Welcome back to my monthly guides to the North East. If you missed my previous guides, then make sure you check out "The Most Romantic Dates in the North East" and "The Best Afternoon Teas in Newcastle".
This months guide is dedicated to all those people who, like us, have to rely on public transport to make their way round the North East.
A few months ago we went on a Pop Pay As You Go Adventure with Metro that got me thinking about how much we've relied on public transport in the North East since my arrival three years ago. Although desperate to buy a car we've been very much focussed on saving money meaning that buying our own wheels has taken a backseat for the moment.
Being a lady that likes her adventures I was never going to let the lack of a car stop me getting out and about exploring the North East and it's amazing the amount of places that Simon and I have managed to get to without a car.
Using a geek like knowledge of the Metro system, studying bus timetables and analysing maps has seen us adventuring in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland and here are just a few of our recommendations of where to go and, most importantly, how to get there from Newcastle without a car!
The gorgeous Market Town of Morpeth in Northumberland is a great trip for a Summer's day. Stroll around the pretty Carlisle Park, take a boat out on the lake and finish your day with a potter about the Town which is great for people watching, dog envy and tasty cake shops.
How to get there: Northern Rail run direct trains from Newcastle Central with a journey time of only 20 minutes. The journey is included in the "Duo Ticket" rail scheme meaning that you can purchase your tickets at a 25% discount if there are two of your travelling.
Tynemouth and Whitley Bay
We can't get enough of the North Tyneside coast and one of our favourite things to do at a weekend is go there for a potter. Explore Tynemouth with its amazing weekend market, delicious little cafes and coastal views; eat ice-cream at Beaches and Cream in Cullercoats or walk along to Whitley Bay to climb St Mary's Lighthouse and indulge in amazing local dishes at Hinnies.
How to get there: The Metro runs all the way out to the coast making it easy to visit all of the seaside towns in North Tyneside.
When I first started travelling from London to Newcastle to see Simon I was so intrigued by the little glimpse I got of Durham from out of the train window, it looked so beautiful! Luckily when I finally got there for an explore it completely lived up to my expectations (and then some!). Go for a peaceful walk along the river, climb Durham Cathedral for amazing views, feast on cake in one of the many tea rooms and if you have any energy left make sure you hit the high street for a shop!
How to get there: Virgin East Coast, Crosscountry and Transpennine Express run trains run regularly from Newcastle Central Station to Durham with a very short journey time of only 10 minutes.
One of our favourite places to visit is Saltwell Park in Gateshead, in fact Simon and I enjoyed one of our very first North East dates there messing about on the lake in a swan boat. It's easy to spend an entire afternoon at the park, especially in the Summer when long lazy picnics are best followed by a stroll round the lake and, if you can fit one in, an ice-cream cone.
How to get there: Go North East run the No. 53 and 54 buses from Newcastle City Centre or Gateshead Interchange with buses running up to every 10 minutes.
Another great train adventure is a trip to Corbridge in the heart of Hadrian's Wall country. With plenty of pubs, a ton of history, loads of pretty gift shops (including the quirky RE) and the all important collection of tea rooms there's plenty to do to fill your day.
How to get there: Northern Rail run direct trains from Newcastle Central with a journey time of 30 minutes. The journey is included in the "Duo Ticket" rail scheme meaning that you can purchase your tickets at a 25% discount if there are two of your travelling.
The Northumberland Coast
I will admit we've only made it on the bus as far as Alnwick and that was a bit of a long journey but the countryside is absolutely beautiful and if you're able to get up early enough it's actually possible to journey by bus from Newcastle all the way up to Craster, Bamburgh and beyond (just prepare yourself for a very long trip!). The Northumberland Coast is absolutely stunning and the bus trip offers you some fantastic views and some great little places to hop off and explore along the way.
How to get there: Arriva run the X18 bus from Newcastle all the way up to Berwick upon Tweed via Warkworth, Alnwick, Craster, Seahouses and Bamburgh. Make sure you plan your trip properly and get up early as the whole route takes hours.
Angel of the North
The iconic Angel of the North has its very own bus service making it easy to get to and a great place for some selfies. Although there isn't much else to do at the Angel itself, it's worth ticking off your North East Bucket List and the nearby Saltwell Park means you can turn it into a day trip.
How to get there: Go North East run the 21 Angel Bus which runs frequently from Newcastle or Gateshead Interchange and takes you almost to the foot of the Angel!
To help you on your way here are a few of my favourite travel handy websites that we use frequently:
Traveline North East - a very handy website to plot out your routes using every mode of public transport!
The Trainline - essential for looking up train times and prices
Metro - It's always a good idea to check your journey before you travel as there are sometimes closures.
Let me know your favourite adventures in the North East and how you manage to get there without a car. We're always up for new places to explore!
This post is part of the #LoveNorthEast linky