I’m from Mauritius, a tropical country where the temperature rarely falls below 15 degrees. So going through winter here for the first time was, for lack of better words, quite an experience for me.
The cold was obviously very new to me but did you know that Geordies also have their own quirks when it comes to the winter? Here is a list of everything you need to know about the Geordie winter if you are an International Student.
Picture this, it’s freezing outside and you have a fantastic night out planned ahead. You are walking down the streets of Newcastle cosied up in different layers of clothing and you see loads of people walking around with fabulous outfits, but without a coat!
Although I have never been daring enough to brave the elements like a Geordie, I will always remain in awe of all the Northerners who do not let a little thing like frostbite stop them from looking utterly fabulous on a night out! How do they do that? This is the magic of Newcastle. Sure it is cold but who cares about wearing a cumbersome coat when you have a night full of dancing in front of you?
One of the best things about winter is that it also translates to the Christmas period! Christmas frenzy starts very early in Newcastle, especially with festive-inspired drinks being released early in November.
Coming from a country where it is almost always warm, I was actually amazed by the wide variety of hot drinks that are available here, especially during winter! The likes of Costa and Starbucks not only update their cups to reflect the Christmas vibes but they also release delicious drinks such as the Gingerbread Latte and the Billionaire’s drinks which are honestly heaven in drink form!
Geordies take Christmas very seriously. They like Christmas so much here that they start decorating for Christmas as early as the end of October. Streets and shopping malls are all illuminated by Christmas lights and decorations.
My personal favourite is Eldon Square which never fails to impress with its Christmas decorations. When you get into Eldon Square during November and December, you can almost feel Christmas in the air. This feeling really settles in with Fenwick’s famous and awe-inducing Christmas window, which changes every year. Without forgetting the fantastic deals that the numerous outlets offer nearing Christmas!
The campus also gets ready for this festive period with several beautiful Christmas trees all around. I remember seeing the Christmas tree being lit up for the first time. I was in awe of how beautiful it was. It was truly a magical moment.
Snow was definitely one of the highlights of my first Newcastle winter since I had never seen it before. If you are an international student like me and have never seen snow before, prepare to be enthralled! Seeing Newcastle covered in a fresh pristine white blanket of snow is truly a splendid sight.
Funny anecdote: I remember the first time I saw snow in Newcastle, I was so excited that I kept pestering my friends to take a proper picture of me in the snow so that I could send it to all of my friends back home. Result: my friends were forced to stay outside in the cold for almost half an hour just to take a good picture of me! (the stunts you do for social media haha).
As you can see, the Newcastle winter is quite an experience but as long as you remember to wrap up in cosy coats and scarves, it sure is a very enjoyable one!