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Feeling more Scrooge than Santa? Here are the best places in Toon to get your festive fix

We’re certain yule love these


While it truly is the most wonderful time of year for many students, for others the chilly weather, looming exams and dwindling sunlight is far less inspiring. I, too, can struggle to fully embrace the Christmas spirit amidst the whirlwind of winter blues and dissertation drafts.

Luckily, there are so many festive treats on offer in Newcastle this year, that even the biggest of grinches will find it hard to resist. Here are just a handful of our favourite spots which are guaranteed to get you into the yuletide mood.

1. Winterland at Frate

After visiting Frate during the summer, I was skeptical as to whether it would be as quite as enjoyable in the cold December air. As it turned out, there was no need to fret – the outdoor venue has been transformed into a winter wonderland, with plenty of heaters and a canopy which provides full protection from the bitter North East conditions. So much so that I ended up abandoning my big winter coat (and not just for my Instagram photos).

Frate is the perfect place to catch up with friends amongst a backdrop of twinkly lights and seasonal garlands. There’s also an impressive festive menu on offer, including Yorkshire pudding wraps, Bratwurst hotdogs and pigs in blanket pizzas – not to mention a variety of Christmassy cocktails.

Frate’s Winterland is open Wednesday until Sunday until the 1st January 2024.

2. NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas

If, like me, you’ve only bought two presents yet your bank balance is alarmingly low, a fun free activity is NE1’s 24 Doors of Christmas.

This campaign turns the city into a giant advent calendar, with iconic venues around the Toon opening their doors to the public for exclusive tours every day in the run-up to Christmas. There are still spaces for tours around the Theatre Royal, Newcastle Castle and Newcastle Cathedral over this week – find out more information here.

3. Moosenwirt

Why not conclude your mooch around the Newcastle Christmas markets with a winter warmer at Moosenwirt?

Why not conclude your mooch around the Newcastle Christmas markets with a winter warmer at Moosenwirt?

The Grey Street venue is open from 10am-11pm with free entry. Even better, you are welcome to bring your own food in from nearby markets and businesses – so you don’t have to tuck into your Redheads Mac ‘n’ Cheese in the cold. 

4. Christmas in Newcastle

New for 2023 – head over to Times Square for a dose of throwback Christmas fun at Christmas in Newcastle. Located in Rusty’s and Blonde Barrel’s new lounge, this pop up bar is adorned with eighties inspired decor, including an abundance of tinsel, multi coloured lights and even a cosy fireplace.

There is plenty of festive food available; think pigs in blankets, filled Yorkshire puddings and of course – mini Geordie stotties with all the Christmas toppings.

The retro venue has added new dates available to book until the 30th December, so don’t worry – you still have time to soak up this nostalgic experience.

5. Junkyard Golf Club: Elves on the Run

If you’re getting bored of rewatching Christmas movies – why not try your hand at crazy golf? While this may not seem the obvious festive choice, Junkyard Golf Club’s “Elves on the run” campaign provides a delightfully unconventional addition to your holiday plans.

Have a go at finding Santa’s escaped “Bad Elves” around the courses, for the chance to win prizes such as GHD products, YO! Sushi vouchers and free rounds of golf.

Junkyard Golf Club also has plenty of seasonal drinks with Happy Hour available every Sunday to Wednesday.

Students can get half price golf during every off-peak day (Sunday to Thursday), making one game only £4.75. Book a round here.

6. Visit Stephenson Steam Railway 

Looking for something fun and unique – that isn’t sales shopping – between Christmas and New Year? Beat the post-Christmas blues with Stephenson Steam Railway’s “Winter Warmer” event in North Tyneside.

This a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family all while enjoying a relaxing train ride. Travel in style in a 1950s passenger carriage, away from the Tyne towards the old coal fields of Northumberland.