AD Had a fantastic day in Newcastle checking out NE1 Summer in the City, in conjunction with @newcastlene1. Their programme landed and promised a jam-packed list of events and impressive artistic installations across the city, including the Quayside, Old Eldon Square, Grey’s Monument, Grey Street and Blackett Street, and they didn’t disappoint! All the stories on the day are still available on my Instagram account if you didn’t get a chance to follow along with Summer in the City fun in real time.
We began our fun packed day right in the middle of the city centre, which is literally blooming! Several store fronts have opted to have floral displays, provided by Pretty Picture Company, including Grey St Opticians, Naked Deli, Fat Face, L’occitane, Hotel Chocolat, The White Company, Lloyds Bank, Greggs, Eldon Square Entrance (Nando’s), Collectibles, Nudo, Central Arcade and Scribbler….and they’re gorgeous!!
We headed around to the Screen on the Green next. The open-air cinema is back in Old Eldon Square and showing two free movies a day until 5th September. Our upcoming picks for August are Wonder Woman and Toy Story 4, but you can see the full listings at GetIntoNewcastle. It’s a great outdoor movie day for your whole family or a summer evening trip with your friends, while the socially distanced picnic tables and deck chairs keep things super chilled. Be sure to grab some picnic snacks and drinks from nearby Greggs or Poundland, you can thank me for the tip later!
If you choose to eat later on, Grey Street Gathering is still on and deckchairs and grass for picnics and chilling are available here if you have any takeout or drinks. If you head into town on a weekend you can also join in the fun in Blackett Street, where they are running Family-Fun weekenders, with some great pop-up performances and activities planned, both here and in Grey Street.
After our movie we headed down to the Quayside. All along the river, giant concrete planters have been installed – they are between Guildhall/Tyne Bridge and go all the way along past Pitcher & Piano. They are huge and colourful and just add to the buzz on the Quayside. It’s definitely going for the fun element!
There is so much to see and do as you continue walking along the river; first off we had some fun walking on The Floor Vinyl by Mr Penfold , this is between the Slug & Lettuce and Hooch Coffee.
Then we mucked about with photos at the Dichroic Seating, an installation of kaleidoscopic prism seats. They were built by local company raskl. A good opportunity for a ’99 here from the ice cream van.
And no matter your age, make sure you get on the See-Saws next to Pitcher and Piano. Created by CS Design and Lateral Office with soundscape by Mitchell Akiyama, they are hilarious fun and they don’t even hurt your bum when you bump down on the ground! A big plus in my book so no excuse. You can even get your granny on!
The 3D Floor Art by Joe Hill, near ‘The Blacksmith’s Needle’ sculpture, past Pitcher and Piano is amazing!! Definitely stop to make up some dramatic scenes and make sure someone gets photos, they look great!
But there’s more fun to be had at the wonderful and very welcome Urban Garden, near the Millennium Bridge. You can order soft drinks, coffees or something more daring (provided by Brewdog), plus it’s all socially distanced, clean and chilled. You can grab yourself a burger too (by East Coast Burgers). And guess what? A lot of the plants, herbs and fruits they grow here will be used within their menu! Fantastic that sustainability has been thought about here. Honestly, we sat here in the sunshine for over an hour and it’s just lovely. No masks required as it’s all outdoors and it was, literally, a breath of fresh air.
Tours of the City
Part of the NE1 Summer in the City programme being offered is the opportunity to book different walking tours of Newcastle with Iles Tours. So if you would like to see up close and personal some of the most iconic sites in the city, gain access to some of the hardest to reach buildings in Newcastle and learn all about its vibrant history on these one-hour tours then book up early. They will run every Friday and Saturday until October. We have booked already for the rare opportunity to climb Grey’s Monument. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and there is no better time to explore my home city!
Summer in the City
NE1’s Summer in the City is much more than a single day out; there are so many other events happening and planned, we only scratched the surface. There is something on offer for little ones, families with teens, friends and date nights. It’s brought the city alive in the summer and it could not have come at a more welcome time. The opportunity to get into Newcastle once again, with Covid-safety still visible where it’s needed or wanted gave us a fantastic day out. And we didn’t stop there! With so many amazing foodie places to eat, we made the most of our time and headed back up to Wagamamas at Old Eldon Square, for dinner. With the light fading, the Screen on the Green had a real buzz to it so we got ourselves a couple of deck chairs and watched another movie, before we went for dinner. We arrived home very late after a whole day of fun in the city, and I’m so ready to do it all again….and again and again!