Haymarket is probably one of my favourite metro stations although I’m not entirely sure why. Possibly because it’s the first one of the Newcastle stations so once you reach here, you know you’ve arrived in our gorgeous city. It’s probably more because it’s right next to Primark though to be perfectly honest!
In 2006 it underwent a drastic refurbishment which saw the introduction of some retail units and an all you can eat buffet upstairs (however that didn’t last long and soon closed down). It was one of the original stations when the network was opened in 1980 and now sees an average of over 6 million people a year pass trough it.
Geographically the closest pub out side the doors at the top of the escalators is the Junction however it’s somewhere I’ve boycotted ever since my friend was told she couldn’t breastfeed in there unless we ordered food so crossed over the other side of the road to the far far superior Hotspur.
With the centre of Newcastle awash with trendy new bars popping up all over the place and The Gate Complex just down the road it’s nice that some old school traditional pubs are still knocking around.
It’s very much a drinking bar, with a smattering of tables around the edges however does serve toasties and burgers etc if you’re peckish. It has a really wide selection of cask ales (Wylam Collingwood, Wylam Galaxia, Billy Mill 3 Kings Ale and even their own Hotspur Bitter) but they’ve also joined the 21st century and you’re able to grab a glass of Prosecco or some fancy gin should that be your tipple.
It’s proximity to St James’ park means there’s always sky sports on the TVs positions in the corner of the room in the main bar and widescreen plasmas in the back they’re not too overbearing and creates a lively atmosphere, especially on the rare occasion that Newcastle win a game! There’s enough areas away from the screens where you can sit peacefully and enjoy a drink and some conversation if you’re not interested in the sport.
It’s so named as it’s located on Percy Street and Hotspur was the nickname of Sir Henry Percy the eldest son of the 1st Earl of Northumberland (there’s nothing you can’t learn from wikipedia!). So it’s steeped in local history and even have USB phone chargers behind some of the booths, so even the Earl could charge his ye olde iphone.
All the city centre stations have a lot of competition, The local Wetherspoons (The Five Swans) which is opposite the Civic Centre on St Mary’s Place is worth a visit, it’s always comfortably busy, with lots of different seating areas and standard Wetherspoon prices and The Three Bulls and The Goose are also quite canny if you fancied a mini Percy Street pub crawl!
Find out more about the pubs we’ve visited on our adventure here