Photo courtesy of summonedbyfells(CC Attribution)

Newcastle is a lively, vibrant city, and many people in the UK flock to it for various reasons, from the nightlife to the football to the culture. It stands to reason, therefore, that as new visitors come to the city, they learn things about Newcastle which they previously did not know. However, there are certain aspects to Newcastle which someone would only know if they actually lived there, and which can’t be captured or aren’t immediately obvious to tourists. Some of these are outlined below.

Firstly, the North-East has something of a reputation for being very cold at times, and particularly for being one of the coldest regions in the country when winter comes. But it isn’t just the weather which provides a strong hint that Christmas is on its way. Fenwicks is one of the more recognisable department stores in the Toon town, and during the festive season, Fenwicks brightens up the intu Eldon Square shopping complex with its Christmas window display. It is the sort of thing which evokes the true spirit of the winter holidays, and it is often unveiled to the locals at the beginning of December. Therefore, the main point is that the majority of Newcastle residents believe that the Christmas season only truly begins once the Fenwicks window display has been made public.

Secondly, every city has its own stereotypes built upon reputations, whether good or bad, based on celebrities or other factors which have cultivated the image of the “typical” person who habitates there. In recent times, because of Newcastle’s superb nightlife, some have wrongly tarred Newcastle residents with the same brush as they do for those who appear on the television show Geordie Shore. The typical, and wrong, stereotype is that most people in that age range who enjoy going out on the town must be like the, erm, characters who appear on that MTV show. However, Newcastle residents know better, realising that those who choose to live a more carefree and somewhat wild lifestyle are not representative of Newcastle people as a whole. The stereotype is still prevalent to some, though, so only by experiencing the city on a daily basis would they realise that Geordie Shore creates an unfair stereotype of the Newcastle faithful.

The next fact is for the slightly older locals in Newcastle, who may remember a striking feature of another shopping centre up north. Well, it was at the into Metro Centre in Gateshead, so it’s just outside Newcastle, but many Newcastle residents will have visited the centre at some point, most likely for this very reason, because the centre once had a roller coaster! How cool is it to cap off a family shopping day by riding a roller coaster on site? Known as the Metroland roller coaster, it was a great addition, something really unique for a retail area, and something which helped to establish the centre as a place that you HAD to visit. Unfortunately, it was removed in 2008 amidst great protests, being replaced by a cinema. However, it has recently been reborn and is now situated in Devon, so those with fond memories of riding the coaster in its old home have the chance to do so again, albeit a little further south!

Finally, everyone knows about the Geordie accent; with the possible exception of Scouse in Liverpool, Geordie is probably the most notable accent in the entire country. As with any accent, Geordie brings with it plenty of slang words. However, unless you’ve lived in Newcastle, you probably don’t realise that there is such a wealth of words, phrases, slang terms and other modifications to everyday talk that Geordie is actually considered something of a different language to English. To those outside the city, Geordie is just another way of saying certain words, but for those who live in the city and have done for years, it’s so easy to become accustomed to Geordie dialect that it almost serves as an alternative to regular English, since there are so many locally-based words and terms. You’ll find out for yourself if you ever come up here and spend more than a few days; by the time you get home, you will have received a real education in not only the Geordie accent, but also the Geordie language too!

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