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Discover Newcastle, Northern Ireland, With Leontia from Hutt Hostel

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Leontia from Hutt Hostel

When you have visitors, where do you take them first?

To the top of Slieve Donard (the highest peak in Northern Ireland!), if they can handle the hike!

The best place to get coffee around The Hutt?

Definitely without a doubt, The Savoy Cafe. They do Bailies coffee, it’s awesome!

The first a traveler should do after checking-in?

Go explore!

Quirkiest place to visit in Newcastle?

Olive Bizarre, a cafe up at the harbor area of town. They have fake grass on the walls and gnomes and toadstools scattered around it and they have the best toilets. They also give out hot water bottles to anyone who is a little chilly after wild Irish swimming in the sea! Amazing food too, tea is served in fine china, with tea cozies on the pots!

Olive Bizarre Newcastle NI
Olive Bizarre, the perfect place for an afternoon treat.
Best park to read a book?

Tollymore Forest Park is absolutely gorgeous and relaxing.

Best viewpoint to see the whole town?

The very top of Slieve Donard, or the quarry if you cannot make it that far.

Cheesiest attraction in Newcastle that you can’t help but love?

Peddle Swans on the boating lake… They are just cute.

The perfect day in Newcastle?

Sitting outside The Percy French on a hot summer day enjoying a pint!

24 hours in Newcastle?

Get on a bike and explore the place, walk on the beach, treat yourself to lunch at Olive Bizarre and have a seaweed bath at Soak to wind down.

Newcastle Northern Ireland
The beautiful coast of Newcastle, Northern Ireland
Best advice concerning the weather?

Have a plan B!

The only desert a traveler should have in Newcastle?

Cafe Creme do pretty mean cakes…

Best advice about public transportation?

Transport will be easier for anyone staying at The Hutt from now on, we teamed up with a local shuttle bus service so everything is easily accessible.

What is the coolest bus route to see the town?

There is a great bus service that runs in the summer called The Rambler, it’s a good option for walkers wanting to check out Silent Valley.

The view from Hutt Hostel in Newcastle Northern Ireland
The view from the top floor of Hutt Hostel
Best monthly or yearly events?

We are lucky to have Newcastle Community Cinema that screens on a monthly basis and do quirky outdoor cinematic events, like a drive-in, a swimming pool screening and a forest park screening. Good option for people seeking an alternative choice of entertainment, always great fun for kids too. Also, during the summer, we have Newcastle Arts Festival. Actually, the town is always thriving in the summer. There is always good bands playing in the local bars, comedy nights always go down well here too!

How to spend the day with only 5 euros?

Get yourself a really good takeaway coffee and walk the entire length of the beach. It’s good for the soul!

How many days should someone stay?

In a weekend, you can usually get a lot done, depending on what you want to do. For the outdoor enthusiasts, a longer stay is preferable because there are so many good walking routes; the Mournes are pretty spectacular.

Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland
The amazing bike trails of the Mourne Mountains
What are you most proud of about Newcastle?

The scenery for one, but you cannot beat Irish hospitality.

Best day-trip?

Belfast City, just about 1 hour away.

A useful sentence people should know?

The actual meaning of ‘craic’, not to be confused with ‘crack’!

Dirtiest bar you like to hang out on weekdays?

There is a great dirty bar in town nicknamed “The Growlers”, had something to do with the attitude of the owner. The roof leaks when it rains and the wallpaper is pinned back with cellotape when it falls off. Aapparently it’s called character!

Where can we find you on a Friday night?

Most probably The Anchor Bar. They have a jamming session on Friday nights; anyone who takes part gets a free drink!

Best local drink?

Guinness in The Anchor is the best, but they also have a great selection of locally brewed craft beer; there is a new one every time I go in. They also stock Monteiths which is my favourite.

Best hangover breakfast place in Newcastle?

The Savoy Cafe, again, it’s an all-rounder in my book.

Why do you work in a hostel?

I like the unpredictability of the job, not knowing who the next guests are going to be and if they going to be really cool! I like the buzz of the hostel when lots of different nationalities are staying and the chirping of the languages.

Hutt Hostel Newcastle
The really cool interior of Hutt Hostel. Yes, these stairs are amazing!
The weirdest things left behind in your lost and found.

Monopoly Money…

Who was the most inspirational traveler you’ve met?
Inspirational guests at the Hutt Hostel
Hubert, a German who visited the hostel 25 years after he was there the first time. He’s got interesting stories about Belfast back then!

I really liked Hubert Ilgart, a German who was revisiting the hostel he stayed in 25 years ago, only this time he brought his wife with him. He told me great stories about travelling to Northern Ireland on his motorbike in the height of the troubles, his family thought he was mad, but he went anyway. Apparently it was a Boney M song that made him want to travel to NI. He got into a few sticky situations on his travels back then. One was when he was taking photographs of blown up cars, a British soldier asked him what he was doing and pointed a gun at him. In his very broken English he tried to explain ‘Tourist, Tourist’. They, however, thought he said ‘Terrorist, Terrorist’. That could have ended pretty bad for poor Hubert but after the soldier destroyed his camera with his memories of Belfast, he was let go and advised to come to Newcastle. He took many pictures down here, and took the same ones when he came back 25 years later…nobody was going to destroy his camera this time. He sent me the pictures.

Art wall at Hutt Hostel
The colorful mural in the games room.
Coolest feature of Hutt Hostel?

It has to be our epic mural in our games room! A graffiti artist named Kev Largey did it and we are very proud to have his work all over our hostel.

Newcastle in 3 words?

Area of Natural Beauty.

Would you do another job?

I am pretty happy for now. Holidays would be nice though!

How do you stay sane?

I party with the guests… only way!

For more info about Hutt Hostel in Newcastle (and remember, it’s Newcastle Northern Ireland we’re writing about here!), check out their website.

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The Hostel Worker

I once asked a fellow hostel worker if he was still sane after working in hostels for so many years. His response: "Well, sane is another word for boring." Here's to many more hostel years!

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