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A visit to Roman baths, Bath

 Last week we had a 24-hour stopover in Bath on the way down to Cornwall for a week. Whilst a one-night stay is by no means long enough to take in this historic and beautiful city, we knew we definitely wanted to book in to see The Roman Baths whilst we were there. I hadn't been for a long time and didn't really know what to expect from a Roman bathing complex. I thought it would be mainly outdoors as shown in the picture above but actually, there was a lot to see there so I thought I'd talk through our experience as well as the safety measures in place for a 2020 Roman Baths visit.

Booking and arrival process for the Roman Baths

I am not sure what the process was pre-2020, but since safety measures are more paramount now you have to book a ticket in advance to visit the Roman Baths. Tickets for an adult are £21 on a weekday or £23 on a weekend and you can look on The Roman Baths website to see more detailed prices and book your ticket.

You are given a specific time slot to arrive. It is important you arrive on time or a bit early if you want to use the facilities. They have a nicely organised queuing system outside with a security guard wearing a visor, as all the staff were. Everything is spaced out so that not too many people arrive together and we didn't queue for long, plus the toilets are huge and very socially distanced so it's ideal to break up a day of walking around the city.

We weren't made aware of a time limit for our visit, but we ended up staying around an hour and a half. Most of the way through the complex you are queuing to move to the next spot, so your pace is somewhat dictated by the groups in front. It didn't feel rushed at all though and you can spend as long as you want to staring in awe at the stunning Great Bath, pictured below.

A visit to Roman baths, Bath- the Great Bath

Walking around the Baths

I really didn't know what there would be to see inside The Roman Baths but I was pleasantly surprised as how much more there was to the attraction than I expected. There were staff spread throughout telling you when to move along and where to wait which felt very safe and organised. 

We loved seeing everything: from the front of the original temple which was a statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva to the hot springs which bubble and fizz right next to you. Usually you can taste the spa water, but this is not available at the time of writing. I didn't feel like that impacted our visit but it's something to be aware of when booking.

The great baths, roman baths, bath

I don't often rave about attractions like this as I can get bored easily if I don't know what I am looking at but the fact everyone gets an audio guide included in the ticket price made it really interesting. The audio guide itself was sanitised after every use which was reassuring, and you don't need headphones as it is like an old-school mobile phone (Nokia 3310 anyone?) We didn't listen to every part of the audio guide, but it was nice to have access to this with specific parts for each section of the Baths so you could pick what you fancied hearing more about.

Masks must be worn in all the indoor areas, unless you have a medical exemption, but we just kept them on throughout The Roman Baths. Most people did the same but some took their masks off for photos which seemed to be fine and within the rules.

A visit to Roman baths, Bath- safety measures

Views of Bath

As well as the absolutely stunning Great Bath which I just loved, you get some gorgeous views of Bath architecture from the centre of the complex as well so don't forget your camera! It was actually easier than normal to get some good photos without other people in them as some parts of the Great Bath were roped off. It made the experience better if anything as it was quieter than I'd imagine it would normally be. My photos don't do the place justice, especially as it was quite a grey day, but it was great to imagine groups of people here enjoying there leisure time so many centuries ago.

Safety measures on visit to Roman baths, Bath

It definitely didn't feel like we missed out on anything we'd have normally seen or done here if the additional safety measures were not in place and I would highly recommend The Roman Baths to anyone visiting the romantic city of Bath for a weekend. Have you been to this stunning attraction, or is it somewhere you'd like to visit? Let me know in the comments!

A visit to Roman baths, Bath


Visiting The Roman Baths, Bath

A visit to Roman baths, Bath

 Last week we had a 24-hour stopover in Bath on the way down to Cornwall for a week. Whilst a one-night stay is by no means long enough to take in this historic and beautiful city, we knew we definitely wanted to book in to see The Roman Baths whilst we were there. I hadn't been for a long time and didn't really know what to expect from a Roman bathing complex. I thought it would be mainly outdoors as shown in the picture above but actually, there was a lot to see there so I thought I'd talk through our experience as well as the safety measures in place for a 2020 Roman Baths visit.

