The Best Family Days Out in North East England

Today I am sharing some of our favourite days out from over the years across North East England. We're so lucky living here as there is always just SO much to do. For more ideas, make sure you join my UK Days Out Reviews Facebook group. I have worked with many of the attractions mentioned in this post in the past but nobody has asked/paid/provided an incentive to appear in this post.




The Best Family Days Out in North East England


Seasider Open Top Bus Tour

The Seasider Bus runs from North Shields to Whitley Bay across weekends, bank holidays and school holidays from the end of March - September. You can hop on and hop off as much as you like and will be rewarded with the most gorgeous views. A family ticket will set you back just £8 for up to 2 adults and 3 children for unlimited travel. Read our full review and check out the timetable here. 


The Best Family Days Out in North East England  - The Seasider Open Top Bus Top

Bat and Pizza Nights with Wild Intrigue

Family Bat and Pizza Nights run at Wild Northumbrian near Kielder throughout the summer. They're fantastic value for money and suitable for families with children of all ages (from tots to teens). The evening involves making your own pizzas, toasting marshmallows around a campfire, going on a bug safari, playing on a rope bridge, drinking hot chocolates and then taking a bat walk with specialist bat detector equipment. Great fun for the whole family and/or groups of friends. You can watch more from our evening here over on my Instagram Story Highlights here and visit the Wild Intrigue website here to book. 

Credit - wild intrigue

Plessey Woods 

Plessey Woods is a fantastic free country park in Northumberland. There's a lovely new adventure playground, free sculpture trail through the woods, cafe and plenty of space for a picnic plus streams to paddle in when the sun is shining. Find out more about Plessey Woods here. 

The Best Family Days Out in North East England  - Plessey Woods

Derwent Reservoir and The Boat Shack 

It's FREE to visit Derwent Reservoir and it's a brilliant destination for a family day out. There are walks and free trails around the reservoir, a large adventure playground and BBQ/picnic areas plus the freakshakes from The Boat Shack overlooking the reservoir at Pow Hill are epic! Find out more and read our full review here.


Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens 

Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens only open for a handful of weekends each year. They are such a lovely place for a family stroll and there are always lots of exciting sculptures to discover around each corner. Entry is via donation. Find out more and check this year's opening dates here. 


Whitehouse Farm 

Whitehouse Farm has recently received lots of investment and their facilities are now second to none. There is so much to do here and it's ideal for a rainy day or equally as good when the sun is shining. Expect animals to pet and feed, tractor rides, huge adventure playgrounds, bouncy cushions, an indoor soft play centre, go-karts, diggers to play with, special events and more. See more photos and read our full review and all you need to know here. 



The Stick Man Trail Hamsterley Forest

The Stick Man Trail at Hamsterley Forest is lots of fun for children, especially if they're fans of the Gruffalo. The easy forest trail is a superb way to stretch your legs and get some fresh air - you'll spot the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's child, take part in mini activities and join in with the adventure play equipment. Lots of fun and lots to explore - highly recommended. Read our review of the Stick Man Trail here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including The Stick Man Trail Hamsterley Forest Durham

Moorhouse Farm Shop, Stannington

A farm shop isn't somewhere you would normally find on a list like this but we think that Moorhouse Farm Shop is pretty special. There's a small play park for kids, an indoor play barn with sandpit and building blocks, a place to search for gold plus a chance to meet the animals. The staff are always super friendly too. Read our full review of Moorehouse Farm Shop here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Moorhouse Farm Shop, Stannington

AMF Bowling Washington

Bowling is a pretty standard family activity but we have found when it comes to bowling with kids, AMF Bowling have really got it right. From a member of staff setting the screen up for you to stickers and special treatment when you get a strike, we loved our experience and it is definitely worth a visit. Read our full review of AMF Bowling Washington here.

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including AMF Bowling Washington


Angel of the North & Saltwell Park by bus

The Angel of the North and Saltwell Park are both FREE to enter so all you need is the cost of your bus ticket for this adventure. We had lots of fun exploring Gateshead and both of these places are fab for kids to let of steam. Read our full review of our trip to Gateshead by bus here.

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including the Angel of the North

Special Events at Beamish

I think we've been to Beamish 3 times this year and loved every visit. Their special events are superb and every time we visit we discover something new. I think the horses of war event was our favourite this year - if your family love horses, look out for it in 2017. Read our full review of Beamish here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Beamish Steam Train


Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle

One of our favourite days out that we enjoy every year is the walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle. The walk is suitable for little legs and you'll spot lots of nature along the way from wild flowers to crabs in the rock pools and you might even have to walk past a friendly herd of cows. The views of the Northumberland coast are simply stunning! Read more about our family walk to Dunstanburgh Castle here.

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including the walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle

The Labyrinth at Cragside

The Labyrinth at Cragside is not for the faint-hearted. At times I did wonder if we'd ever escape. The kids LOVED the adventure though and you'll discover a magical musical box right in the Labyrinth centre. Read our full review of the Labyrinth at Cragside here.

