Now call me controversial but I love a cold beer or a glass of wine in the sunshine as much as the next person. Just because I'm a parent doesn't mean I cannot partake in this little pleasure. I do however only limit myself to one drink if I have the kids with me, so it had better be a good one! Here is my round up of family friendly pubs throughout the North East that tick all of the boxes in summer:- fantastic food, a good selection of drinks, nice outdoor space and something to keep the kids entertained.
Photograph courtesy of The Three Horse Shoes website.
The Beehive in Earsdon feels like you are in the middle of nowhere when in fact you are just a few miles from the coast. What I love about here is their secret garden which is accessed through a secret door at the side of the car park. It is so secret in fact that we had to ask a member of staff where to find it! Once inside you could be anywhere. The garden is fully enclosed with a play frame and picnic tables. Music plays through the hidden speakers and it feels like your own private garden party. Food is very good but can sometimes take a while to arrive.
The Gibside beer garden is the largest beer garden in Gateshead. It is only open on a Friday evening 6-9pm (and Saturdays during summer). The atmosphere is super family orientated and there is often a live band playing. As the sun sets the garden transforms into something magical as the candles twinkle on the wooden tables. There is a small miniature castle play frame and children like to bring their scooters to ride while mum and dad relax.
The Northumbrian Piper in Fawdon is a deceptively large pub with an even larger garden to their rear complete with play area for children. Again, you really do not feel like you are just minutes away from the busy motorway! Food is good and reasonably priced.
The Lion and Lamb in Horsley is the pub for you if you prefer your pubs traditional and in the middle of the countryside. The food is award winning and there is a garden with play area with views of the river Tyne.
The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval is where you need to be if you fancy a bargain home cooked bite to eat or drink in the sun. There is a beer garden to the front and a seperate beer garden with play area to the rear.
The Sandcastle in Sunderland has both an indoor and outdoor play area so is the ideal place to visit of you're not sure the sunshine is going to last. The outdoor play area is free but the indoor wacky warehouse is chargeable at £2.50 per hour per child.
The Anglers arms in Choppington doesn't have a play area as such but there is a park adjacent to the pub. The pub is worth the trip and feels very traditional with lovely home cooked food.
The parlour in Blagdon isn't a pub as such but they do serve wine and beer and have a lovely outdoor space which is a real sun trap. It is just up the road from Northumberlandia, has it's own ice cream kiosk and a good children's menu. The play area comes in the form of a play house and toys within the enclosed garden.
The Schooner Inn in Amble is just 2 minutes from Amble harbour and the perfect pub to pop into after a boat trip. It has a large outdoor play area and features regular entertainment evenings.
The Ship Inn in Low Newton is a perfect pub by the coast. It has wonderful sea views, it's own micro brewery and serves wonderful food. The children's menu is fairly limited but don't let that put you off. There is no play area as such but families spill out onto the large area of grass outside and the beach is on your doorstep. Take a picnic blanket as if it's a lovely day the picnic tables soon get snapped up.