Booking and arrival process for the Roman Baths

I am not sure what the process was pre-2020, but since safety measures are more paramount now you have to book a ticket in advance to visit the Roman Baths. Tickets for an adult are £21 on a weekday or £23 on a weekend and you can look on The Roman Baths website to see more detailed prices and book your ticket.

You are given a specific time slot to arrive. It is important you arrive on time or a bit early if you want to use the facilities. They have a nicely organised queuing system outside with a security guard wearing a visor, as all the staff were. Everything is spaced out so that not too many people arrive together and we didn't queue for long, plus the toilets are huge and very socially distanced so it's ideal to break up a day of walking around the city.

We weren't made aware of a time limit for our visit, but we ended up staying around an hour and a half. Most of the way through the complex you are queuing to move to the next spot, so your pace is somewhat dictated by the groups in front. It didn't feel rushed at all though and you can spend as long as you want to staring in awe at the stunning Great Bath, pictured below.

A visit to Roman baths, Bath- the Great Bath

Walking around the Baths

I really didn't know what there would be to see inside The Roman Baths but I was pleasantly surprised as how much more there was to the attraction than I expected. There were staff spread throughout telling you when to move along and where to wait which felt very safe and organised. 

We loved seeing everything: from the front of the original temple which was a statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva to the hot springs which bubble and fizz right next to you. Usually you can taste the spa water, but this is not available at the time of writing. I didn't feel like that impacted our visit but it's something to be aware of when booking.

The great baths, roman baths, bath

I don't often rave about attractions like this as I can get bored easily if I don't know what I am looking at but the fact everyone gets an audio guide included in the ticket price made it really interesting. The audio guide itself was sanitised after every use which was reassuring, and you don't need headphones as it is like an old-school mobile phone (Nokia 3310 anyone?) We didn't listen to every part of the audio guide, but it was nice to have access to this with specific parts for each section of the Baths so you could pick what you fancied hearing more about.

Masks must be worn in all the indoor areas, unless you have a medical exemption, but we just kept them on throughout The Roman Baths. Most people did the same but some took their masks off for photos which seemed to be fine and within the rules.

A visit to Roman baths, Bath- safety measures

Views of Bath

As well as the absolutely stunning Great Bath which I just loved, you get some gorgeous views of Bath architecture from the centre of the complex as well so don't forget your camera! It was actually easier than normal to get some good photos without other people in them as some parts of the Great Bath were roped off. It made the experience better if anything as it was quieter than I'd imagine it would normally be. My photos don't do the place justice, especially as it was quite a grey day, but it was great to imagine groups of people here enjoying there leisure time so many centuries ago.

Safety measures on visit to Roman baths, Bath

It definitely didn't feel like we missed out on anything we'd have normally seen or done here if the additional safety measures were not in place and I would highly recommend The Roman Baths to anyone visiting the romantic city of Bath for a weekend. Have you been to this stunning attraction, or is it somewhere you'd like to visit? Let me know in the comments!

A visit to Roman baths, Bath


Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth; deckchairs

The last restaurant I visited in early March 2020 was Riley's Fish Shack in Tynemouth. It was so brilliant that I knew it would be the first place I wanted to re-visit this summer when restaurants re-opened after the nationwide lockdown was lifted. When Riley's announced they would now be taking reservations via a deckchair booking system I was very intrigued about what this would entail. I took a deep breath and booked a slot, hoping that the open-air location on a beach and the fact you could book a table would mean it felt as safe as possible for a first trip out for a meal.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: king edwards bay

For those who aren't familiar with the area, Riley's Fish Shack is situated on King Edward's Bay in Tynemouth. Tynemouth is a stunning seaside town not far from Newcastle upon Tyne. King Edward's Bay is overlooked by Tynemouth Priory and Castle which give an absolutely stunning backdrop for Riley's Fish Shack who serve fresh, mouthwatering seafood on the bay.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: clear signs to your deckchair

Of course with delicious food comes popularity, and the downside of Riley's has always been that it takes a lengthy queue to get your hands on their delicious dishes. I'm British so obviously don't mind a good queue too much, but I must admit I was keen to get booked in this time knowing that I could reserve a set slot and have a guaranteed 'socially distanced' spot to enjoy my meal.

