Thinking outside - no box required

As a local, I can share with you all lots of tips on where and how to spend your weekend outdoors in Newcastle. I’m sure you were all aware that it was World Mental Health Day on 10th of October and with regard to mental health, spending time outdoors is an essential way of relieving stress and a […]

Louise Cusine
16th October 2019
Image Credits: Jay Kudva from Unsplash
As a local, I can share with you all lots of tips on where and how to spend your weekend outdoors in Newcastle. I’m sure you were all aware that it was World Mental Health Day on 10th of October and with regard to mental health, spending time outdoors is an essential way of relieving stress and a vital way to refresh from the hustle and bustle of university life.

Bike rides are a great way to spend your day. I don’t know about you but I get so much pleasure from riding a bike, reaching a destination after a few hours and just relaxing, taking in the beautiful scenery around me. For example, last summer my friends and I went to Berlin and completed a bike ride from Charlottenburg Palace to Grunewald Forest, it took us two hours, mostly due to excessive water breaks in the 34 degree heat (actually, it’s important that no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s a hike, bike ride, climbing etc that you do stay hydrated).  Once we arrived at Grunewald Forest the two hour bike ride was so worth it as we spent the rest of the day by the lake watching the sweet dogs go in the water for a paddle (even following them in ourselves).

Image Credits: savagecat from Flickr

Many people only consider going on bike rides on holiday but there are so many beautiful bike rides in and around Newcastle. Two bike rides that I would highly recommend are to Bolam Lake Country Park and to Tynemouth or Whitley Bay. It takes one and a half hours to get from Newcastle City Centre to Bolam Lake by bike and if you’re a lover of nature, you'll feel at home in the midst of the forests and lakes. To Tynemouth or Whitley Bay it would take just over an hour and is great for those who love coastal routes. Once you get there you could even chill out on the beach and reward yourself with an ice cream or an English classic – fish and chips. I just want to make it clear that you don’t need to own a bike to go for a bike ride as they are available to hire for the day from the Cycle Hub on the Quayside. It costs £30 to hire a hybrid tourer for 24 hours, which I think is a pretty good deal.

Image Credits: Paul Turner from common.wikipedia

If bike rides aren’t your cup of tea and you prefer to walk instead, you could still go to either Bolam Lakes or the coast and explore on foot. However, one of the best walks in Newcastle is Jesmond Dene. It takes 30 minutes to walk to Jesmond Dene from town or you could even hop on the metro to West Jesmond.  It is quite hilly, therefore I would choose to walk it rather than bike it, but you could do either. Jesmond Dene is really peaceful and a great way to be at one with nature without having to travel miles out of town. After checking out Jesmond Dene, it’s a must that you visit one of the cafes in Jesmond. There are so many lovely cafes to choose from but my favourite is Cake Stories Coffee House and Cakery. There’s a vast selection of cakes and coffees (or tea if you aren’t a coffee lover) to suit everyone, including vegans and gluten free options so there is no excuse not to go and give it a try.

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