A student night in Newcastle: Going out in one of the UK’s clubbing capitals

Bare legs in January, the 3am kebab ritual, and three trebles for a fiver…

Newcastle students, along with those from Sheffield, are the most satisfied with their social lives in the UK. For Newcastle at least, this is probably to do with the nightlife, the lure of which can be seen by the stag and hen “dos” piling out of the station each weekend with their cans of beer and feather boas. So for those of you who study in the cosier confines of the south, these are the basics of a regular night out on the "Toon".

To begin the night, your average student will have "pre-drinks" with friends at home or somewhere in the predominately student area of Jesmond. Around 11pm, Newcastle’s taxis are rushed off their feet ferrying students to the pre-club bars. For many students, the first thing to get used to, especially those coming from the south, is the incredibly cheap price of drinks in these bars. The second thing to get used to is the trebles.

In London, if you were to ask for a treble, it is likely that the bartender would look at you like you were crazy, and then charge an extortionate price. Up here, trebles (three shots of vodka and mixer) are usually sold three for a fiver, and are the norm on a night out. Although they can be lethal, especially at such low prices, they do seem to be the fuel of a good night out for the student population. The last thing to get used to is the dress sense.

Students are well known for their weird outfits when going out, be it dressing up in various fancy dress outfits, or, at least here, following the Geordie tradition of going bare legged in January. Societies love fancy dress and use it on a night out to promote a community feeling, help freshers recognise which group they are a part of, and to make everyone look plain silly (not that anyone is sober enough to care by the time they’ve left the house).

Next up, you move on to the actual clubs - if you can still get there. This means a short walk down towards Tyneside, where most are found and where, after you pay your entry, you realise the effect of those trebles has begun to wear off. After you find the cheapest drink with the greatest alcoholic content – still incredibly cheap by southern standards - the dancing commences, continuing until around 3am (when everywhere but the fast food joints close). By this point most people feel hungry, tired or just completely fed up of tripping over the hula hoop someone brought as a part of their circus costume.

The last stop of the night is one of the fast food establishments that litter the walk home. For some reason, despite being students and knowing it’s cheaper to go home and feast on whatever we have stored in the cupboards (mostly pasta), we are regularly seduced by the warmth of freshly carved kebab (and the high fat content). Not wanting to wait for half an hour in the queue at the taxi rank and having used up what could have been taxi money on your pre-emptive hangover remedy, it is time to begin the long walk home in the northern cold. When you finally get home, you crash out and hope that the hangover really isn’t so bad the next day – after all, there’s a 9am lecture to go to…

 

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