Riley's Deckchair Booking Process


The price to reserve a deckchair is £25 per person which is redeemable against your bill. It's not a cheap place and you definitely get what you pay for. This price is about right for the minimum you'd expect to spend on food and drink.


Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair booking

If you go on the website you can book a slot online and there seems to be pretty good availability if you're happy to choose a date in advance. You may be worried about the weather but one of the best parts of the new procedure is the ability to reschedule your booking within 24 hours of arrival. This enables you to check the forecast and shift your plans to suit. We really appreciated this as the weather was looking quite wet for the afternoon we had selected, but the staff were extremely helpful over email and allowed us to shift it back by two hours. Thank goodness they did - look at the amazing weather we were treated to!

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: beautiful night

Arriving at Riley's and the Service


When you arrive at Riley's Fish Shack, there are clear signs showing you where to go. You check in with the host near where the queue used to be and they will take you to your waiter or waitress who will look after you from there. The staff were wearing masks and kept their distance which made it feel very safe. They give you a flag with your number on and then get you set up at a pitch like this with a windbreaker, parasol and fire pit if required, but it was warm when we visited so we didn't get one.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair booking

I loved the fact we were allowed to choose our table and managed to grab this one right at the front with such a beautiful clear view of the sea. I couldn't bring myself to edit this photo at all as the sky is just so perfect. Can you think of a nicer place to enjoy a meal? We felt very spoilt.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair views

I feel like I can't write about days out in the current context without touching on toilet facilities as I know this can be the deal breaker for social plans now. This may be too much info but this is the first time I have felt comfortable enough to use a public loo rather than just cutting my days out short and it was honestly fine. There is a clear queuing system on the beach and only one person is allowed anywhere near the cubicle at a time. Plenty of hand soap and sanitiser is there to use as well.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: toilets

The Amazing Food


It's all table service now at Riley's, with food and drink delivered directly to your deckchair so you can truly relax. We were given menus promptly after being seated which I've attempted to photograph below although they aren't too clear to make out.  The fish dishes vary each day depending on what has been caught and this is one of the reasons Riley's is truly special - you always get to try something different and it is guaranteed to be fresh and tasty.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: menu

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: drinks menu

I opted for the turbot dish and my boyfriend chose the monk fish skewers. They were both outstanding in terms of quality and flavour and really decent portions - I had to have a lie down when I got home! He also sampled the lager on draught and it was delicious, very smooth and drinkable. I was designated driver for the evening so brought my own bottle of water and nobody seemed to mind.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: turbot dish

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: monkfish dish

The highlights of Riley's

I have to say that overall I definitely preferred the deckchair booking to the old system of queuing. Of course it takes away the spontaneity of popping out for a meal on a sunny evening, but I am sure if you called Riley's on the day you may get lucky and find a cancellation.

I really appreciated the fact you could re-schedule and the communication I had prior to our visit was just lovely. This is a local business with heart, they have really thought about how to run things in a safe and enjoyable manner and continue to serve their amazing food with no change in quality. 


Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: food

I'd highly recommend a deckchair booking at Riley's, and if you are still feeling a little cautious about dining out and about then I think you will struggle to find a more safe and friendly option for your first venture outside. I cannot wait to go back and just want to thank Riley's so much for this wonderful experience! 

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair set up

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: Deckchair Booking

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth; deckchairs

The last restaurant I visited in early March 2020 was Riley's Fish Shack in Tynemouth. It was so brilliant that I knew it would be the first place I wanted to re-visit this summer when restaurants re-opened after the nationwide lockdown was lifted. When Riley's announced they would now be taking reservations via a deckchair booking system I was very intrigued about what this would entail. I took a deep breath and booked a slot, hoping that the open-air location on a beach and the fact you could book a table would mean it felt as safe as possible for a first trip out for a meal.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: king edwards bay

For those who aren't familiar with the area, Riley's Fish Shack is situated on King Edward's Bay in Tynemouth. Tynemouth is a stunning seaside town not far from Newcastle upon Tyne. King Edward's Bay is overlooked by Tynemouth Priory and Castle which give an absolutely stunning backdrop for Riley's Fish Shack who serve fresh, mouthwatering seafood on the bay.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: clear signs to your deckchair

Of course with delicious food comes popularity, and the downside of Riley's has always been that it takes a lengthy queue to get your hands on their delicious dishes. I'm British so obviously don't mind a good queue too much, but I must admit I was keen to get booked in this time knowing that I could reserve a set slot and have a guaranteed 'socially distanced' spot to enjoy my meal.

