10 places to visit for free this week

10 free places (or cost of a cuppa) to visit in the North East

It's the last week of the school holidays! Everybody's probably feeling a bit skint (I know I am). That's no reason not to get out and about. Here's my guide of fun-filled places to visit when you're on a budget.

1. Crabbing at Craster
Craster is a beautiful fishing village in Northumberland and it has an abundance of rock pools! Parking is £2 all day at the visitor centre. Grab your nets and buckets and get exploring!

2. South Marine park, South Shields
This park is right on the sea front. Lots of space for picnics and ball games, 2 lovely play areas including a large sand adventure zone, boating lake, miniature railway, ice cream kiosk and toilet facilities. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.

3. Rising sun country park
Lots to do at the rising sun. Free parking, cafe and visitor centre, woodland park, well signposted walks with lots of animals to spot in the wildlife hide (look out for the stag!), Rising sun farm with an honesty stall and animals to visit, BBQ area and water features.

4. Newcastle quayside
Newcastle quayside has lots to offer little ones, the NE1 city beach (near pitcher and piano) is here to enjoy until September so grab a deck chair and watch the world go by! Enjoy a walk along the river, admiring all of the bridges. Finally, cross the millennium bridge and visit the Baltic. Entry is free. It is child friendly and kids especially like the super fast lifts. Don't miss the stunning views from the viewing box!

5. Free museums in Newcastle
The Great North (or Hancock) and Dsicovery museums are fantastic free days out for the family. If you've never been before you really should. There is lots going on! 

6. Ridley park, Blyth
Pack your costume and enjoy the water playground in the centre of this park. There are also 2 age specific play areas and a cafe

7. Woodhorn museum
Parking is £3 but you can park at the QE2 park for free (a short walk away) The museum is free to enter - it had some lovely local exhibits on at the moment, a craft area, lots of space to run around plus a chance to learn about our mining heritage. There is also a miniature train on selected days for only £1.

8. Pets corner
Pets corner at Jesmond dene is lovely. A nice little play park, picnic area, visitor centre/cafe, woodland riverside walk and of course the animals. Such a good free attraction.

9. Laing art gallery
Free entry. Borrow an art backpack from reception and explore art in a hands on way.

10. Barter books, Alnwick
The Uk's largest secondhand book shop. Free to enter and browse. There is a fab children's section where you are encouraged to share stories and books can be picked up for pocket money prices. Look out for the model railway above your heads and the cafe in the old station is unique with lovely homemade cakes.


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