An Alternative to London

shopping passage nclPerfect alternative to London – Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle upon Tyne is located in the North East of England and triumphs as a less expensive alternative to London with prices ranging 10 – 15 percent lower than the London average.

Newcastle upon Tyne, or commonly known as Newcastle, is located near the border to Scotland with a modern city centre put up around the remains of the famous Hadrian’s Wall built by roman emperor Hadrian in AD 122 to protect the Roman empire from invasion by the Picts. A trip to Newcastle takes no more than a three hour direct flight from Malta to Leeds with Ryanair. From Leeds it is about 90 minutes by bus or train to Newcastle centre.

There are numerous affordable hotels with decent standard offered all over the city and moreover there are equally as many pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. Getting around the city is very easy as the prices for taxi fares are cheap compared to Maltese prices. Most of the time you will not even need a taxi as the city has an extensive metro and subway system. If you do not enjoy the subway carriages too much, you will appreciate that most venues-of-interest are within walking distance from all city-centre hotels.

In the heart of Newcastle you will find Eldon Square Shopping Centre which has 150 different stores and restaurants.  At almost every exit of the Eldon Square you will find an entrance to another shopping centre. Whether it is the multi-floor department stores of Debenhams or Fenwick or the Monument Mall and the Central Arcade, you will always find a place where you can continue your shopping spree. If you need a snack or relax from all the shopping, you need to find the exit that leads to “The Gate” which is a shopping mall only featuring restaurants and pubs.


The evening is best spent ‘Tyneside’. The expression Tyneside means being in the area around the river Tyne which divides the city north from south. Along river Tyne you will find many luxurious restaurants, nightclubs and even a market during weekends.  If you have ever seen the millennium bridge in London, you will truly enjoy that Newcastle possess a millennium bridge as well. This bridge spans river Tyne and the Baltic museum of modern art can be found on the south side of the bridge.

short trip by bus brings you to the Metro Centre which is basically an indoor city constituted by large boutiques, outlets, restaurants and shops. A visit to Metro centre will take up an entire day if you plan to visit all 340 shops. The shopping mall features 50 restaurants and cafés, a bowling hall and a large cinema with 11 auditoriums. If you are travelling with children you may find the “Metro Land” interesting. It is a spectacular play- and adventure-land for children featuring an indoor rollercoaster, merry-go-rounds and a lot of other fun activities designed for children.

If you wish enjoy a more rural type of shopping, you should take a morning trip by metro to the coast of Tynemouth. A larger flea market is arranged in the Tynemouth Metro centre every Saturday and Sunday. In this market you will be welcomed by locals that are selling everything from sausages and guitars to 2nd world war commemorative items and decorative artwork.

As Newcastle is located in the North East, the local accent is called Geordie and may cause difficulties as it differs a lot from accents found in southern Britain. The winter in North East area may be unpleasantly cold so I would recommend that you should avoid the coldest months, January, February and March. The city is the perfect destination if you plan to get all of your Christmas shopping done during the autumn.

In short – A holiday trip to Newcastle is similar to holiday trip to London, but without the hassle, to  a more affordable expense.

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