We spent the night car camping at the Angel of the North so you don’t have to

One could say we have too much time on our hands

Toon summer is upon us and like me, you might be wondering how best to spend it. Whether it’s your first or last summer in Newcastle, there are an abundance of ways to fill the sunny days and make the most of the rare northern heat. But there’s only so much day drinking one can do. So, if you’re looking for something cheap and thrilling to do in Newcastle over summer – read on.

This questionable idea of mine sprang to mind when my friend Evie & I were scoffing our beloved Tesco’s custard donuts in the car by the Angel of the North – you know, your standard Tuesday evening. So there we were, facing the landmark as the golden sun was slowly setting behind the Angel, creating a monstrous shadow on the grass and a fiery sky over our heads.

It was peaceful. Nothing but fresh air and the sound of birds chirping – until a group of 17-year-olds pulled up near us playing Bad Boy Chiller Crew at high volume. Anyway, we reclined our seats whilst listening to the youth’s tunes, when Evie told me she could spend the evening in the car. Unsure why, I stared at her excitedly and replied: “Omg, shall we spend the night here in the car?!”.

Two weeks later, Percy the car kindly drove us back to the Angel of the North from West Jesmond. In hindsight, if anything had happened to us that night and we’d needed to drive off in a hurry, he would probably not’ve been our safest bet. The thing’s a tiny black Peugeot older than the Millennium Bridge (built in 1998), which makes weird revving sounds when he accelerates, has door handles that come off and lastly, surprises you with the odd jammed boot. Other than that, Percy’s your dream car.

It was around 7pm when we arrived. We’d stopped off at Maccies first to start the evening off with a classic mukbang. The sunset was scenic – which kept our dopamine levels up. Because we’d parked right in the centre of the car park, it was a great place to people-watch. From older couples, to large families, to rowdy teens – there were all sorts to keep us entertained. Later on, we reclined our seats and watched Sun, Sex & Suspicious Parents. The average night for any young adult, no?

Things took a slightly less funny turn when it was dusk. First of all, it was still cold inside the car despite our warm blankets. Secondly, it was so quiet that you didn’t want to make a single noise that could attract a human or animal’s attention. I made things worse by saying: “Imagine someone just stood by the car and peered into the windows”. Creepy.

We didn’t plan on falling asleep after that comment, but as we were drifting off around midnight, a group of drunk locals passed us by and we thought we were going to get busted and chased through the depths of Gateshead. Although it was scary, the fact that we were casually lying in a car made it exciting and I found it hard not to nervously laugh at. Thankfully however, they walked away and peace & quiet were restored.

After that stressful episode, we actually did fall asleep and we were only woken up by the bright sun warming up our bodies at 5 am. We’d made it through the night alive – definitely a night to remember and an experience to stick on your Newcastle bucket list and try out yourself. For a quirky, unique way to fill an evening in the Toon, I highly recommend.

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