Company at Fenwick’s food hall. Unreal.


Saltwater Fish Company


Enjoy a night out at the Theatre Royal

The last time I went to the theatre was to see Mary Poppins which was fabulous. Shows confirmed for this year include Peter Pan, the ballet, Cinderella, Sherlock Holmes and The Jungle Book.


Theatre RoyalPIN IT


Go to a Newcastle United football match

I go to as many as possible, and always have, but even if you aren’t a massive football fan or all that interested, if you’re in Newcastle you really should experience a match day. Get a Mag-pie at half time, if what you’re witnessing on the pitch is a load of crap then it will cheer you up. There’s no place like it. Can’t guarantee they’ll win though…


Go to a Bonfire night firework display

Get wrapped up in November and go watch a public firework display. The Chronicle publish a full list at the time of all the places that put one on, but the usual ones include Saltwell Park, Blue Flames, The Links seafront and Newcastle Gateshead. They’re free and best to leave fireworks to the professionals isn’t it.


Huddle by the fire at Hadrian’s Tipi

Can you believe I’ve still not been to the tipi even though it’s been there now for two years running?  I was so busy in the run up to Christmas 2017 and I think it’s definitely something to do in the festive season, not in January, so I’m waiting until it returns later this year. Some of the food and hot chocolates looked pretty good.



Support the traders at the Grainger Market

I can never go here as often as I would but the market has some great food places. The Pet Lamb Patisserie is one, and the Spanish food shop is another, as well as the French Oven. At Christmas they host a night market with Christmas carols, and historical tours. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn from it as well, have a look at my post on the event here.


Grainger Market, NewcastlePIN IT


See Fenwick’s Window

The Newcastle Fenwick store is the flagship, and at the end of November the Christmas window is unveiled. This year was Paddington Bear, last year was Beatrix Potter. Who knows what this year will be – but they start planning in January so who someone does! Like many others, this is one of my favourite things to do in Newcastle at Christmas.


Love from Paddington


Get in the festive spirit with the Christmas market

Every winter from the lights being switched on by Steve and Karen, the Christmas market comes to Newcastle. It may have just been and gone but don’t miss it when it returns for 2018.


The Botanist Christmas


48 Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018


Hopefully you’ve got some inspiration, and can see how varied a weekend in Newcastle really can be. If you’re planning a city break here, or if you’re visiting for an occasion or stag/hen celebration take a look at Last Night of Freedom to help you plan and get the utmost out of your weekend.


Take a look at some of my other Newcastle posts:

Newcastle Instagram Accounts to Follow

Newcastle City Guide: The Quayside

Mother’s Day Ideas in Newcastle


This post has been sponsored by Last Night of Freedom.


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48 Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018

48 Things to Do in Newcastle in 2018









  • Carina Nausner
    7th January 2018

    Great Post!!! I’ll definitely be doing some of these this year 🙂 xo

  • Sabs
    8th January 2018

    Pie week seems interesting! Thanks for sharing such a lot of activities to consider!

  • Chloe - New Girl in Toon
    28th January 2018

    I’ve been saving this post for weeks because I wanted some time to read it properly (and take notes!) I always love to find inspiration for more things to do on weekends, it’s funny how sometimes you forget about things that are right under your nose!

    I really want to go and see the Falcons this year, we’re so close to the ground but I forget all about it (until we’re struggling to get to Tesco!), I also really want to visit the Grand at Tynemouth (did have afternoon tea booked there once but then the Metro was off so we couldn’t get there!), I’m DEFINITELY on board with pie week and we keep meaning to go to the Stand to see some comedy so that’s another one to add to the list,!

    Thank you for so much inspiration!

    • sfox
      Chloe – New Girl in Toon
      28th January 2018

      So pleased you found it helpful! I’m up to see the Falcon’s if you don’t get there with Simon I’ll happily stand in, and the Grand is beautiful.

  • The Best Bars & Pubs in Newcastle With Outdoor Terraces - Stephanie Fox
    6th July 2020

    […] 48 Things to do in Newcastle in 2018 […]

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