5 of the Best Family Picnic Spots in North East England


5 of the Best Family Picnic Spots in North East England   #EnglishTourismWeek19

I love a good picnic and we are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful picnic spots in North East England. I really struggled to narrow it down to just 5 if I'm honest but I'm happy with my final list. I'm going to make an effort to visit each of these spots for a picnic this year. Anyone else up for the challenge?
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Sunday Lunch, Playgrounds & Birds of Prey at Walworth Castle, Darlington

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Sunday Lunch, Playgrounds & Birds of Prey at Walworth Castle, Darlington

Walworth Castle is a 12th Century Castle in Darlington just 5 miles from the A1 and such a lovely spot for a family day out in North East England. Set in 18 acres of beautiful countryside, you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere yet it's super easy to get to. We primarily visited for Sunday Lunch in the newly refurbished 1189 Bar & Kitchen but were really impressed with how much more Walworth Castle had to offer families. If you're looking for somewhere a little different to enjoy a fantastic value Sunday lunch and spend a full afternoon with the family, read on....
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What's On for Kids in North East England | Easter 2021


This post is currently being updated. Please check back soon. 

Attractions regularly change their opening hours, admission fees, booking policies and offerings. I try to keep this post as updated as I can but it is important that you check updated details with the venue direct before setting off.


Please follow Government guidelines. At time of print, from 29 March 2021, 6 people or 2 households are allowed to meet outdoors including private gardens. Social distancing is still in place. Outdoor sports facilities such as golf courses, basketball courts and tennis courts can re-open and some formally organised outdoor sports can take place. The legal requirement to 'stay at home' ends but we are being asked to be considerate with travel. 


The Government has said their roadmap out of lockdown has been set out to allow families and friends who may not have seen each other for months to meet outdoors over Easter and I cannot wait to catch up with family and friends. For us, we will be staying local to North East England over Easter, avoiding crowded places and finding quieter spots to safely meet up with friends and family. Walks and picnics will probably be the main focus of this post as most attractions are unable to open until after the holidays. 


I have previously worked with many of the attractions mentioned in this post but nobody has paid to specifically feature in this post. 


Foodie Treats & Afternoon Tea 



Our recent favourite food deliveries include: 

Fat Hippo Cook at Home

MEAT : STACK at Home


If you fancy a treat, you can sign up to Uber Eats and enter my special code. It is valid for new customers only and gives you a £10 discount when you spend £15. We use Uber Eats for McDonalds, Subway and Dicksons delivered.

 Download the Uber Eats App and enter this code at check out: eats-samanthar3510ue


Mini Golf





Walks, Parks & Picnics













Outdoor Family Days Out 



Raby Castle & Grounds 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Bamburgh Castle 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Visit Holy Island 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Hamsterley Forest 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 


Alnwick Garden 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 

Jesmond Dene 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Kielder 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 

WWT Washington 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Preston Park, Museum & Grounds 

Jarrow Hall 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 

Theatre & Cinema 


National Trust 


Gibside 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Seaton Delaval Hall 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Wallington 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Cragside 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Cherryburn
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Souter Lighthouse
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Lindisfarne Castle  
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Dunstanburgh Castle 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 

English Heritage 


Warkworth Castle 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Belsay Castle, Hall & Grounds 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Tynemouth Priory 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Lindisfarne Priory
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Hadrian's Wall 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 
Dunstanburgh Castle 
  • Public transport -  
  • Pushchair/wheelchair friendly  - 
  • Dog friendly -   
  • Pre-booking required - 





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10 of the Best Family Festivals within a 3 Hour Drive of Newcastle

I love, love, love spending a weekend at a festival with the kids. Some of them can be pricey but when you consider how much you'd spend on camping and individual gig tickets, I think they usually work out to be pretty good value for money. Festivals are usually a very laid back affair and allow a little relaxation, a chance for the grown-ups to enjoy a tipple or two, time to laugh, time to dance and really let your hair down. Over the last few years, more and more festivals have popped up closer to home and today I'm sharing 10 festivals which are less than a 3-hour drive from Newcastle. Prices quoted do not include booking fees and as always, please double check all details before booking as things can change.