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including the Labyrinth at Cragside

Summer at Gibside

Gibside is one of our favourite places in the North East and we always make a point of visiting over summer. Their strawberry castle play area is fantastic for kids young and old with wooden forts, tunnels and zip wires. It's a fab spot for a picnic. There's usually extra activities included in the school holidays too (we planted our own salad box this summer) and there are lots of walks around the estate if you need to stretch your legs. Read our full review of Gibside in the summer here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Gibside


Holy Island of Lindisfarne

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland is one of the most magical places on earth. The island is cut off from the mainland twice per day (check out the tide times). There's lots to see and do from island walks and seal spotting to rockpooling or visiting Lindisfarne Castle or Priory. You can see more photos and check out our  full review here 


Corbridge Festival

The Corbridge Festival isn't a festival that particularly markets itself at kids, however it is cheap and it is family friendly with a children's fun fair, circus and activity tent. This was our first experience of taking the kids to a festival and we really enjoyed it. You can't beat letting your hair down and dancing around with family (and strangers). Read our full review of the Corbridge Festival here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including the Corbridge Festival

Dinosaur Golf at Heighley Gate Garden Centre

I can't believe we'd never been here before! We managed to get a fab deal on groupon so it was less than £10 for the 5 of us. The kids loved it and it was great fun, in fact Heighley Gate Garden Centre is fab for a look around. There's a cafe and a 'wildlife' zone too and they run regular events for kids. Read our full review of Dinosaur Golf at Heighley Gate Garden Centre here.

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Dinosaur Golf at Heighley Gate Garden Centre

Hadrian's Wall by bus

In the summer we enjoyed an epic adventure taking in most of the Hadrian's Wall sites by bus. The AD 122 runs between most of the main attractions and we enjoyed visiting the Roman Army Museum, Sycamore gap, Vindolanda and Twice Brewed Inn. Read more about our trip to Hadrian's Wall by bus here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Hadrian's Wall

Ladyburn Lake, Druridge Bay

With free parking, a visitor centre and cafe, a picnic area and access to a beautiful unspoilt beach and lakeside walks, a visit to Druridge Bay is always a good place to visit if you aren't looking to spend lots of money. We love the walk around Ladyburn lake and the kids really enjoy jumping over the stepping stones. It's a fab place to spot wildlife too. Read more about our trip to Ladyburn Lake here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Ladyburn Lake, Druridge Bay

October Half Term at Preston Park

Entry to Preston Park Museum is only £5 per family and this gives you access for a full year. There's a skate park, walled garden, lots of grass, an adventure playground, an orangery tea-room, a Victorian street plus a fun museum. Preston Park's Victorian Street was transformed into the North East's very own Diagon Alley over half term and we enjoyed a fantastic day out - definitely recommended. Read our full review of Preston Park and Museum here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including Preston Park and Museum

Trails and Crafts at Woodhorn

Woodhorn is one of our go-to days out. They change their exhibitions regularly, there's a small mini train ride, a fantastic play park, skating in winter plus crafts and trails over the weekends. We love it here. 




FREE Santa's Grotto at intu Metrocentre

We've paid a fortune to visit Father Christmas in the past but this grotto has changed my mind. Santa was fun and friendly, the elves were super smiley and helpful, there were activities in the queue to keep the kids entertained and they all left with a Playmobil gift. Just because something is free definitely doesn't mean it is rubbish. Read our full review of Santa's Grotto at intu Metrocentre here. 

A Guide to The Best Family Days Out in the North East including free Santa's Grotto at intu Metrocentre
Check out these ideas too......

I LOVE Instagram and post a new idea for a day out every morning at 7am. You can find me (and hopefully follow) here: www.instagram.com/northeastfamilyfun 



If you're looking for more ideas for days out, please add yourself to our North East Days Out Facebook Group here. It's a lovely little group where people can ask for suggestions and post recommendations.


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The Best Family Days Out in the North East including The Gruffalo Trail

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8 comments

  1. What a brilliant post! it will definitely inspire us to get out and about to blow the festive cobwebs away. There's a few on here we haven't been to such as Ladyburn lake and Moorhouse farm shop, and haven't been to Preston Park since Imogen was a baby. We loved the Grufallo trail too and Beamish is always a hit!

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    1. Moorhouse Farm Shop is just up the A1 for you - can't believe you haven't been.

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  2. I will definitely be returning to this post as we are looking to come up to Northumberland in the summer holidays. Our friends live in Whitley Bay and so far I am thinking a day in Newcastle (as we have never been) and Alnwick Castle x

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    1. Ah you will love Newcastle - Whitley Bay is fab, loads of nice new restaurants opened there this year xx

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  3. Can you believe I've only done 9 of your 20 before! I'll have to tick off a couple more this year. Preston Park is too of the list I think, then Cragside as I've never taken the kids there even though we are NT members. As Gibside is on our doorstep we end up there a lot, but I'll definitely make the trip this year.

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  4. Butterfly work just across from the park at Preston museum is fab too and if you walk down to the river from Easter to October they have boat rides on which are fab kids loved it x

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  5. Butterfly World is just across from Preston park museum and it is fantastic, also if you walk down to the river they have boat rides n rowing boats too fab place and not far from train station if you don't drive x

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  6. That's a great list and there is so much more to do in the North East too - we are so lucky. I've joined the FB group too :)

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