What is with the British weather at the moment? OK, I know… it’s notoriously unpredictable at the best of times, especially here in North East England, but it’s just been nuts recently!
Last month I wrote a post all about my favourite indoor attractions because during February 2018 many of us were struggling with snowy conditions. Then a couple of days after I hit publish, we get a random heatwave and the daffodils start springing up everywhere!
With that in mind I have pulled together a list of awesome places to spend time with your friends and family in the great outdoors across the North East. Just don’t blame me if it starts to chuck it down again as soon I finish writing it!
Disclosure – This post is not sponsored but it does reference places I have previously visited using press tickets fore review purposes.
Beamish – The Living Museum of the North
I have visited Beamish many times over the last few years and it’s always a sure fire winner with both young and old members of our family! I love that there is so much open space to explore and the staff always go out of their way to make you feel special. The vintage vehicles that transport you around the attraction are simply wonderful and no visit is complete without a trip to the sweet shop in the 1900’s Town. You can read about some of our previous days out at Beamish HERE and HERE.
Beautiful Bamburgh Beach
This place is so special to me and I am happy here whatever the weather. There’s something very soothing about a walk along the unspoilt beach (although it wasn’t saying that when I came here for Bootcamp last year)!
The breathtaking castle that stands proudly beyond the sand dunes adds to the ambience and is well worth a visit. Once you’ve blown away the cobwebs by exploring Bamburgh’s beautiful coastline I suggest heading to the Wyndenwell shop in the village for coffee or ice-cream.
If you’re ever looking for a place to stay in the heart of Bamburgh, Northumberland I can highly recommend Grace Cottage, James and I enjoyed a really wonderful stay here last year, it was perfect!
NewcastleGateshead’s Bustling Quayside
I couldn’t possibly write this post without including the Quayside. I could walk along it everyday of my life and never bore of the spectacular views and fun things to do along the way.
The outdoor Sunday market is one of my favourite places to spend a few hours and there are so many great places to eat and drink around here, especially with the new addition of By the River Brewing Co where you can eat al-fresco from local street food vendors at the HWKR Market.
I’ve even done a zipwire from the Tyne Bridge and I’m planning on kayaking down the river later this year! I’ve heard that the Quayside Seaside will reappear soon too!
Tranquil Days Out at with National Trust
We are so lucky in the North East as there are several National Trust properties close by and they are wonderful places to get some fresh air as the buildings are usually in gorgeous grounds with lots of lovely walks. Gibside and Cragside are two of the biggest where you can easily have a full day out but smaller attractions like Seaton Delaval Hall and Cherryburn are quirky and captivating too thanks to their fascinating history and stunning locations.
Peace in the City at Jesmond Dene
Jesmond Dene is a haven of woodlands and parklands not far from the city centre. In the middle of the Dene there’s a family friendly pets corner and cosy coffee shop. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. It’s also a brilliant location for collecting conkers in Autumn!
Something tells me I’ll be spending lots of time of Jesmond Dene in the near future, watch this place to discover why!
Animal Magic at Whitehouse Farm
We’ve had some cracking days out at Whitehouse Farm, the kids love being able to get up close to some of their favourite animals and there’s always a packed programme of events and entertainment.
We usually pack a picnic and grab a spot near the playground but there is a big barn with plenty of tables and chairs so you can eat your sarnies under cover if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
The Angel of the North – She’s an Icon
Ever since they made their first trip up the A1 to visit me, my niece and nephew have been obsessed with the Angel of the North. They know they are nearly here when they see the iconic monument! I have promised them we’ll fly a kite there this summer (hopefully we can get some updated photos for the family album too).
Meet Pink Flamingos at Washington Wetland Centre
This is another wildlife attraction that appeals to all generations! I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that flamingos live here! That’s reason enough to visit if you ask me. Keep an eye out for family events across the year too, they often have trails and fun days to get involved with. You can read about a previous visit HERE.
Check the Tide Times Before Heading to Lindisfarne
The holy island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland is a unique place full of history. I highly recommend a day out there and when it comes to refreshments, a cup of Pilgrim Coffee from the roastery on the island is definitely something you have to try. Be sure to check the tide times though, as you can only drive over the causeway when the tide is out!
The Alnwick Garden is Full of Surprises
Alnwick Garden is another fabulous place to visit in Northumberland, it’s full of colour of life! In 2018 it won “The North East top Large Visitor attraction”. Where else could you explore a poisonous garden, marvel at the sight of a grand cascade of 120 water jets then enjoy lunch in a tree-house? I’ve never visited the neighbouring Alnwick Castle though, that’s definitely on the list for a day out soon!
Saltwell Park is the Perfect Place for a Picnic
Closer to home, Saltwell Park in Gateshead offers 55 acres of gardens, woodland, a boating lake, bowling greens, plus a visitor centre and cafe. It’s somewhere I plan on spending more time this year as I’ve only ever really been there for events like Enchanted Parks!
Escape From it all at Kielder Water and Forest
James and I have stayed in Kielder Forest as part of a Northumberland campervan holiday and we were blown away by the beauty and calmness of the area. We’ve also visited the Observatory which is a magical place that allows you to appreciate the finest dark skies in England in all their glory. We have vowed to go back with our bikes for a proper exploration of the woodland paths around the reservoir. We’ve also been reliably informed that the new Zog Activity Trail is a great day out for families.
Chill Out With Your Very Own Beach Hut
The colourful row of huts overlooking the sandy beach in Blyth are operated by Active Northumberland and are available to hire for £35 per day. They are ideal for visitors who want enjoy a day at the seaside whilst also being able to retreat for shelter and a warm cup of tea if (or indeed when) it gets a bit chilly!
Behind the beach huts is a fab playground, there’s a tempting fish and chip shop nearby too. You can read about my Blyth Beach Hut Experience from a few years ago in this this post.
Splash About at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street
We discovered this place on a family day out a few years ago and have fond memories of the kids running around in the splash pad and then trying to fend off the swans who tried to pinch our ice-creams! The adventure playground was a big hit with the little ones and my parents loved how accessible the park was.
These are just some of the fun things you can do in the great outdoors in and around Geordieland. I’d love to hear what your favourite family days out are, so leave me a comment below!
If you enjoyed this post you might also like my article about Gateshead’s Great Outdoors and the Top Ten Things to do along the North Tyneside Coast.