Riley's Deckchair Booking Process


The price to reserve a deckchair is £25 per person which is redeemable against your bill. It's not a cheap place and you definitely get what you pay for. This price is about right for the minimum you'd expect to spend on food and drink.


Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair booking

If you go on the website you can book a slot online and there seems to be pretty good availability if you're happy to choose a date in advance. You may be worried about the weather but one of the best parts of the new procedure is the ability to reschedule your booking within 24 hours of arrival. This enables you to check the forecast and shift your plans to suit. We really appreciated this as the weather was looking quite wet for the afternoon we had selected, but the staff were extremely helpful over email and allowed us to shift it back by two hours. Thank goodness they did - look at the amazing weather we were treated to!

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: beautiful night

Arriving at Riley's and the Service


When you arrive at Riley's Fish Shack, there are clear signs showing you where to go. You check in with the host near where the queue used to be and they will take you to your waiter or waitress who will look after you from there. The staff were wearing masks and kept their distance which made it feel very safe. They give you a flag with your number on and then get you set up at a pitch like this with a windbreaker, parasol and fire pit if required, but it was warm when we visited so we didn't get one.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair booking

I loved the fact we were allowed to choose our table and managed to grab this one right at the front with such a beautiful clear view of the sea. I couldn't bring myself to edit this photo at all as the sky is just so perfect. Can you think of a nicer place to enjoy a meal? We felt very spoilt.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair views

I feel like I can't write about days out in the current context without touching on toilet facilities as I know this can be the deal breaker for social plans now. This may be too much info but this is the first time I have felt comfortable enough to use a public loo rather than just cutting my days out short and it was honestly fine. There is a clear queuing system on the beach and only one person is allowed anywhere near the cubicle at a time. Plenty of hand soap and sanitiser is there to use as well.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: toilets

The Amazing Food


It's all table service now at Riley's, with food and drink delivered directly to your deckchair so you can truly relax. We were given menus promptly after being seated which I've attempted to photograph below although they aren't too clear to make out.  The fish dishes vary each day depending on what has been caught and this is one of the reasons Riley's is truly special - you always get to try something different and it is guaranteed to be fresh and tasty.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: menu

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: drinks menu

I opted for the turbot dish and my boyfriend chose the monk fish skewers. They were both outstanding in terms of quality and flavour and really decent portions - I had to have a lie down when I got home! He also sampled the lager on draught and it was delicious, very smooth and drinkable. I was designated driver for the evening so brought my own bottle of water and nobody seemed to mind.

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: turbot dish

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: monkfish dish

The highlights of Riley's

I have to say that overall I definitely preferred the deckchair booking to the old system of queuing. Of course it takes away the spontaneity of popping out for a meal on a sunny evening, but I am sure if you called Riley's on the day you may get lucky and find a cancellation.

I really appreciated the fact you could re-schedule and the communication I had prior to our visit was just lovely. This is a local business with heart, they have really thought about how to run things in a safe and enjoyable manner and continue to serve their amazing food with no change in quality. 


Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: food

I'd highly recommend a deckchair booking at Riley's, and if you are still feeling a little cautious about dining out and about then I think you will struggle to find a more safe and friendly option for your first venture outside. I cannot wait to go back and just want to thank Riley's so much for this wonderful experience! 

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth: deckchair set up

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- sunset Quayside view

I've lived in Newcastle upon Tyne for fifteen years now. I moved here for university and just never wanted to leave! I was lucky enough to live right down next to the river Tyne for nine of those years and as you can imagine, in almost a decade, I spent many a weekend taking advantage of being in this gorgeous location right by the river.

