My Top 5 Days Out in the North East | Nathalie Paris from Natta-Lingo

Welcome back to our mini 'Top 5 Days Out in the North East' feature. Today, we're in the capable hands of Nathalie Paris @Nattalingo. Nathalie is a primary languages teacher, chief storyteller on her languages mobile library, French picture book blogger). Over to Nathalie: 

I am French but the North East has been my home since 1998; I consulted my nearly 14-year old daughter and nearly 17-year old son (both born in Durham) to put this list together: we have selected some perfect places for little ones, teenagers and adults alike! When people visit from France, this is where we take them… and they love it!! In no particular order…

1 - Sunderland: The National Glass and Roker beach: FREE

You can do both in one day: if the weather looks good in the morning I would recommend you go to the beach first, have a picnic, get changed if necessary then head for the Glass Centre. The centre is a beautiful and unusual building; an all-time favourite for us is walking on its glass roof! Inside you will find interactive displays and you will learn fascinating facts about glass. There are also an art gallery and a beautiful shop. Check the programme of activities before you go, they have lots of free special events on! Even though last time I was there I managed to lock my car key in the car… it didn’t spoil our day and we will be back!!

 2 - Durham: Durham Cathedral and Wharton Park: FREE

We are so lucky to live near such a pretty city as Durham with such a beautiful cathedral, with free entry, in gorgeous surroundings; you can enjoy a walk along the river after your cathedral visit. The city itself is quite compact so you can easily get from one end to the other by foot or by hopping on a bus. There are a few hills around though and Wharton Park, recently refurbished, is set on one! It is such a versatile park that everyone will find something they like about it… not least some of the views! Check out their calendar as they hold many events there.

3 - Blanchland: FREE

Blanchland is such a quirky and picturesque village, I have lost track of how many times we have been there! Sometimes we go for a walk along the river, sometimes we have a longer stretch of legs (there are several walks to choose from, for all abilities); children will want to stay in the play park for ages (it even has a small zip wire!) and kick a ball in the field next to it; we always pop into the village shop for an ice-cream and sometimes treat ourselves to something to eat at The White Monks Tea Rooms or even The Lord Crewe Arms.

4 - Killhope Lead Mining Centre

The drive to Killhope, through the Moors and country roads, is in itself a treat, even on a dull day. When you arrive at the museum you will not know where to start: a walk through the forest to try to spot some red squirrels? A walk in the mine itself with your wellies and helmet on? Looking for more outside? Looking at the exhibitions and artefacts? One of my favourite things to admire is the collection of spar boxes… I will let you look up what they are but am confident you will find them beautiful and fascinating too!

5 - Beamish: the living museum of the north

If you live quite locally, the best way to do Beamish is by buying the annual ticket and going several times through the year as there is so much to look around! We sometimes choose grey or even rainy days to go as the museum is so much quieter then and you can do so much indoors anyway. However on those days you will hop on the trams and buses rather than walk on those days!! Beamish is always evolving so if you haven’t been for a few years you will find new areas to explore. The staff have always been great there and they are so knowledgeable you always learn something new. With an annual ticket, it is fantastic value for money… just try not to go to the sweet shop at every visit!!

You can find Natalie over on FacebookTwitter and on LinkedIn. Nathalie is happy to answer any questions which you may a have about these amazing places and what they have done there!

Nathalie, Leah and Max

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