Life In Geordieland

Rachel's Guide to Newcastle and Beyond!

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How to Burn Calories (and have fun!) in the North East

January 22, 2019 in Outdoors 3

As I scroll through my social media apps it seems that almost everyone I follow is on some kind of mission to be healthier. Whether it’s giving up drink, hitting the gym or taking on an epic challenge, their valiant efforts have made think about what I could do to burn a few extra calories. The trouble is… I am already too late for Dry January, I am allergic to gyms and I don’t feel anywhere near fit enough to commit to something as challenging as the Great North Run (although I would love to one day)!

I’m all too aware of the importance of exercise but I’m much more likely to take part in something that I actually enjoy rather than a gruelling work out… Thankfully, there are loads of ways to burn calories and have fun at the same time here in the North East, here are my top suggestions…


Image Credit: NGI

Once you get over the icy temperature of the North Sea, surfing in the North East is actually an exhilarating way to burn a few calories! I’ve surfed at Tynemouth where you can easily rent equipment from the friendly bunch at Tynemouth Surf Co (they offer inexpensive lessons too) and further up the coast in Northumberland you’ll find Northside Surf School (Amble) and Boards and Bikes (Beadnell)


Newcastle may be a bustling city with a vibrant urban landscape but you really don’t have too look too far to discover tranquil coast and countryside walks. I love exploring Gateshead’s great outdoors, our beautiful public parks and blowing away the cobwebs with a stroll along the seafront.

Walking is also a great way to learn more about Newcastle’s heritage. Newcastle City Guides offer a programme of over 40 different heritage walks, usually on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings from April until October, but please check the brochure as days vary.


Not a natural runner!

Those who know me well will be surprised to see running mentioned in a post about having fun because despite participating in several running events over the last few years (Race for Life, Couch to 5k etc,) I have never quite got the ‘buzz’ for it.

However, if running is your thing, I recommend you follow runner_katiejane on Instagram, this lovely local lass often shares stunning pics from her running adventures across the North East. Katie’s passion for running also features regularly on her lifestyle blog Katie Jane Online so I’m sure you’ll find lots of inspiration there.


I wonder how many calories you burn when you go clubbing? I’m sure I read somewhere it was about 350 an hour, although I reckon my alcohol intake cancels that out during a night on the Toon! 

I do love dancing though and have previously tried out a jazz class at Dance City. This purpose built dance centre in the heart of Newcastle offers dozens of weekly classes and more than 40 different styles of dance to choose from. It’s a brilliant place to socialise, learn new skills, keep fit, train professionally and watch jaw dropping performances in the theatre.


Have you ever tried an indoor climbing walll? They’re great fun for kids and grown ups alike and Geordieland has several to choose from. 

The Valley Climbing Centre is a state of the art bouldering gym on the edge of the Ouseburn Valley with extensive facilities for climbers of all abilities. It’s the second centre to be opened by Climb Newcastle, building on the success of their original climbing facility in the old Byker swimming pool.

I love the look of Clip and Climb Newcastle, they have a staggering 25 walls and even their names have me breaking in to a sweat… The Detonator, SkyScraper, Cloud 9 and Leap of Faith to name but a few!

There are also climbing facilities at Sport Central in Newcastle, they offer a 12 metre climbing wall with 18 different routes to try.

The nearby Sunderland Wall often has offers available for taster sessions to check them out too.

Fly a Kite

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of flying a kite, which is why you’ll have a huge grin on your face and the words to the song from Mary Poppins in your head from the moment your catch a breeze. You can pick one up from a toy shop for about a fiver and I promise it will bring your family hours of calorie burning fun!


As you may have read in my last post, one my aims for 2019 is to explore more of the North East on my bike, I’m hoping to persuade my other half too by ensuring I plan our routes via welcoming country pubs! 

There are lots of tried and tested cycle paths to explore  in Geordieland, I love the one from Newcastle Quayside to Tynemouth where the lure of fish and chips by the coast always spurs me on during the last mile or so of the journey, although that kind of defeats the object doesn’t it? Ooops!

If you’re not particularly confident on a bike, or want to improve your skills whilst also meeting new people in Newcastle, I urge you to check out Cycling in the City on facebook. I discovered this page a little while back and have been impressed by the amount of meet-ups and free taster sessions they offer. The initiative also works in partnership with British Cycling to put on longer bike rides – you can check these out at


Thinking back to when I was little, I never ever thought of swimming as exercise, I just loved splashing about in the pool with my friends, so why should we see it any differently as adults? A trip to the pool is always a winning suggestion for a day out when my niece and nephew come to stay (Waves in Whitley Bay is a particular favourite) and I wouldn’t be surprised if I burnt just as many calories chasing them around the pool singing Baby Shark as when I go on my own and swim ten lengths. 

Free Fitness Classes and Events

I am amazed at how many free events and activities take place in this region, we are so lucky! In the past I have tried out sports like Aquarunning and Zumba thanks to This Girl Can, I’ve given Cardio Tennis a go with Coco-Cola Park Lives and discovered that Yoga is for everyone with Active Newcastle. There is always something going on!

You’ll often hear about free events and classes through facebook, I share them regularly on the Life in Geordieland page. The Active Newcastle website is also a great place to find ideas, there’s currently over a hundred different activities you can register for on there – all free – from Pilates to Power Pump! 

I’d love to hear how you enjoy keeping fit, especially if you’ve discovered any fun activities to enjoy in and around Newcastle!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also with to check out my review of Northern Bootcamp in Northumberland.


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4 years ago

So so many great ideas here Rachel, love the idea of flying a kite, getting some exercise while you’re having fun is definitely key for me so this is a great one!

4 years ago

OMG surfing, i feel like that is so overlooked in the North East. I mean yes it’s cold but the north is cold anyway! Great shout!

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