10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England

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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England

Do not let the cold weather put you off, winter is a wonderful time of year to wrap up and take a stroll with the family. In North East England we have plenty of magical Winter walks to choose from including:
  1. Kielder Forest 
  2. Low Newton
  3. Tynemouth to Cullercoats 
  4. Cragside 
  5. Wallington Hall
  6. Bolam Lake
  7. Belsay Hall 
  8. Hamsterley Forest 
  9. RSPB Saltholme 
  10. Snowman Trail in Middlesbrough  
In this post, I will share 10 Magical Winter Walks to enjoy with children in North East England. Expect photos, parking info, recommendations for a hot chocolate or bite to eat nearby and more.
Let me know your favourite winter walk in the comments.

Kielder Forest 



Kielder Forest is a large man-made forest in North Northumberland. A trip to Kielder always feels like you are a million miles from anywhere else in the world and as there is no phone signal, it is the perfect place to switch off.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Kielder Forest
Kielder Forest


I bet the forest looks magical with a sprinkling of snow!

There are a number of walks to choose from including the new Shaun the Sheep Trail which is perfect for little ones. You may also stumble across a Gruffalo or two in the forest.....

If Shaun the Sheep isn't for you, here are 5 other walking trails to try in Kielder.

Parking & Public Transport 

We usually park in the Kielder Visitor Centre Car Park to begin with (postcode NE48 1ER). The cost is £5 per day and your ticket is transferable to other car parks in Kielder.

By bus, you can catch the 694 from Hexham on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Where to Stay & Eat

Kielder isn't exactly known for its culinary delights. There are a couple of ok pubs in the area and there is a new pancake house at Kielder Waterside which I have yet to try but I am sure will be a hit with kids.  We travelled to William de Percy which is a lovely pub in Otterburn during our last trip and I would highly recommend.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Carriages Tea Room Bellingham
Carriages Tea Room Bellingham

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Carriages Tea Room Bellingham Menu
Carriages Tea Room Menu (correct November 2019)


There is also the Carriages Tea Room in Bellingham which is just outside of Kielder. Dining in an old train carriage is definitely something a little different.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Calvert Trust Kielder
Calvert Trust Kielder 


In terms of accommodation, we have stayed at Calvert Trust and had a brilliant time - there are lots of inclusive activities available from archery to clay pigeon shooting. There are also luxury lodges with hot tubs available at Kielder Waterside.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Hesleyside Huts near Kielder
Hesleyside Huts near Kielder

If you fancy a spot of luxury glamping, the wonderful Hesleyside Huts aren't too far away. They are the perfect retreat for making the most of the dark skies and nothing beats a campfire and marshmallows after a family walk.

Low Newton


Low Newton is a secluded beach in Northumberland very popular with walkers. The walk from Craster to Low Newton is super popular and one of the UK's best coastal walks but maybe a touch too long for little legs (it is an 8-10 mile round trip). There is nothing to stop you enjoying just part of this walk though. The views of the coastline and Dunstanburgh Castle are more than worth it.


10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Low Newton by the Sea
Low Newton - Christmas Eve 2017
The above photo was taken on Christmas Eve 2017 can you believe! 




Parking & Public Transport 

We park at Boatmans Place (NE66 3EH) which is £1 for 1 hour or £4 for a full day. You can use the same ticket at Craster Car Park too (although check as often regulations change).

The 418 bus (Alnwick to Belford) serves Low Newton.

Where to Stay & Eat 

The Ship Inn is right by the beach in the heart of Low Newton. It is a lovely pub with its own microbrewery. Here is a peek at their sample lunch menu (correct as of November 2019).

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - The SHip Inn Low Newton Menu
The Ship Inn Lunch Menu (correct November 2019)


10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - The SHip Inn Low Newton Menu
The Ship Inn
You also have The Joiners Arms just along the road - a lovely (and popular) traditional pub.  Their children's menu is pretty good value at £6.95 for three courses and a drink. It is the kind of pub which will be very welcoming in winter with roaring fires and twinkling lights.


10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - The Joiners Arms Childrens Menu
Joiners Arms Children's Menu -  November 2019

The Joiners Arms 

Here is a list of cottages within 3 miles of Low Newton by the Sea. I can personally recommend Craster Reach in Craster - a luxury cottage with views of Dunstanburgh Castle and the fabulous Jolly Fisherman Pub at the bottom of your street.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - High Hemmel House Embleton
High Hemmel House 


I can also recommend High Hemmel House which is a large family cottage with a hot tub within easy walking distance of Low Newton by the Sea.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Craster Reach Cottage
View from Craster Reach Cottage 


Tynemouth  to Cullercoats 



Tynemouth to Cullercoats is an easy (and flat/accessible) coastal walk which should take you around half an hour. Perfect for grabbing some sea air. There are plenty of cafes to stop and enjoy a hot chocolate en-route too.

