The hope through lockdown

As we experienced our 3rd lockdown there was clearly some light at the end of the tunnel, with the announcement from the government of the roadmap out of lockdown.   I am sure you can agree with me when I say how important it has was after months of lockdown to have a sense of freedom   The way I found my sense of freedom was by exploring the natural beauty of Newcastle.

I have always loved being outdoors and visiting new places. Like many others in the North East, I was anxiously anticipating brighter days.  It’s true to say that the essential exercise and being outdoors was my saviour throughout the lockdown.

Places on my doorstep

I found myself on various walks experiencing new places, finding places on my doorstep that I didn’t even know existed. In fact, I realised I lived very close to some of the natural beauty of Newcastle.   As well as thoroughly enjoying my long walks, I also found a new love of cycling.

The weather wasn’t a barrier either.  During that lockdown, like everyone else, I learned to adapt and embrace all weathers.  These included rain, snow, hail and yes even sunshine, I was still able to enjoy the essential exercise, we’ve were allowed. The pandemic certainly enabled us to slow down and absorb the natural beauty around us.

Escaping with the natural beauty in Newcastle

We have some wonderful places of natural beauty in Newcastle, and here are two of my favourite places to escape to.

Jesmond Dene

Jesmond Dene is one of my favourite places. It is one of the most picturesque parks in the heart of Newcastle. The Park is situated in Ouesburn’s valley and runs through South Gosforth, Jesmond, and Heaton.

Popular with tourists and residents, whether it be a walk, run, bike ride or picnic or a visit to pets corner there are plenty of activities for all.

The Dene has some beautiful historic features. One of the Denes most tranquil spots is the Waterfall, I have spent many days out here.

The waterfall is perfect for your photo opportunities along with the bridge and ruined mill.  The Dene has a beautiful picnic area and a Cafe ideal for a meeting spot to catch up with friends.

If you love sampling food and drinks as I do. The renowned Jesmond Food Market located on Armstrong Bridge is also back for 2021, bringing together the very best food and drink producers from across northeast England.

Newcastle Quayside

The Quayside is my go-to meeting place with friends and family. It is steeped with history and runs alongside the River Tyne at the southern part of Newcastle.  I love nothing better than to view the fabulous landmark bridges, Gateshead Millennium, The Swing Bridge, and High-Level Bridge.

Once a vibrant commercial, but unattractive part of the city, The Quayside is popular for everyone especially for walks and bike rides. One of the advantages is the ability to be able to stop off at the friendly Cycle Hub for one of their amazing coffees. Nothing better than a bike ride here you can also arrange cycle hire.

The Quayside is home to the Sage Gateshead a popular venue for music and concerts. Further up you find the Baltic Art Gallery, the UK’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution.

What I love most about the Quayside, (when we aren’t in a lockdown of course), is that it is also a nightlife and pub hotspot.  There is no doubt in Newcastle we have one of the most vibrant nightlife in Europe.  There have been many evenings when my friends and I have enjoyed a drink or a bite to eat under the Tyne bridge By The River Brew Co. or watch the sunset with one of the best views of Newcastle at The Free Trade Inn.

So there you have my two recommendations to see the natural beauty of Newcastle.  Since the lockdown, I undoubtedly have more appreciation for our natural surroundings.

I could not say it better myself than echo the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson to “never miss an opportunity of noticing anything of beauty”.