Tuesday 10 April 2018

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour

So many office workers spend their lunch hour stuffing in a sandwich whilst sitting at their desk. After a morning sitting on my bum, I love the opportunity to get out into the fresh air, it's essential for my mental health and leaves me feeling ready to tackle the afternoon. It's amazing what you can do in an hour on your lunch break, so today I thought I'd share with you 20 things to do in Newcastle during your lunch hour - yes that's a whole month's worth of activities to stuff into your lunch time.

I'd love to hear your recommendations too, what do you do in your lunch hour?

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour

Do some boring jobs

Not very exciting I know but I love to try and get my boring jobs done in my lunch hour to free up more time at the weekend. Posting parcels, getting my eyebrows threaded, picking up a birthday card - all things that can easily be done in your lunch hour and you'd be amazed how much extra weekend you gain.

Explore a Museum

If you're lucky enough to work close to one of the city's museums you'd be surprised how much you can see in your lunch break. Whilst it's physically impossible to see everything in an hour, it's a great chance to maybe see a new exhibition or revisit a favourite and offers the perfect opportunity for some peace and quiet away from your desk to clear your head.

Discover somewhere new for coffee

The average office worker spends a crazy amount of money on coffee every week but why not take a break from the chains and try somewhere different in your lunch hour? With so many great independent coffee shops spread across the city there's bound to be one near your office. A great way to switch off for an hour, snuggle up in a cosy corner with a cup of something hot.

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour - Coffee

Go Rollerblading

Yes, this possibly sounds a little mad but when I was living and working in London, taking roller boots into work for a quick skate at lunchtime was completely normal especially for those working near a park. Of course if rollerblading isn't your thing, taking your running shoes with you for a quick dash round the streets near your office is a great way of getting in some exercise during your lunch hour.

Try a local sandwich shop

It's so easy to fall into the habit of returning to the same sandwich shop every day (we're all guilty of spending all our pennies in Greggs) but how about trying some of the independent shops in Newcastle in your lunch hour. With so many to try make it your mission to shop around and discover a favourite. I promise you the sandwiches will be tastier than any pre packaged in a chain shop.

Explore a new area

Take a look at Google maps and you may be surprised to discover where you can walk to in your lunch hour. I love to explore areas of the city that I don't know too well. If your office is based near the Quayside then Ouesburn is a short stroll and a great place to wander and you'd be surprised how fast you can walk to Jesmond from the north of the city.

20 Things to do in Newcastle Lunch Hour

Do your weekly shop at the Grainger Market

I love strolling the Grainger Market in my lunch hour and have been known to do my weekly shop while I'm there. Far more enjoyable than wasting your weekend in a supermarket, Grainger Market is packed full of fresh fruit and veg, meat and fish, wine and more than enough goodies for you to eat for your lunch while you're there (just make sure your colleagues don't eat your grocery stash from the office fridge!)

Read a book in the park

In the Summer months I love nothing more than crashing out on the nearest patch of grass to my office and getting lost in a book. It can be so tricky to find the time to really get into a book so utilising your lunch hour to enjoy a chapter or two is such a treat.

Pet a Cat

Newcastle has two cat cafes and if you're lucky enough to work near one of them it offers the perfect chill out and coffee opportunity with some precious kitty cuddling in your lunch break. You'd be surprised how easy it is to switch off from the overflowing inbox when you're saying hello to these cuties!

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour - Cat Cafe

Listen to music at The Sage

Chilling out at The Sage on the Gateshead quayside has to be the perfect way to spend a lunch hour. With free wifi, a lovely little gift shop and delicious cakes it's such a wonderful little spot and if you're lucky you may even be treated to some free music whilst you're there. With regular performances in the atrium, students playing guitar on the comfy seats or rehearsals in the theatre there's usually something lovely to listen to.

Have a makeover in Fenwicks

Who wouldn't want to head back to their office looking like a movie star? Mooching about the Beauty Hall in Fenwicks is one of my favourite ways to spend an hour and with many of the makeup counters offering makeover services it can be the perfect opportnity to learn how to perfect your brows or create the perfect smokey eye. Bobbi Brown offer quick 15 minute lessons that slot into a lunch hour.

Take Photos

Whether you're an Instagram addict or just love taking beautiful pictures of lovely things, strolling around the city taking a few snaps is a really relaxing way to spend your lunch hour. I love taking photographs around the city and always return to my desk feeling very inspired (and even more in love with Newcastle!)

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour - Wylam Brewery

Listen to a Podcast

I've recently become addicted to Podcasts and my favourite thing to do is power walk my way round Newcastle listening to something that makes me laugh. Whilst strangers probably think I'm a little strange I love to lose myself with some intellectual chat or comedy over my lunchtime.

Get Lost in Waterstones

Getting lost in a book shop or library has to be one of life's greatest joys and a lunch hour is a perfect amount of time to wander the shelves and discover something new. Crash out on a comfy chair and have a little flick (Waterstones also have a rather lovely little cafe!)

Eat Cake

Eat cake in your lunch hour!  Need I say more? If you've had a particularly tough morning then there's no better pick me up then a slab of cake from somewhere delicious. We have some fantastic cake shops in the city centre so there's bound to be one near your office.