10 of the Best Family Festivals within a 3 Hour Drive of Newcastle


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Actually, My Tweens Are Not Addicted To Their Xbox (+ giveaway)

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Actually, My Tweens Are Not Addicted To Their Xbox  - i-eX gaming chair for tweens from Bean Bag Bazaar

My tweens love their Xbox but sometimes when it comes to gaming, I feel as if the media are guilty of tarring all kids with the same (negative) brush. I've read countless articles over the years saying that tweens and teens are addicted to their games consoles, that they're incapable of socialising now as they're always glued to their screens and that Xbox addiction is out of control........ As someone who has first hand experience of kids and games consoles, I can guarantee that this is not always the case and I'd love to see some balance out there and credit given to tweens and teens who love to game but also know that there's more to life than Xbox.
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A Morning in Padstow : What to do with Kids


A Morning in Padstow : What to do with Kids

Steve and I live for cookery shows. If you pop to our house it's very likely we'll have one on in the background. Not that we ever cook any of the recipes we watch being made on TV of course but it's nice to get some inspiration. Nothing beats embracing slow living and watching Saturday Kitchen in the morning with a coffee to start your weekend. Because of this, we've watched hundreds of Rick Stein shows and Padstow is somewhere we've watched appear on our screens as a must-visit foodie destination time and time again. We've probably wanted to visit for around 10 years and this February, we finally had the chance during our half term trip to Cornwall. 
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20 of the Best Places to Stay near Flamingo Land

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Flamingo Land Theme Park & Zoo is one of the best family days out in North Yorkshire. There's loads to do for all ages from extreme rides like Velocity and family rides like Splash Battle to activities for little ones including HMS Bouncy and the zoo which is home to sea lions, giraffes, farm animals, meerkats, lions, hippos and more. It really is a full day out and sometimes, the thought of driving home after a full day out is too much. So in this post, I've put together 20+ options for places to stay near Flamingo Land. There's something for everyone from budget camping and hotels to pubs with rooms and even a luxury treehouse. You can find out more about Flamingo Land here. Let me know if you have any recommendations for places to stay. 
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5 Days Out for Tweens and Teens at The Gate, Newcastle

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In my late teens and early 20s, The Gate was the place to be. Most of our nights out started here and I think Mood was one of my favourite bars in Newcastle. In fact, I am pretty sure it was in Mood that Steve and I first drunkenly raised the idea of starting a family together.

The Gate also features as in our post 'What to do when it rains in North East England'.

5 Days Out for Tweens and Teens at The Gate, Newcastle
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The Sands Resort Cornwall Review | A Family Hotel with Kids Club near Newquay

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The Sands Resort Cornwall Review | A Family Hotel with Kids Club near Newquay

The Sands Resort in Newquay, Cornwall is a popular accommodation choice for families with little kids. There's an abundance of activities and facilities on offer here and it feels like The Sands has everything covered from easy pushchair hire to baby listening facilities and it's own soft play areas. You can read more about staying at The Sands Resort with younger children over on my friend Emma's blog here. I could not find many reviews featuring families with older children though and I was keen to put the hotel through their paces and discover what was on offer during our stay with tweens. We stayed for 2 nights over February Half Term 2019.
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A Half Day Tour of Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)

During our February Half Term trip to Cornwall, we stopped off at Stratford-Upon-Avon overnight to break the journey up. I was keen to visit the town on a budget as wanted to save the majority of our cash for our trip to Cornwall.

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)


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Sleeping In A Recycled Shipping Container At The Eden Project - Our Experience

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Staying in a Recycled Shipping Container at The Eden Project - YHA Eden Project Review

I planned our recent trip to Cornwall around visiting the Eden Project. It's somewhere I've wanted to visit for years and it did not disappoint (check out my 10 reasons to visit here). I've worked with YHA on a couple of occasions in the past and they invited me along to review YHA Eden Project a few years ago but it was a bit of a long way to travel for one night. So when I was planning my trip, I got back in touch and we organised a night in one of their recycled shipping containers.
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Tips for Visiting Chester Zoo from Newcastle

Chester Zoo is somewhere I've always wanted to visit. I've heard so many good things and it was number one on my list of places to visit last October Half Term. I booked tickets and monorail tickets in advance which set us back just over £100 for the 5 of us. Not the cheapest of days out so I crossed my fingers that it was worth it.

Tips for Visiting Chester Zoo from Newcastle


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