A weekend in Newcastle {part one}

England travels

This weekend Jon and I made our inaugural visit to Newcastle upon Tyne, one of the furthest points north in England, and the last major English city before hitting the Scottish border. Our good friends were getting married, and the groom is a Geordie (which is the name for a person from Newcastle, I have no idea why, though) and that’s where the happy couple had set the venue. I was pleased for the excuse to finally go up North and look around, since before this weekend the furthest up I’d been was when I visited Penny in Nottingham forever ago, back when I thought the Midlands and the North were basically the same thing. But they aren’t! And people from those places will yell at you if you voice that thought out loud! …….Lesson learned. Here is a handy dandy map for your reference :

uk city map

Getting up to Newcastle was easy enough, just a short hour-ish on a plane. Some friends of ours made the 9 hour drive and I was NOT jealous. The flight was so easy! We went from Gatwick, which is a small airport, to the Newcastle airport, which is equally small, and it was all so simple and pleasant that I absolutely dread the thought of my next flight abroad. Ugh. #firstworldproblems, gotcha.

sussex from above

Anyway, this long summer has fully segued into autumn, leaving Newcastle bathed in an altogether delightful early season chill that wasn’t too cold, and was also sunny. Perfect! We easily found our destination, the Vermont Hotel, after taking a tram from the airport into the city center. The wedding was taking place in the same hotel, and it was all historic and gorgeous. Oh, and there was a castle next door!

vermont hotel newcastle

castle keep newcastle vermont hotel

And since we couldn’t check in until 2 and we arrived at the hotel by 11, Jon, Phil, Netty and I dropped off our luggage and wandered around Newcastle in search of some light sightseeing and a little lunch. It was a nice few hours moseying around on foot, trying to wake up and enjoy the fresh air.



newcastle walk

newcastle purple door


We went back to the hotel after lunch and found that we could check-in a little bit early, so after having a quick hour or so to turn ourselves into beautiful people, we were ready to party!

We clean up nicely, I like to think.


jonand ashley newcastle wedding

The wedding itself was rockin. The ceremony was short and sweet, followed by cocktail hour in the castle next door (England is amazing that way-no one in America ever gets to have drinks in the CASTLE NEXT DOOR), and then dinner and dancing.

newcastle wedding

Jon and I were seriously lagging after 7 or so hours…..getting up at 5 am to catch a flight will do that for you. We maybe even snuck out of the dance party when no one was looking in order to hit the hay. But we had a lot of fun before then, and it meant that we were well-rested for a day of exploring before catching our flight on Sunday!

newcastle wedding

And the exploring part I will share with you at a later date. Lots of pictures of bridges, architecture, and pretty Northern scenery…whoever said the North was grim??

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