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour - Cake

Down on the Farm

Sometimes animals make so much more sense than humans so if the office is driving you a little mad then you'll probably appreciate a little trip to the farm. Ouesburn Farm is a nice little walk if you work near the Quayside and saying hello to the pigs on a lunch hour never fails to put a smile on my face.

Try a lunchtime deal

Some of the best restaurant deals can be found at lunchtime so grab your colleagues and escape your desks with some purse friendly scran in the city. If you work near the Quayside check out my guide to the best lunches but believe me there are bargains to be found all over the city.

Stroll the Quayside

Walking along the Quayside on a beautiful sunny day is the best way to spend your lunch break. Fast walkers can make it down to the peaceful Staithes where you'll be blessed with miles of stunning river views, the perfect spot to take a moment before returning to your desk.

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour - Quayside

Enjoy the views at the Baltic

The views across the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside are the finest in the city and if you're lucky enough to work near the area I highly recommend a quick visit to the Baltic in your lunch hour. Take a lift up to Six on the top floor and enjoy a cup of coffee by the floor to ceiling windows and take in the stunning view. Just make sure you remember to go back to work!

Look up!

Newcastle has the most fantastic buildings and if you take a moment to look up you may notice things that you've never spotted before. From gorgeous statues, curious features and brightly coloured roof tops there's a whole world to discover and planning your own "look up" walk at lunch time is a fantastic way to recharge the batteries ready for the afternoon.

20 Things to do in Newcastle during your Lunch Hour - Monument

What's your favourite thing to do in your lunch hour?  I'm always looking for new ideas so make sure you share yours in the comments!



  1. Some very good ideas for destressing and mentally unwinding. Newcastle is a great city for photography - I never tire of it.

    1. Me too! Every time I think I've captured it, I'm suddenly inspired by a new angle!

  2. Wonderful ideas. I lived and worked in Newcastle for a year and I miss it so much! x


  3. Fantastic ideas - with a little bit of planning it's amazing what you can get done in an hour! My preference is to take a walk or visit a nice park or coffee shop xx

    1. I can FLY around the shops in my lunch hour - think my record was 4 different stores (including trying things on!)

  4. I love these ideas! I wish I worked somewhere more central - there's really nothing within a walking distance from my office. I do love going out on sunny days though and treat myself to an ice cream <3 xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    1. I do feel for people who don't work in a city centre, I've been very lucky and always worked in the centre!

  5. I work in Gateshead so I would usually either walk down and over the High Level Bridge to St Nicholas Cathedral or head over to The Sage for a look around there. If I have something specific to do in Newcastle then I'd get the metro to Jesmond and walk back into town.
    Two of my friends walk from the office to Saltwell Park but I think that's quite a distance. Anyway, I have Pilates classes 2 lunchtimes ( and I daren't miss those!),
    I don't think you mentioned many of the parks in Newcastle? That's also an option.
    Just as an aside here, if I have to take the kids to Gateshead, my son thinks that visiting the Vue cinema and then Tesco are wonderful, courtesy of their escalators!

    1. Oh wow that's quite a hike! I used to do the Quayside to the Staithes and back in a lunch hour - I think that was a fair few miles! YES! Newcastle parks, love them!

  6. Awww this post reminds me so much about my time in Newcastle as a student. I used to do quite a few of these things during lectures; got some cheap bargains at grainger market, have lunch at olive and bean or have a walk round Great North Museum. I like that you said 'Look Up!' I used to find the winters so long and cold and found myself actually never looking up! It was only in my first spring there that I realised how beautiful Newcastle is. Great post!

    1. The first time you look up it's quite a shock! Even now I'm discovering things I'd never noticed before!

  7. So great that you work somewhere that you can get out and about on your lunch break. I'm lucky if I have enough time to eat my soup ha I could do all of these in the holidays though, I suppose :)
    Laura x

    1. I'm definitely lucky to work so centrally! I cant imagine what it'd be like to work in the middle of nowhere with nowt to do!

  8. Love you post Chloe! I've been listening to podcasts on my lunch break too. I like mystery ones which always scared the life out of me. Katie x

    1. I've not tried any scary ones yet, not sure I fancy that!

  9. I work in the centre of town and try so hard to get out and about over lunch, but always end up spending money! Must try to head to a museum or park, certainly will be easier once the weather is a bit better.

    1. Yes! Trying not to spend money is a tricky one!

  10. I love this! Alas, I work in a little industrial estate on the outskirts of Durham - I’d love to spend my lunchtimes indulging in some of these!

    1. Argh no! I'm guessing there isn't a ton of lunch time activities available!

  11. I called into the mog on the tyne on a wet lunch hour. A great way to spend a hour great staff and lovely cats

  12. These are some lovely ideas - I think that looking up is a great idea!


    1. I try so so hard to look up every day because it's crazy how easy it is to miss things!

  13. I love this! I'm like you, I like to make the most of my lunch time. I usually spend it ticking off the jobs list so I have more free time later. This is such an awesome list of things to do! Nikki x


    1. I am such a big fan of ticking off jobs in a lunch hour - it's amazing how much you can get done!


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