There is always so much going on down on Newcastle Quayside and it's an area which always feels alive and buzzing. I would always recommend it as a great part of the city to head to if you are visiting our beautiful toon, so I thought it was about time I shared the top activities to enjoy in the area. From brunches to cat cuddles, modern art to food tasters, read on to find out the top things to do on Newcastle Quayside.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- view of sage

Indulge in a Delicious Brunch

Two of my absolutely favourite places for brunch in Newcastle happen to be down near the Tyne. Quay Ingredient was my go-to breakfast spot when I lived on the Quayside but it is pretty small so can be hard to get into. The cafe opens at 8.00am and arriving early improves your chances of getting a table so I'd advise getting down as soon as you can. The menu varies but expect a sophisticated take on your usual favourites, such as eggs benedict with duck or scrambled eggs with truffle oil.

Violet's Cafe is a charming little cafe with such good quality food and drink. I love their beautiful breakfast pancakes with berries, but everything I have tried has been excellent quality so it is well worth checking out if you are in the area. I love the decor as well as their delicious cakes and would definitely recommend a visit when you are on the Quayside.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Violets breakfast pancakes

Visit a Cat Cafe

Who doesn't love an excuse for some kitty cuddles? I have two of my own cats now but I used to love heading to CatPawCino for a cuppa and some cake. This is a great thing to do if it is raining but also a nice coffee break any time you are down on Newcastle Quayside. It is £5 per person to enter which goes towards looking after the cats and I would advise booking a slot online as they do get busy. You could always chance it if you're walking past but you might find yourself with a long wait. The entry price doesn't include food but they have a nice, simple menu with toasties and sweet treats.

They have 8 resident cats and sometimes some foster cats join in as well. I find it a really peaceful, cat-friendly atmosphere and not cruel at all. I was worried about this before I visited but at CatPawCino they have strict rules to put the cats' welfare first and I definitely saw evidence of that when I visited. What a lovely place to spend an hour forgetting all your worries.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- CatPawCino

See Modern Art at The Baltic

I am definitely not claiming to be any kind of art expert but I have always really enjoyed visiting the Baltic Art Gallery. The building is an old flour mill which was converted into a six floor gallery in 2002 and remains an impressive building today. The exhibitions change regularly and they are always contemporary and thought-provoking. I find myself scratching my head sometimes as I really don't get what the art means, but that's a good thing as it's nice to lose yourself in something different!

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- baltic gallery

It's one of my favourite places to head to alone and it's got a great floor with children's activities as well. Top tip: if you are meeting friends with toddlers for a coffee this is a great place to go as they can let off steam and then you can grab coffee and a cake in the lovely, child-friendly cafe downstairs.

I really like the shop on the left as you enter the building and would recommend popping in on your way in or out. It has some great Geordie gifts and quirky items which are different from other shops. It's a while since I have been, but the restaurant on the top floor always gets fantastic reviews. It's worth dining there for the views and architecture of the building alone, never mind the delicious food! Entry to the gallery is free but a small donation is suggested. Don't miss the viewing galleries to get an amazing view of the Quayside.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- view from the baltic

Try some tasty food at Quayside Market

The Quayside Market is on every Sunday from 9.00am - 4.00pm and has a mix of great independent traders. From beautiful handmade mirrors, to clothing, candles and leather goods, you will find lots of great stalls to browse. In recent years, the food part of the market has really expanded and it's now an excellent place to eat. It's my go-to on a quiet Sunday where you possibly overindulged a little the night before and need some tasty food to sort you right out. 

I've tried a few of the stalls now and recommend Acropolis Greek food, Tasty Thai deli, and of course the locally renowned Redhead's Mac 'n' cheese. Some of the food stalls further along dish out samples, so I would recommend starting at the Pitcher and Piano end of the market, enjoying a few samples on your way and ending with the hot food stalls at the other end. On a sunny Sunday there is nowhere I'd rather be than our gorgeous Quayside market so I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are in Newcastle on a weekend.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Redheads mac n cheese

Enjoy live music at The Sage, Gateshead

That unusual silver building on the banks of the river is our gorgeous music hall, The Sage. I have enjoyed some great classical music concerts there but they host a mix of performers from Jamie Cullum to Status Quo. The best event I have been to was the Snowman at Christmas with a live orchestra, but they really have a good range of events which you can check out on the Sage's website.

