Four years ago today I packed up my life in London, caught a train up north and started my new life in Newcastle. Where on earth has that time gone? I still honestly can't believe that I wake up every day and get to call this fantastic city my home!
To celebrate, I thought I'd share with you some of the things that I have learnt from my time in Newcastle. We all know that there are many stereotypes around Geordies, life in the North and, of course, those wild nights on the Toon.
Allow me to sort out the truth from the rumours and let you know the reality from the lies!
Welcome to Newcastle Fact v Fiction!
Everyone in Newcastle says 'why aye'
When I first started visiting Newcastle I was desperate to hear my first "why aye". Admittedly no one says it as much as Vicky Pattison does, that's very much put on for TV, but I do hear it several times a day and it will always make me smile.
Geordies don't wear coats
As a southerner, I still find it slightly bonkers that everyone walks about with no coat on in the colder months. I've been on many an outing with my friend Sam where I'm wrapped up in a faux fur whilst she's strutting about in a Summer dress and bare legs. Despite knowing me for years, she still finds it so amusing that every time she meets me I'm bundled up like an Eskimo.
It's cold and wet in Newcastle
It really annoys me that people think it's freezing cold and wet all the time in Newcastle. Just because we're in the north does not mean that we live in a permanent state of snow and rain. I'd say we have just as much rain up in the North East as there is in London and although it's often a few degrees cooler than the capital we have as many warm Summer days as the south!
Geordies are the friendliest people in the country
Despite having only lived in the Toon for 4 years I have some amazing friends who I feel like I've known my entire life, and that's probably down to the fact that Geordies are so friendly! A stroll round the shops can take a lifetime as everyone wants a chat.
Geordies are permanently tanned and glamorous
Ladies in the North tend to glam up much more on nights out than girls in the south and big hair, huge eyelashes and fake tan are a way of life in Newcastle. Unfortunately their ways are yet to rub off on me but there's still time!
6. Everyone in the Toon loves getting mortal
Newcastle is definitely a party city, we have huge amounts of hens and stags stumbling along the Quayside every weekend to support that. It's not all about the wild nights out on the Diamond Strip though and there are plenty of beautiful bars for a quieter evening drink, however it has to be said the folks of Newcastle love their drink. I'd never heard the phrase "lets get mortal!" before moving to Newcastle but it's now a phrase I hear every weekend.
Geordies love Greggs!
Did you know that Newcastle is the birth place of Greggs? So if you've ever visited Newcastle and wondered why there's a Greggs on every street corner, now you know. On the last count there were 29 Greggs stores in Newcastle, which is three times more than any other UK city. We mostly love to munch on stotties (which you can only buy in the North East!) and sausage rolls!
The Geordie accent is the best in the UK
I'm forever hoping that one day I'll wake up and will be able to speak Geordie but unfortunately I don't think it'll ever happen. Whilst I still struggle to understand them when they've had a few drinks, there's no denying that the Geordie accent is beautiful.
It's pretty grim up north
Nothing makes me more mad than people believing that Newcastle is a barren bleak land suffering in poverty with its people choking on the smog from the factories that dominate the landscape. Newcastle is a city with beautiful architecture, fantastic history and picture perfect views surrounded by the most stunning countryside of Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the Lakes. We can also reach the beautiful cities of York, Leeds and Edinburgh in only an hour. If you don't believe me, please come and see for yourself!
For plenty of inspiration and adventures in Newcastle and beyond you can follow along on Instagram here.