Play Hard

Here’s where to watch Euros 2020 in Newcastle

Who knows? Football might even come home this time…

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 05.06.2021

The ‘North East’s biggest beer garden’ at Newcastle’s Central Park in Times Square is undoubtedly the big-name draw in the city’s boozy Euros offering. But with tickets about as rare as a flash-fried steak, you’ll be hard-pressed to get yourself a spot now if you haven’t booked already.

Boiler Shop are similar, with their HUGE screens (we’re talking 12ft x 16ft) proving hella popular; all of England’s group matches have already sold out.

 

But don’t despair – Euros 2020 has already proved it’s all about rolling with the punches. And when it comes down to it, yes, sitting in the sunshine while watching a game is bangin’, but we’re the last to rely on the British summertime – and few things compare to hearing that roar of a goal in a proper boozer.

And when we hear the words ‘proper boozer’ and ‘football’, there’s only one place we think of: The Strawberry. Tucked in the shadows of St James’ Park, this local favourite is one of the oldest pubs in Newcastle and is almost as emblematic of football in this city as black and white stripes. There’ll be one hell of an atmosphere here, as there will be just round the corner at sports bar and grill, Shark Club. With what feels like thousands of TV screens, as well as sports-day classics on the menu (think chicken wings, burgers and nachos), there’ll be few better bars out there for holing yourself up in and getting your footy fix. Plus, they’re bringing back their city-famous Euro Cup game, and will even be opening up extra-early on Sunday 13th June ahead of England’s 2pm kick off.

Euros-hosting neighbours in this neck of the woods include The Trent House (although there’s just the one screen here) and, just a five-minute walk away, the Percy Arms – who, as well as having plenty of TV screens, also have a pool table if you fancy a halftime game.

Before you get there though, you may just want to pop your head into newly-refurbished The Three Bulls Head. Following a huge makeover, the former old-time boozer is looking slick and fresh and, to be honest, a lot more inviting. Having installed six extra screens – taking the total up to 20 – it means that wherever you’re sitting here, you’re always going to have the best view in the house.

Further up Percy Street, Crow’s Nest is one of our favourite, truly traditional British pubs. Think cask ales and pub grub, with a real friendly atmosphere to match (and all the football you could ever need). On the other side of the road, The Junction also live and breathe sports, with plenty of room and a perpetually-buzzing atmosphere – which may have a little something to do with the beer pong tables they have set up.

 

It would be remiss if we didn’t mention The Five Swans while we were in this part of town, as it would be if we forgot about The Hancock, on your way up towards Newcastle University’s The Philip Robinson Library. It goes without saying that the latter is a popular student haunt, but The Hancock really is passionate about football and the drinks selection (not to mention the scran) here is immense. Plus, it’s got one of the best beer gardens in Newcastle for after the match (or during, if we’re playing that terribly). Best of all? They welcome walk-ins.

Head into town from here and one of the first pubs you’ll stumble across who are also showing the Euros will be City Tavern. An award-winning public house, first established in 1923 within an historic Tudor façade building, it’s one of Newcastle’s most iconic venues – and their TV set up is gorge. All in all, it’s a cracking place to watch history being made, when England do the unimaginable and actually win the Eur… no, we’re not even going to say it.

If you’re looking for something a little more modern, just next door is Pacific House, who have always been one of our go-tos for any kind of sporting event. With 13 screens showing every live game of Euros 2020, you’ll not miss a single kick. Oh, while you’re here, make sure to order at least one of their three flavours of The Newcastle Distillery Co. gin – they’re amaze.

Back to business and, if you head down Pilgrim Street, you’ll find our new favourite pub: The Market Lane. Although a watering hole has stood on this site for the last 150 years (and, for most of them, was affectionately termed ‘The Monkey Bar’), in 2019 The Market Lane underwent a £100,000 facelift to turn it into the swanky trad-pub-come-cocktail bar we love today. Think chilled vibes and swish drinks.