Local blogger New Girl in Toon recently shared her experience of a Royal Northern Sinfonia concert which is definitely worth checking out to give you an idea of what to expect. Even if you don't go to a concert at the Sage you are welcome to pop in for a browse of the shop and a visit to the cafe.
Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Sage Gateshead

Admire the Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The stunning Millennium Bridge first opened to the public in 2001 as part of a competition to design a bridge to connect developments in Newcastle and Gasteshead. Out of 150 entries this design was the clear winner. It has been compared to a winking eye as it actually opens and closes to allow ships to pass. 

You can check the expected tilt times on the Gateshead Council website but they are subject to change. If you are lucky enough to catch the bridge opening it is a great experience, especially if you get yourself a seat outside the Pitcher and Piano bar on the river's edge!

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Millennium Bridge

Have a drink on the banks of the Tyne

As soon as there is the slightest hint of sunshine on Newcastle Quayside the Pitcher and Piano bar is immediately packed with a fantastic atmosphere. The outside seating gets really busy in the sun, but I would recommend heading upstairs to the balcony / terrace area if you spot any seats. I have often managed to grab a table up there when it is packed downstairs. It's one of my favourite bars in the toon and the best place for a nice drink if you are visiting the Quayside Market.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Pitcher and Piano

In recent years we got the exciting new addition of By the River Brew Co on the Gateshead side of the Tyne. To access this bar and restaurant made of shipping containers, head over the swing bridge and you will spot it on the Gateshead side of the river. They have a fancy restaurant, Träkol, which you can read about on their site. I haven't tried the restaurant but I have had a few lovely afternoons enjoying drinks in the sun over there to wash down a tasty bite from their street food market.

I hope this has inspired you to visit Newcastle Quayside and given you a taster for some of the amazing things there are to do. Next time someone mentions that 'it's grim up north' promise me you will show them this post and encourage them to check out our fabulous city and north east region in general!

Top things to do on Newcastle Quayside

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- sunset Quayside view

I've lived in Newcastle upon Tyne for fifteen years now. I moved here for university and just never wanted to leave! I was lucky enough to live right down next to the river Tyne for nine of those years and as you can imagine, in almost a decade, I spent many a weekend taking advantage of being in this gorgeous location right by the river.

There is always so much going on down on Newcastle Quayside and it's an area which always feels alive and buzzing. I would always recommend it as a great part of the city to head to if you are visiting our beautiful toon, so I thought it was about time I shared the top activities to enjoy in the area. From brunches to cat cuddles, modern art to food tasters, read on to find out the top things to do on Newcastle Quayside.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- view of sage

Indulge in a Delicious Brunch

Two of my absolutely favourite places for brunch in Newcastle happen to be down near the Tyne. Quay Ingredient was my go-to breakfast spot when I lived on the Quayside but it is pretty small so can be hard to get into. The cafe opens at 8.00am and arriving early improves your chances of getting a table so I'd advise getting down as soon as you can. The menu varies but expect a sophisticated take on your usual favourites, such as eggs benedict with duck or scrambled eggs with truffle oil.

Violet's Cafe is a charming little cafe with such good quality food and drink. I love their beautiful breakfast pancakes with berries, but everything I have tried has been excellent quality so it is well worth checking out if you are in the area. I love the decor as well as their delicious cakes and would definitely recommend a visit when you are on the Quayside.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Violets breakfast pancakes

Visit a Cat Cafe

Who doesn't love an excuse for some kitty cuddles? I have two of my own cats now but I used to love heading to CatPawCino for a cuppa and some cake. This is a great thing to do if it is raining but also a nice coffee break any time you are down on Newcastle Quayside. It is £5 per person to enter which goes towards looking after the cats and I would advise booking a slot online as they do get busy. You could always chance it if you're walking past but you might find yourself with a long wait. The entry price doesn't include food but they have a nice, simple menu with toasties and sweet treats.

They have 8 resident cats and sometimes some foster cats join in as well. I find it a really peaceful, cat-friendly atmosphere and not cruel at all. I was worried about this before I visited but at CatPawCino they have strict rules to put the cats' welfare first and I definitely saw evidence of that when I visited. What a lovely place to spend an hour forgetting all your worries.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- CatPawCino

See Modern Art at The Baltic

I am definitely not claiming to be any kind of art expert but I have always really enjoyed visiting the Baltic Art Gallery. The building is an old flour mill which was converted into a six floor gallery in 2002 and remains an impressive building today. The exhibitions change regularly and they are always contemporary and thought-provoking. I find myself scratching my head sometimes as I really don't get what the art means, but that's a good thing as it's nice to lose yourself in something different!

