When you left us we were sitting in the 'Central' sampling the wares. Soon though it was time to leave Gateshead and wander back into Newcastle, in search of yet more pubs.
A walk across the Tyne Bridge, (at least I think it was that, Newcastle has its fair share of bridges) brought us back in about 10 minutes to the 'Bacchus'. Its address is High Bridge, but is nowhere near a bridge, just down a side street, but is another place not to miss. Newcastle Camra's pub of the year for the last 3 years it is easy to see why. Smart, comfortable, and with 8 handpulls serving beers rarely seen elsewhere in the city, it is a great place for tickers, and for food as well. A committed manager has brought a breath of fresh air to the local ale scene, and often features 'Yorkshire Dales' brewery specials on the bar.
Refreshed and replenished we were off again. This time to 'The Strawberry' just in the shadow of St James Park. Not a pub for Sunderland fans, sorry Iain, it is a shrine to the 'Toon' with Newcastle United memorabilia all over the place. Even the house beers are 'Toon Barmy' and '5-1', sorry Iain again ! A basic back street boozer though.
Next was another Newcastle must visit pub. 'The Newcastle Arms', on the fringes of Chinatown, is legendary amongst beer enthusiasts. It holds regular beer festivals supplementing the 8 beers on the bar. Again they are sourced from far and wide but we settled down with the house beer, Big Lamp 'Golden Star' while Phil tried to extract information and beer from the cellar from the manager. Failing on both counts we were the homeward leg.
It is a short walk down the 'Bodega' on Westgate Road, with its stained glass domes it is an airy, fresh feeling pub which serves 6 beers, mostly locally sourced. More or less next door is 'Tllleys' which is a street corner pub with a few beers on, but we were amazed to find keg 'Schehallion' from Harviestoun on a lager font. Not that we tried it though.
This brought us back to the Union Rooms and the railway station, with its 'Centurian' bar. Built in 1893, and ornately tiled, it has been tastefully renovated and is, apart from the pedestrian beer range, a great place to while away the time until your train arrives.
Newcastle is a great city for beer, and an even better city if you like pubs. Every one we visited was different and many had been restored sympathetically. It is well worth a day out to wander round and hunt them out.
(thanks to Alan and Phil, without whose help this trip would have missed out some classics. We will be back sooner rather than later)