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Cullercoats Beach
Cullercoats
10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Tynemouth to cullercoats map



Parking & Public Transport  

Tynemouth has its own Metro Station, is served by regular buses and has plenty of parking in the village centre or by the seafront. You can check parking information here. 


Where to Stay & Eat 

In Cullercoats, I absolutely love the Boatyard. It is only a small place and there may be a small wait for seats but their epic toasties are worth waiting for.
10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Boatyard Cullercoats Brunch Menu
Boatyard Menu - November 2019 



10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Boatyard Cullercoats Brunch Menu
Toasties from the Boatyard 

Cullercoats Coffee is just across from the Boatyard and also worth a trip - it is a little larger than the Boatyard and has such a cool vibe. There are board games for kids and I highly recommend their hot chocolates. 

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England - Cullercoats Coffee Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate from Cullercoats Coffee
In Tynemouth, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to grab a drink or a bite to eat. Personal favourites for me are Lola Jeans, Rileys Fish Shack, Longsands Fish & Chips and The Priory Pub (which is also dog-friendly).

Rileys Fish Shack

Longsands Children's  Menu - November 2019 


Sykes Cottages have a couple of cottages available to hire in Tynemouth Village from £414 for 7 nights and I can highly recommend Longsands Lodge which sleeps up to 10 and The Grand Hotel.

Longsands Lodge, Tynemouth

Cragside Gardens 



Cragside is gorgeous at any time of the year and winter is no exception. The beautiful grounds and gardens offer hundreds of walks - simply pop into the visitor hut and ask the staff for advice and routes. This 2 mile Views of Cragside walk is a good one to get you started.

Cragside is free to visit for National Trust members, a charge applies to non-members.

Cragside in the snow - credit Cragside

Cragside in Winter - Credit Cragside 
Christmas at Cragside sounds wonderful. As well as the estate walks, the house will be decorated, Father Christmas will make an appearance, there will be hot chocolates and mince pies available from the tea room (as well as festive lunches) and a Winter Wildlife Trail too.

Parking & Public Transport 

There is no direct bus to Cragside. Parking is free. (postcode NE65 7PX). There are 9 car parks around the Cragside estate - you will be provided with a map on admission.

You can either park in one car park and use a shuttle bus or drive around the estate - the choice is yours. Cragside is so big that sometimes we just explore a little part of it during a shorter visit.

Where to Stay & Eat  

There are a few cottages on the Cragside Estate which you can hire for short breaks and holidays - Garden CottagePark Cottage and Cragside Bunkhouse.

Fontburn Reservoir near Rothbury  



If you are looking for things to do nearby, Rothbury Riverside Walk and Fontburn are both worth checking out.

If you are looking for a bite to eat or hot drink, Cragside has its own tearooms near the entrance.

Wallington Hall



Another National Trust spot perfect for a child-friendly winter walk in Wallington Hall. Free for National Trust members or available with admission for non-members.

Wallington Hall


There are miles of trails to follow at Wallington and it is quite diverse - perhaps you could take a stroll around the three play areas or try a riverside walk? There are suggestions over on the Wallington website or you can ask a member of staff for ideas and a map on arrival.

Wallington Hall


Wallington Hall is magical in Winter with lots of festive decorations around the grounds. We visited in Winter 2017 and loved it.

Wallington Hall

Parking & Public Transport

Parking is free, use postcode NE61 4AR. I cannot find any public transport info - let me know if you know of any bus routes nearby.

Where to Stay & Eat 

Wallington Hall has its own tearoom by the entrance which is lovely but it can get busy. Morpeth isn't too far away and I would highly recommend popping into the famous Chinese van for a treat on the way home.

If you are looking to extend your visit, you can stay on-site at the Wallington Hall bunkhouse  or Bolt Cottage. 

Bolam Lake



Bolam Lake is a gem of a walk in Northumberland. The accessible circular route around the lake is just over a mile in length and takes you through woodland filled with wildlife.

There is a cafe half-way around (check opening hours) and toilets in the main car park.


Bolam Lake

If you are looking for a short, pushchair friendly magical woodland walk, this has to be it.

Bolam Lake 
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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England



Parking & Public Transport

Parking is free for up to one hour but make sure you get a ticket from the machine. It is £1.60 to park for up to 2 hours or £3 all day.

Bolam Lake Postcode: NE20 0HE

There is no public transport to Bolam Lake

Bolam Lake Parking


Where to Stay & Eat 

Bolam Lake has its own small cafe serving light bites and cake. The cafe is cash only and open 10am-3pm Thursday & Friday or 10am-4pm Saturday & Sunday in the Winter.

Bolam Lake Cafe 

If you are looking to extend your stay, there are lots of lovely cottages in the Morpeth area. I love the look of Fenwick Retreat which is just a few miles away.  Very cute!