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- baltic gallery

It's one of my favourite places to head to alone and it's got a great floor with children's activities as well. Top tip: if you are meeting friends with toddlers for a coffee this is a great place to go as they can let off steam and then you can grab coffee and a cake in the lovely, child-friendly cafe downstairs.

I really like the shop on the left as you enter the building and would recommend popping in on your way in or out. It has some great Geordie gifts and quirky items which are different from other shops. It's a while since I have been, but the restaurant on the top floor always gets fantastic reviews. It's worth dining there for the views and architecture of the building alone, never mind the delicious food! Entry to the gallery is free but a small donation is suggested. Don't miss the viewing galleries to get an amazing view of the Quayside.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- view from the baltic

Try some tasty food at Quayside Market

The Quayside Market is on every Sunday from 9.00am - 4.00pm and has a mix of great independent traders. From beautiful handmade mirrors, to clothing, candles and leather goods, you will find lots of great stalls to browse. In recent years, the food part of the market has really expanded and it's now an excellent place to eat. It's my go-to on a quiet Sunday where you possibly overindulged a little the night before and need some tasty food to sort you right out. 

I've tried a few of the stalls now and recommend Acropolis Greek food, Tasty Thai deli, and of course the locally renowned Redhead's Mac 'n' cheese. Some of the food stalls further along dish out samples, so I would recommend starting at the Pitcher and Piano end of the market, enjoying a few samples on your way and ending with the hot food stalls at the other end. On a sunny Sunday there is nowhere I'd rather be than our gorgeous Quayside market so I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are in Newcastle on a weekend.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Redheads mac n cheese

Enjoy live music at The Sage, Gateshead

That unusual silver building on the banks of the river is our gorgeous music hall, The Sage. I have enjoyed some great classical music concerts there but they host a mix of performers from Jamie Cullum to Status Quo. The best event I have been to was the Snowman at Christmas with a live orchestra, but they really have a good range of events which you can check out on the Sage's website.

Local blogger New Girl in Toon recently shared her experience of a Royal Northern Sinfonia concert which is definitely worth checking out to give you an idea of what to expect. Even if you don't go to a concert at the Sage you are welcome to pop in for a browse of the shop and a visit to the cafe.
Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Sage Gateshead

Admire the Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The stunning Millennium Bridge first opened to the public in 2001 as part of a competition to design a bridge to connect developments in Newcastle and Gasteshead. Out of 150 entries this design was the clear winner. It has been compared to a winking eye as it actually opens and closes to allow ships to pass. 

You can check the expected tilt times on the Gateshead Council website but they are subject to change. If you are lucky enough to catch the bridge opening it is a great experience, especially if you get yourself a seat outside the Pitcher and Piano bar on the river's edge!

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Millennium Bridge

Have a drink on the banks of the Tyne

As soon as there is the slightest hint of sunshine on Newcastle Quayside the Pitcher and Piano bar is immediately packed with a fantastic atmosphere. The outside seating gets really busy in the sun, but I would recommend heading upstairs to the balcony / terrace area if you spot any seats. I have often managed to grab a table up there when it is packed downstairs. It's one of my favourite bars in the toon and the best place for a nice drink if you are visiting the Quayside Market.

Things to do on Newcastle Quayside- Pitcher and Piano

In recent years we got the exciting new addition of By the River Brew Co on the Gateshead side of the Tyne. To access this bar and restaurant made of shipping containers, head over the swing bridge and you will spot it on the Gateshead side of the river. They have a fancy restaurant, Träkol, which you can read about on their site. I haven't tried the restaurant but I have had a few lovely afternoons enjoying drinks in the sun over there to wash down a tasty bite from their street food market.

I hope this has inspired you to visit Newcastle Quayside and given you a taster for some of the amazing things there are to do. Next time someone mentions that 'it's grim up north' promise me you will show them this post and encourage them to check out our fabulous city and north east region in general!

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