Newcastle upon Tyne is famed for its lively nightlife and vibrant atmosphere. Locals, students and tourists mix together to create a diverse and cosmopolitan city. Cheap drinks offers, fine ales or an upmarket place to relax can all be found within Newcastle.
Geographically, Newcastle nightlife can be split into several areas; Central Station, Biggmarket, Quayside, Haymarket/Jesmond and Ouseburn. Each of these areas has a different character depending on what you are seeking with your drinking buddies.
Central Station, unsurprisingly is a good place to start. Around the station there are a number of pubs suitable for starting that big night out, Centurion Bar within the station itself is a popular meeting point for local groups, as is The Union Rooms, a Wetherspoon pub across the road. Also across the road from the station can be found the Head of Steam which also hosts regular live bands, The Lounge with its downstairs club below the bar, North Bar, O'Neills and the quirky but lively Gotham City. The gem of the Central Station area is arguably The Telegraph. Situated behind Central Station and accessed via a damp tunnel, The Telegraph offers good beer, good jukebox and one of the best beer gardens in the city. Generally, the Central Station area offers something for most people and as a result is often popular with large groups. Further from the station up Pink Lane are more laid back yet equally popular venues. The Forth and Rafferty's being fine drinking establishments, as is Tilley's Bar which is further away but worth the walk if you have a liking for obscure European bottled beers.
The other areas of the city perhaps offer more defined atmospheres. The world famous Biggmarket is boisterous and to the visitor, possibly intimidating. Here the sole aim is to get as drunk as possible, as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Yet, if the right attitude is adopted, it is possible to have great fun down the Biggmarket. Keep your wits about you, don't make yourself too obvious, or if you do be prepared for "banter" and you should be fine. The Quayside follows a similar boisterous vein but due to the large numbers of stag and hen parties, it is more diluted and visitors to the city are less obvious. Quayside bars are busy and loud â don't expect to sit down to drink here although the Crown Posada is a fabulous oasis of old fashioned calm amongst the carnage outside. Hosting a fine interior and even finer ales the Crown offers needed refuge on any night out. Haymarket/Jesmond, to the north of the city centre is the mainly student area of the city, although Osbourne Road, the main road through Jesmond is home to several hotels given a more mixed feeling to the area. Bars/pubs on Osbourne Road are rarely open past 11.30pm, so to experience it at its best early evening in university term time is recommend. Several bars on Osbourne Road offer beer gardens adjoining the street making the area particularly popular on a summer's evening.
The Ouseburn, located to the east of the city centre is an area that has more recently become popular for those seeking good beer, live music and "proper" pubs. An area which has undergone regeneration, the pubs of The Ouseburn have retained some of the industrial heritage of the area whilst remaining welcoming to the stranger. The Free Trade Inn situated above the Ouseburn Valley and looking back towards the Quayside is a gem. Externally it looks on the brink of collapse and the interior is "rustic" to say the least, but the real ale is fantastic and is best enjoyed in the beer garden opposite with stunning views down the river. Immediately below The Free Trade and accessed by steps, The Tyne also offers fine ales and regularly, live music from up and coming local bands. If music is definitely you scene then a visit to The Cluny, a converted warehouse further up the valley is an absolute must. The pub element of The Cluny is a fine establishment in itself, but as a music venue it regularly hosts bands many of whom have gone onto great success.
So, Newcastle nightlife offers something for everyone and this is just a small sample of the pubs and bars on offer. Some of the very best aren't even mentioned here, however by getting a map out and planning your night around the areas outlined here and you won't go too far wrong. Enjoy yourself, but be drink aware!