6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle)

*This is a collaborative post

Summer is the perfect time to plan a family road trip. We love nothing better than jumping in the car and planning an adventure. I think we are pretty fortunate living in the North East as not only do we have lots of award winning attractions on our doorstep, but we are also well placed to explore a little further afield. 

Once you've filled the car up with petrol, checked your Summer tyres and packed your bag with sandwiches, sun cream and sun hats, you're good to go.

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle)

Travelling for long distances with little ones in the car isn't for everyone so today I am sharing a few of my favourite places to visit for the day that are within 2 hours drive of Newcastle. If you set off at 8am and you can be at your destination for 10am and ready for a day of fun.

A Day Trip to Whitby 

Whitby is a gorgeous little seaside town in North Yorkshire. It feels slightly more upmarket than it's sister seaside resort of Scarborough and you'll find the paths and winding streets packed with wine bars and bistros serving fresh seafood. 

There's lots for kids to do in Whitby too, whether this be visiting the Dracula Experience, climbing the steps to Whitby Abbey or buying a crabbing kit and joining the other children as they line the harbour with their nets.

 There's a beautiful beach with a small fun fair and donkey rides, lots of places to grab an ice cream and of course a visit to the world famous Magpie Cafe for fish and chips is a must. 

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle) | Whitby Day Trip (Whitby Harbour)
Children catching crabs at Whitby Harbour

Whitby | Need to Know
  • Drive time | 1 hour 34 minutes (73 miles)
  • Parking |  We normally park at Marina Black car park which is £8 for 24 hours. Postcode YO21 1YN
  • Read More | Our Day Trip to Whitby

A Day Trip to Harrogate 

Harrogate is a gorgeous market town in North Yorkshire and definitely worth a visit on a sunny day. We highly recommend Harrogate's Valley Gardens which has everything you could possibly need for a park from a fantastic adventure play area to an outdoor pool, skate park, pitch and putt, boating lake and more. I recommend Gianni's Pizza for lunch - kids eat free on a Saturday before 6pm and all day Sunday. 

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle) | Harrogate Day Trip (Valley Gardens Park)

Harrogate | Need to Know

A Day Trip to the Lake District

The lakes are always discounted as a day trip from the North East and I'm not sure why - with a drive time of less than 2 hours, it's a beautiful and relaxing countryside drive over the Pennines with some of the best views in the UK. 

The lakes are a lovely place if you just fancy a wander or walk and there are lots of country pubs where you can stop for a drink. I recommend a trip to the Lakes Distillery where you can take a family tour and learn all about the smugglers along the rivers. 

There are lots of National Trust properties to visit in the area (including Beatrix Potter's House), and there are lots of opportunities to enjoy watersports or take a boat trip. Don't forget to pick up a Grasmere gingerbread man! 

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle) | Lake District Day Trip (Derwentwater)

Lake District | Need to Know

  • Drive time | 1 hour 35 minutes (78 miles)
  • Parking | There's a huge variety of paid/free parking that is well-signposted
  • Read More | Our Day Trip to the Lakes

A Day Trip to Kielder

Kielder really does feel as if you're in the middle of nowhere. It's definitely worth the trip though. Kielder Water is the largest man-made reservoir in the UK and is surrounded by Kielder forest - the largest man-made forest in Europe. 

Kielder also holds special 'dark sky' status and receives 250,000+ visitors every year. There's lots to do in the area for families including a Gruffalo trail around the forest, a free Salmon Discovery Centre, Kielder Birds of Prey, Archery, Clay Pigeon Shooting & Swimming, lots of Cycle and Walking Routes, a Castle, Minotaur Maze & more........

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle) | Kielder Day Trip (Kielder Castle and Visitor Centre)

 Kielder | Need to Know

  • Drive time | 1 hour 13 minutes (47 miles)
  • Parking | You just need to buy one ticket for £4.50 to park at any Kielder visitor centre throughout the day. Start with the visitor centre - Postcode NE48 1ER
  • Read more | 6 Family Things to do at Kielder

A Day Trip to Carlisle

Carlisle is a place we'd never thought to visit before but it's a really compact city and perfect for children. We're really pleased we made the trip last year. 

Carlisle Castle is a fantastic place to explore and kids love playing with the cannons (don't worry - they aren't loaded!) plus Tuille House is a fantastic child-friendly museum with lots of fun, hands-on exhibitions. Definitely worth checking out. 

There's a traditional carousel in the market place and we recommend Franco's for a traditional Italian lunch.

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle) | Carlisle Casle (Carlisle Day trip)

Carlisle | Need to Know
  • Drive time | 1 hour 20 minutes (58 miles)
  • Parking | Carlisle Castle Car park £2.50 all day. CA3 8UL
  • Read more | Our Day Trip to Carlisle

A Day Trip to Scarborough

Scarborough is a place I've been visiting since I was a child and it's a somewhere I take my own children now. It's definitely one of our favourite seaside towns. 

It is extremely child-friendly with it's own outdoor water park, Peasholm park with boating lakes, squirrels and performances, a vintage water chute, outdoor amphitheatre, miniature train ride, Sealife centre, open top bus rides, it's own Castle, beautiful beaches with donkey rides available, beach huts for hire, amusement arcades and funfairs, speedboat rides, pirate boat trips, family theatre and more. There is honestly SO much to do and you'll never end up bored in Scarborough. 

6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle) | Scarborough Day trip (Traditional water chute North Bay)

Scarborough | Need to Know 
  • Drive time | 2 hours (93 miles)
  • Parking | We park near Peasholm Park (YO12 6AQ - £7 for 24 hours), explore the North Bay attractions and then catch an open top bus to the busier South Bay.
  • Read more | North Bay Attractions

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Thank you for your support as always. 

Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area. leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed since this post was published. 

I am counting down the days to summer now. Let me know where you'd recommend for a day trip with kids. 

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6 Day Trips to take with your Kids this Summer (that are less than 2 hours drive from Newcastle)



  1. Great list. I remember doing lots of these, like Whitby, Scarborough, the lakes as a kid. Looking forward to Lena being better in the car so I can take mine on some of these.

    1. It's lush re-creating childhood memories with our own kids isn't it x

  2. Some great ideas there for the holidays. Have never visited Scarborough or Harrogate so should give them a try!

  3. Loving these ideas! Not been to Scarborough for years, must go back this summer.

  4. Even without kids, these would be a great day out! I hadn't really considered going to the Lakes on a day trip, but once the weather gets a bit warmer and brighter, I think I'll have to plan to go!

    Olivia - The Northernist x

    1. Totally agree - the Lakes feels like it's far away but in reality it's not x

  5. Great list! we used to go to scarborough pretty much every weekend before my parents started to rent the house out as a holiday let (and the kids started to have a social life) Will have to book it for a bloggers retreat!!

  6. Some great picks - spent a lot of holidays in Whitby and Scarborough as a kid.

  7. I found lots of inspiration in your blog. Whitby is absolutely amazing place. Have you been to Staithes? In this Summer we must to go to Scarborough, it looks amazing in your photos.

    1. I don't think I've ever been to Staithes - I shall add it to my list :D

    2. If your children like "Old Jack's Boat" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atj7RGBGCFg&list=PLQG058riMUm2x6Sb0jDihvcREliHHGjZh you should be. It is near Whithy :).

  8. I've wanted to go to Kielder for ages now. I love the idea of being in a dark skies forest, gazing up at the stars....

  9. Fab ideas....I love Whitby & Scarborough but I've never taken my girls. I think they would love it too x

  10. Great ideas - it's a good reminder of how much there is to explore without having to travel far.


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