Destinations

Newcastle: 5 Pubs for a Quiet Pint

November 3, 2016 / United Kingdom
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Newcastle has a well-deserved reputation as one of the nightlife capitals of Europe, but when the locals want to get away from the sparkle and the noise and just relax over a pint of beer, where do they go? The next time you’re looking for a quiet night out in Newcastle, call an Uber and consider these excellent choices:

Cumberland Arms

Tucked away at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac close by the Byker Wall, Cumberland Arms is one of Newcastle’s more popular pint havens.The interior hasn’t changed much from 1860, and it’s comfortably scruffy with wood-burning stoves, plank floors, stacks of board games, and Victorian furniture. Staff and customers are easygoing and cheerful, even when the queue at the bar stretches out the door. There’s an excellent range of cask beer, some of it from Northern Alchemy Brewery located in old shipping containers a few yards away, as well as a great range of cider and hearty British pub snacks like delicious pickled eggs. There’s also a tree-fringed garden out the front with views down to the river for warm nights. (Byker Buildings, Newcastle upon Tyne)

The Northumberland Hussar

A big 1950s roadhouse-style pub in the enclave of Heaton. It appeared on the verge of extinction in 2013, but a cash injection from a local brewery director has given it a fresh lease. There’s excellent hand-pulled cask ale from Tyneside breweries, alongside quality beer from farther afield in England (including the brilliant Milestone Brewery of Nottinghamshire) and occasional rare foreign finds. The Northumberland Hussar is one of the few pubs in Britain to serve Bavarian smoked lager on draught, and the quiet back room lined with pictures of Heaton Park is also a great place to sample the award-winning Northern Dry Gin, distilled fifteen miles down the road in Roker. The homemade burgers and Neapolitan-style pizzas are great, too. (Sackville Road, Newcastle upon Tyne)

The Free Trade Inn

A short way from the raucous glory of the Quayside, The Free Trade Inn is a classic triangular, red-brick street corner pub with a no-frills interior. The friendly staff serves well-kept Tyneside and Northumbrian ales, as well as wholesome sandwiches. Most people are drawn here by the atmosphere and the big picture windows looking west along the River Tyne. Come in the evening and watch the sun set behind the Tyne bridges, surely one of the most romantic views in England. (St Lawrence Road, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne)

The Crown Posada

The Crown Posada is one of Newcastle’s few remaining Victorian pubs. The long thin bar, with a tiny, cozy wood-paneled snug still has the original tiling and there are wonderful Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows. The beer on hand-pull is all well-kept local Northumbrian ale from the likes of the Allendale and Wylam breweries, and they also serve toasted sandwiches. To help set the mood, there’s a vintage record player that spins old jazz 78s at a volume that’s unlikely to disturb even the quietest conversation. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and the regulars are welcoming. Although the stag-night madness rolls past the front door, it never seems to cross the threshold, leaving patrons free to talk the night away. (31 The Side, Newcastle upon Tyne)

Tynemouth Lodge Hotel

Twenty minutes from the city centre on the way to the coastal resort of Tynemouth, the Tynemouth Lodge Hotel is a gem. It’s a traditional one-room English public bar with no TV, jukebox, piped music, or gaming machines. But it does have a warm atmosphere, friendly customers, and fine beer—including one of the best pints of draught Bass you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Order a drink, sit yourself down on one of the green leather banquettes, and let the joy of this wonderful pub warm your bones. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the hardest to find. (Tynemouth Road, North Shields)