Head up towards the Bigg Market and take a right onto High Bridge to get your footy fix at the Old George Inn – Newcastle’s oldest pub, dating back to 1582, which even boasts royal connections (Charles I was a regular visitor, while in an open prison nearby). They’re showing every game of Euros 2020, as are The Rose & Crown, a two-minute walk away up towards The Gate.

In the other direction, down the Cloth Market and along to Dean Street, you can kick back, grab a punk (we’re talking IPA here) and watch all the Euros 2020 action unfold at BrewDog. Here you can bring your own screens – if you’re not about that standing-on-tiptoes-to-see-past-the-person-in-front vibes – and BrewDog will bring snack bowls for you to enjoy with your bevs. Now if that isn’t top-notch service, we don’t know what is.

 

Keep heading down towards the Quayside and you’ll find plenty of Euros buzz at Akenside Traders. Renowned for their live sport offering as much as they are for their craft beers and spirits emporium, stop by the Akenside if you could fancy some tapas and hand-stretched pizzas with your football. Built on a medieval site, nearby neighbour The Bridge Hotel is your classic traditional pub – boasting cosy Victorian-style snugs, wooden panelling and carved fittings alongside stained glass windows and detailed mosaics. All of this, combined with their reputation for serving up a huge choice of cask ale, makes it a top contender for your Euros 2020 regular.

Just a hop, skip and a jump away is The Telegraph, which you’ll find is another cracking little spot if you’re looking for matchday snacks with your pints (although the strawberry daquiris here are a game-changer, just FYI). Speaking of cocktails, The Waiting Rooms just five minutes up the road serve 2-4-1 cocktails all day long, so you can sip in style while watching Harry Kane and co. sweat it out.

Planning on watching any of the matches solo? The Centurion is a good shout. Just over the road from The Waiting Rooms, and backing onto Central Station’s departure platform, there are plenty of comings-and-goings here and enough screens to guarantee a decent view from wherever you lay your pint. Plus, it sits right on top of Central Metro Station, if you’re hoping to beat the crowds home.

A two-minute walk away, just outside of Newcastle’s now-legendary Times Square beer garden, the Blonde Barrel has a load of outdoor space that comes complete with an outdoor screen or two – so you can still catch those rays (with any luck) and capitalise on the buzz you’ll hear from the neighbouring beer garden. One of the newest bars on the block is just over the road, and it’s a real dazzler. Bobby’s, right on the town-end of Scotswood Road, only opened in April but is already proving to be a real hit with locals. The best thing about Bobby’s? That it aims to be as safe and as inclusive a space for everybody as possible – by fusing party vibes with cabaret and live sport. So, there’s really no reason to go anywhere else.

Circling round on ourselves back into town, then, and we’ll find ourselves at The Forth Hotel. Epitomising urban cool, The Forth mixes a stylish, contemporary bar with classic pub features and a handful of quirky touches – think exposed brickwork, statement chandeliers, cosy open fires (not that we need them right now) and local artwork adorning the walls. Less than a minute away, The Victoria Comet was Michael Caine’s first stop-off in Newcastle in the cult classic film Get Carter – so if you’re after a watering hole with some tales to tell, look no further. After a fair bit of restoration, this classic pub (which has been frequented by Geordies since the 1800s) is now brimming with stylish, urban vibes, all while staying true to its heritage.

Another hotspot for all your Euros 2020 action is Rosie’s Bar ft. Mr Alexander’s. A true Geordie legend, football-mad Rosie’s has seven TV screens which will be showing all the international action coming our way this Summer – some of which are situated in their upstairs speakeasy, Mr Alexander’s. A classic boozer with a modern twist, you’re always going to have a good time here.

Now we’re of the opinion that size rarely matters, but if that’s your main motivator then The WonderBar is your best bet. With probably the largest indoor screens in the Toon, entirely dedicated to all things sport, you’re in for a blast. Oh, we almost forgot to mention the interactive darts, live music, bierkeller and cracking scran you’ll find here too.

And that, more or less, brings us back to The Strawberry. Enjoy!

 

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