Newcastle College

Things to do in Newcastle | Newcastle College

Visiting Newcastle College? You’ll find this city-centre institution alive with creative energy. With 18,000 students and a full alphabet of courses from art and design to youth work, it’s one of the UK’s largest vocational training facilities. And, while its multi-million-pound campus in the centre of Newcastle is state-of-the-art, the college has historical roots that date right back to 1894. If you’re coming to look around as part of an open day or graduation, you can’t fail to be impressed with the incredible facilities on offer. There’s the £16-million Lifestyle Academy (with its gym, spa and award-winning restaurant) and the £21-million Performance Academy that even has its own theatre and record label. But the prize for the most jaw-dropping area on campus has to go to the Aviation Academy which has an air hangar complete with a Boeing 737 and light aircraft to take apart.

Our guide has all the information you need to make your Newcastle College visit run smoothly, and to really get things off to a good start, why not check into one of our Newcastle hotels? There’s a Premier Inn near Newcastle College that’s just a short stroll away from the main Rye Hill campus so you’re sure to arrive feeling well-rested.

Newcastle College

Newcastle College


The College has invested millions so that students can hone their skills in an environment that’s as close to the real thing as possible. But visitors to the college can also enjoy the facilities, whether that’s by having a low-cost (but still indulgent) treatment at the spa or enjoying the gourmet delights on offer at the Chef’s Academy restaurant.

The college is based on one large site at Rye Hill campus, in the heart of Newcastle city centre. The address is Scotswood Rd, Newcastle NE4 7SA. For general enquiries, make your way to the Advice and Enquiry Centre in Rye Hill House. But if you have an appointment or are there for an open day, follow the campus signs to Rye Hill House - you’ll find the reception in the foyer.

If you’ve got time on your visit, treat yourself to a treatment at The Retreat, Newcastle College’s state-of-the-art beauty salon. If art’s more your thing, head to the Mandela Building - it hosts regular exhibitions from both students and professional artists throughout the year. Or you could watch a  show at the theatre from the student stars of tomorrow at the Performance Academy.

The college holds two degree open evenings a year, in October and March. Taking place at the main Rye Hill site and lasting about three hours, they’re a great way to see the campus and get a feel of what it would be like to study in Newcastle. Current students are on hand to answer questions, too. Booking is highly recommended, and you can do that through the College’s website.

There are disabled parking spaces for blue badge holders at all college buildings. These do not need to be booked in advance, but are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Inside, buildings are fully accessible with ramps and lifts, and there are lowered counters at help desks and cafes. Accessible toilets can be found throughout all buildings - and you don’t need a RADAR key.

Eating and drinking

On campus you’ll find 10 cafes and refectories which are great if you just fancied something quick and tasty. But where should you head for something special? Here are the best places to refuel on your Newcastle College visit, both on-site and off.

You’ll be served and cooked for by students, but a meal in the Chefs’ Academy is like eating in any top-notch restaurant. Not only has it won a prestigious AA College Rosette, its contemporary decor and gourmet fare consistently win it rave reviews on TripAdvisor. Being situated on the top floor of the Lifestyle Academy gives it far-reaching views over the Tyne Valley, but it’s the food that keeps people coming back for more. Inventive, creative and incredibly good value for money, choose from daily specials like rabbit rillette and red pepper polenta with foam - all beautifully presented, to boot. Just leave room for a Baileys coffee and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

If you’ve never tried Persian food before, a trip to Newcastle College could be your perfect excuse. Moulin Rouge Cafe and Grill  is just a stone’s throw from the college gates and it’s a gem of a place with a bustling atmosphere, that attracts a melting pot of customers, from students to business people. It’s small, but that only adds to its charm. Wondering what to try when you finally get a table? It has to be any one of the melt-in-the-mouth lamb dishes - like lamb shank in a rich tomato sauce with fragrant herb rice. Vegetarians are well catered for too, with tasty dishes like aubergine salad and flatbread to mop it up, or the homemade falafel wrap. Wash it down with a deliciously light Persian tea.

Tucked away down a little cobbled street off the popular, city centre Greys Street is this smart pub. Bacchus is well-known among the locals for its great atmosphere and some tremendous bar snacks - like fresh pork scratchings with hot apple sauce. Real ale aficionados will love it - this is a beer drinker’s paradise. Not only are there are six varieties of the foamy stuff on tap, but there’s an ever-changing menu of craft beers to keep you coming back for more. Non-beer drinkers will love the extensive wine list and the selection of gins and rums from around the world. If you’re there at the weekend, you’re in luck because the Sunday lunches at Bacchus are legendary.

Near Newcastle College

If you’re visiting the College to have a look around, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s well-placed for exploring all of Newcastle’s city centre attractions, from designer shopping malls to legendary bars and restaurants.

Also nearby is St James’s Park, home to the mighty Magpies. And, if your Newcastle College visit doesn’t coincide with match day, take a stadium tour instead, to see everything from the trophy room to the players' dressing room.

A short walk down the river takes you to the glittering music venue, Sage Gateshead. Even if you’re not lucky enough to get tickets to one of its shows, the building has dramatic architecture and fantastic views, making it a great place to stop for a coffee, plus it’s free to get in.

From there you’re in pole position to soak up all the atmosphere of the Quayside which has some of the city’s best restaurants. Go in the evening for the most photogenic views of the Millennium Bridge.

Getting to Newcastle College

You’ll find the main campus of Newcastle College at Rye Hill, sandwiched between Scotswood Road to the south and Westmorland Road to the north. It’s slap bang in the middle of Newcastle and, as such, is well connected to public transport.

By car
Thinking of driving? Put NE4 7SA into your sat nav and first follow signs to Central Station. Parking is free and plentiful.

By bus
Grab either the 1, 30, 31, 32 or 32a - these stop close to the College on Westmorland Road and Rye Hill.

By train
Central Station is only a ten-minute walk from Rye Hill Campus, just past the Discovery Museum.

Looking for a hotel in Newcastle?

We have a huge range of fantastic hotels in the North East for the business and leisure traveller. If you're on business, check into our airport hotels. We also have a range of hotels ideally located for a weekend break away. Plus, there are hotels near Newcastle University and a collection of budget hotels for the price conscious  Whichever part of Newcastle you’re planning to visit, you’ll find a selection of comfortable Premier Inn hotels nearby.