Fenwick House Cottage - Credit Sykes Cottages 





Belsay Hall



Belsay Hall is an English Heritage property, free for members to visit and available at a charge for non-members. I think the gardens at Belsay are probably the most magical in the whole of the North East.

How cute is the below photo from February 2014 - I love that we took Sweep on a trip to Belsay Hall!

Belsay Hall


Wander through the formal gardens, the ancient woodland and the quarry before spotting the castle.

Belsay Hall


The walk from Belsay Hall to Castle is less than a mile, toddler and pushchair friendly.

Throughout December, you can even visit Belsay Hall in the evening as part of their Enchanted Belsay event (tickets should be pre-booked) which looks even more magical.

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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England



Parking & Public Transport

Parking is free, use postcode NE20 0DX.

Belsay is served by the 131 Jedburgh bus from Newcastle and the 808 Bellingham bus from Newcastle - Belsay Hall is around a 10-minute walk from the bus stop.

Where to Stay & Eat 

Belsay Hall has its own fantastic tearoom - it is one of our favourites, their food is homemade and delicious. Alternatively, you could try Blacksmiths Coffee Shop in the village which comes highly recommended.

The village of Ponteland is not far from Belsay Hall. The Post Box is a cute and cozy cafe in the village, perfect for hot chocolates and if you fancy a treat, Tomahawk Steak House is on my list! It looks lush.



Hamsterley Forest



It is a bit of a tradition for us to wrap up and visit Hamsterley Forest in Winter. It is such a lovely walk and the woodland is filled with play equipment so there is plenty to keep kids entertained. You can try the Shaun the Sheep Glow Trail too.

Hamsterley Forest

There are 4 main walking routes around the forest - pop into the visitor centre on arrival and you will find lots of information about the various routes.

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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England

Hamsterley Forest 


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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England


Parking & Public Transport

Parking is £2 for one hour, £6 all day or £10 on Bank Holiday Weekends. The forest uses number plate recognition technology and you pay on a machine before you leave.

The postcode is: DL13 3NL

Public transport is not available.

Where to Stay & Eat

Hamsterley Forest has its own cafe (check opening hours before visiting) and I can highly the Cross Keys Pub nearby.


If you are looking for somewhere to stay, Wear View Cottage in Hamsterley Village looks lovely and cosy with an open fire and is available from £268 for 7 nights.

Wear View Cottage - Credit Sykes Cottages 



RSPB Saltholme



We stumbled upon RSPB Saltholme earlier this year - what a magical place! There is a play area for children, visitor centre and cafe, various walks around the water, bird hides with lots of wildlife to discover and you might even spot the Mad Hatters Tea Party!

Make sure you bring your wellies as there is a dedicated puddle jumping area which kids love.

Entry is donation or free to RSPB members. Parking is £5 per car to non-members. If you are staying for less than an hour, parking is free but I think you will probably stay longer than this.

RSPB Saltholme
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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England


RSPB Saltholme

RSPB Saltholme


Parking & Public Transport

Parking FREE for RSPB members and  £5 for non-members (free if staying less than 1 hour). The postcode is TS2 1TU.

There is a bus stop outside of the entrance on the Seaton Carew Road which is served by Number 1 Bus from Middlesbrough and Hartlepool (via Stagecoach).

Where to Stay & Eat 

RSPB Saltholme has its own cafe with beautiful views. Open from 9:30am-3:30pm , there are regional dishes available and food is always local/organic/fairtrade where possible. Children's lunchboxes, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

If you are looking to extend your stay, the Premier Inn Wolviston/Wynyard is close by and has brilliant reviews.

Snowman Trail in Middlesbrough Town Centre



From 2 November 2019  - 4 January 2020, Walking with the Snowman is taking over Middlesbrough Town Centre. There are 12 sculptures to find - each decorated by a professional artist and inspired by the 12 days of Christmas.

Credit - Walking with the Snowman

You can pick up a FREE trail map from Middlesbrough Town Hall, Central Library and other selected outlets or find out more and download a copy here. 

Credit - Walking with the Snowman
You can read about how Freckled Mum of 2 got on with the trail and see more photos here.

Parking & Public Transport

Middlesbrough Town Centre is well connected by bus and train and this is an ideal winter walk to try if you need to use public transport.

Alternatively, here is a list of car parks & charges in the city centre.

Where to Stay & Eat

We are huge fans of Turtle Bay and love the vibe of their restaurants - they have some brilliant offers available too.



If you are looking for a place to stay, Premier Inn Middlesbrough Town Centre is just 0.2 miles away from the train station.


Phew, that is quite a list! If you enjoyed this post, check out the following posts:


10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England




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1 comment

  1. Such a helpful post - love all the food and hotel recommendations!

    ReplyDelete

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