“ City streets, markets, shopping malls, large retail parks... „
I live 15 miles outside of Newcastle and always have to make the half hour trip into the 'Toon' to do any kind of decent shopping. I use the bus so I always come into Newcastle at the Haymarket bus station. Adjoing the station is the cities large Marks and Spencer store. Many people using the buses here walk through the store to get to the other side - exiting takes you directly onto Northumberland Street which is Newcastle's main outdoor shopping area.
This pedestrianised area includes the Haymarket bus and Metro Station and stretches down towards Blackett Street where the shops curve around Grey's monument and the Monument Metro station. There are a mix of great shops on Northumberland Street with only a few hit by the recent economic downturn. Popular clothes stores include a large multi storey Primark shop. This is a busy, untidy place that always has long queues but the clothes are ridiculously cheap. Next door to this is a large, also multi storey (including cafe) BHS which sells clothes and also has a household linen section. There is also a Next store on Nothumberland Street selling both womens, kids and mens clothes. Midway down the street there is an H&M store which has two full floors of women's clothing (inlcuding a Plus size range) and a smaller men's section. They also sell children's clothes here. The choice is huge and the fashion really keyed into the trends. The Evans store at the far end of the street beside the clock tower really marks the end of the shops on Northumberland Street. Turn towards the Monument square for high fashion stores like FCUK, Fatface clothing and more.
Northumberland Street also has multiple chemist stores including Boots and Superdrug.
There are a couple of fast food outlets: KFC and McDonalds and a small branch of Burger King.
HMV is the big music and DVD outlet but WH Smith rival this.
An important landmark shop is Fenwicks which opened in 1882. This store is well known for it's christmas window displays in which children's tales are brought to life by puppets and music. Last year it was a depiction of 'Oliver Twist'. Fenwicks is a massive store and has independant retailers inside, often many designer names and brands including Hugo Boss. They have a toys department and a special baby clothes section which is impressive. They also have a Yo Sushi bar just inside the entrance. John Lewis (formerly known as Bainbridges) is sort of melded into the side of Fenwicks and has a fantastic grocery store at street level.
This indoor shopping area can be accessed at several places but there are main entrances at the top of Northumberland Street and also beside Grey's monument. At the last count there were 156 shopping outlets but with the site currently under reconstruction this can only get bigger and better. Stores include Fenwicks, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer (all of which have entrances that lead to outdoor locations). There are several great clothes shops including Monsoon, River Island, Dorothy Perkins, Republic and Ann Harvey. Specialist stores include La Senza for lingerie and Clarks for shoes.
There are also many places to eat and drink inside the shopping area and you are never too far away from an exit should you want some fresh air.
The mall is actually well managed and there is an information booth inside. There are also mini touch-screen computers dotted around the mall which highlight the location of every store there. There is a tannoy service incase of emergencies (like lost children). Vending machines can provide cheap refreshments and sweets. They even have a frozen icecream machine!
Eldon Square leads onto a smaller shopping area known as Eldon Garden. This is located just near the Monsoon store. There are escalators to all levels. The area is more quiet and refined than the rest of the mall as it has a loop style walkway. Shops here are specialist and independent. They can be quite expensive or unique. There are a couple of salons here and a wonderful little cafe.
This mini mall is situated at the end of Northumberland Street. There are two main entrances - one beside Evans and the closed down Zavvi store and one near the Blackett Street road. There are several great reasons to go inside here. There is a Newcastle United store. There is also a Body Shop and an art shop which sells pictures and sculptures. On the lower level a massive TK Maxx is housed. Everything is on one floor here and makes the store seem quite untidy and disheveled! Some great designer bargains to be had though!
Slightly outside of Newcastle (about ten miles east) but a popular tourist spot is the North Shields Royal Quays. You may be taken here if you are a ferry passenger coming in from Europe as it is widely praised by the tourism operators. Stores here offer up to 60% off RRPs and there is a large selection of designer stores including Mexx and a specialist surf clothing store selling O'Neill and Billabong. Also here are Marks and Spencer.
Gateshead's massive mall is a very imrpressive place to visit. The special theme areas are what excite me most about this place and I love just wandering through the Mediteranean Village as it's like a dream mall! There are all sorts of shops here from your usual high street stores to independent retailers who provide services like model making and painting to made to order newborn baby dolls! Transport links are excellent here with regular buses running into Newcastle and the surrounding areas. Also serviced by train and there are extensive carparks around the mall.
This covered Market is found beside Grey's monument and Grainger Street. It is a unique looking area as it was constructed in the 1830's and still has that ancient look about it. I love the stalls here. There is a small Marks and Spencers stall that sells discounted items. The prices are so low sometimes they may as well give the stuff away! Also here are second hand book stalls, sweet stalls, butchers, haberdashery stands and there is also a fantastic shoe shop which specialises in Doc Martens of all colous and styles.
Check out these websites for more information about opening hours and other details for the above malls and shops:
Ok, so you think about shopping areas in the North east and what is the first thing you think of? The Metro Centre, which is great but it is really easy to get lost there. Eldon Square is so easy to get to and around, it has loads of great high street shops like Topshop and Marks and Specers, and it has easy access to it by both Bus and Metro, plus there are loads of car parks situated near by. There are places to eat like BBs Muffins and Coffee, or Mcdonalds or even greggs! Eldon Square is a great place to go with your friends on a Saturday, to shop and eat. Nearby is the Laing art gallery and the Hancock Museum, both quite popular attractions in Newcastle. The only problems with Eldon Square are the litter and security. I personally feel that their could be more security guards walking around, not only in the shops but around them too. Also the litter is a problem, but I have seen more cleaners around recently so Il think they are trying to sort it out. Otherwise Eldon Square is a great place to shop and eat.