20+ Children's Book Ideas for your Autumn Book Basket

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There is so much uncertainty around at the moment - will we return to home schooling this year? Will our children need to isolate at home soon? Can we still enjoy the autumnal days out we are used to? I find the unknown very stressful and I am someone who likes to be prepared. I also absolutely was not a fan of home learning and really hope I do not have to return to it any time soon (although if we do - so be it, things could be a lot worse for us and I am prepared to do my bit).  


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Where to Shop Online with North East Businesses this Christmas

 

 Like many, I really want to support our local businesses at Christmas where I can. However I also know that Christmas shopping is going to be a little different this year - there will be no browsing of Christmas markets where we can chat with stallholders and sample products, it is unlikely that I am going to want to spend hours shopping with my mam this year and to be honest, who knows what the next few months hold. It is all so uncertain right now. 

Where to Shop Online with North East Businesses this Christmas


On a personal note, I already know my income is not going to be en par with the last few years. A big chunk of my income comes from advertising big Christmas events and these just not going to happen this year. I know many small businesses will be in the same boat - relying on the last quarter to boost their yearly income and it is a worrying time for us self-employed folks. I strongly believe we should try and support our small and local businesses where we can. 

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Ouseburn Farm - is it worth the £3.50 entrance fee?

 
This post is based on a visit to Ouseburn Farm in September 2020. 

Ouseburn Farm is one of our favourite places to visit in Newcastle. I have lost count how many times we have visited over the years, especially when the kids were little. All of my children love animals (especially Heidi) and we have enjoyed various activities and visits over the years from just popping in to a reptile spa day (which was a favourite) and even a summer camp where the kids spent the full day learning how to be farmers. They still talk about catching chickens and herding sheep to this day. 

 Scroll to the bottom of this post for directions, booking links and FAQs  

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Great British Bake Off Themes & Easy Bake Along Recipes


The Great British Bake Off is back! This year we are really planning on making the most of it and will be watching together as a family. In the past, I have half-heartedly baked along or been inspired to bake something after watching but this year, I am going all in and I am going to bake-along to match the themes. 



Is there anything better than a homemade bake whilst watching Bake Off? The answer, is no. 

I am not a fantastic baker, in fact it is a running joke in my family that my sponge cakes are more like biscuits. I am just a regular mam who can follow a recipe so hopefully my bakes will be easy enough to follow along - do not expect any showstoppers - I will leave this to the experts. 

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Life Lately - September 2020

 




Back to school 

The kids have been back to school for a few weeks now - Jack in Year 5, Heidi Year 7 and Harry Year 9. I didn't think the kids had really missed school that much but now that they are back and with their friends / kids their own age again, it has made the world of difference. They are no longer in each others pockets so the fighting has dramatically reduced and it is so lovely that they have their own little personality and lives back again rather than us all being one unit. I now have a huge appreciation of how important school is for my three (I know all kids are different) and really hope we never have to return to home learning again. I think I am unrealistic in this dream though. 

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30+ Ways to Have a Magical Christmas at Home

 
Who knows what is going to happen with Christmas this year. As a family of 5, I am starting to worry that we may not be able to plan any of our usual get-togethers with friends and family. This is so sad and I try not to think about it too much. For me, Christmas is very much about family and friends (oh and food). Fingers crossed restrictions change by then...... 

30+ Ways to Have a Magical Christmas at Home

2020 has been a tough year for all of us and Christmas is something we usually look forward to and is the time of year we can inject a little magic into our lives. Whatever happens, I reckon most of us just want to try and make the best of it. 

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Toffee Apple Nachos Recipe

 Toffee Apple Nachos are a quick and easy snack. I like making them for when the kids get home from school but they are just as good as a movie night snack. Perfect for those cosy nights at home when you have the curtains drawn, the candles lit and are snuggled up on the sofa. 

Toffee Apple Nachos Recipe

I like to think that this snack is a nice mix of nutrition and treats too - the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, this dish cannot be made in advance but it only takes a few minutes to prepare. The dish is best enjoyed with your fingers but it can get a little sticky and I find that individual portions work best. 

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Low Hauxley Nature Reserve - Free Accessible Wildlife Walk

A quiet, accessible wildlife walk with bird hides near Amble in Northumberland. This post is based on a visit in September 2020.

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve

During our recent stay at Cresswell Towers, we decided to pay Low Hauxley Nature Reserve a visit. It had been on my list of places to visit for ages and after my in-laws visited and mentioned it was lovely, we decided to bump it up the list. 
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Easy Mini Chocolate Orange Cheesecakes

 

These mini baked cheesecakes are super simple to make and are ideal as an after school snack, to prepare for a school Christmas fair, to take into work or bake if you have a friend coming over for coffee over the Christmas period. If your school allows a little chocolate, you can sneak one into lunchboxes too. 



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Life Lately - Back to School After Almost 6 Months Off

 
The summer of 2020 has definitely been a weird one. I have felt a real mixture of sadness for H, H and J that they are not enjoying the summer we are used to and have not had a holiday this year (spoken from a place of privilege I know).  Sad that sleepovers / end of school trips / our usual trips to museums, swimming pools and theme parks have just not been possible. I know these past few months have given us a chance to enjoy a slower pace of life, but 6 months is a long time. 


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PaddlePod - Private Hire Swimming Pool & Lessons in Shiremoor

 This is an advertisement. This post is based on a visit in August 2020. 

Apologies if this page takes a little longer to load than normal - google are in the process of updating their blogging software which is causing a few issues. If you wait 5-10 seconds, the page should fully load. 

PaddlePod Shiremoor is a 15m swimming pool (1.3m deep) available for private hire (£80 + booking fee for up to 20 people per hour - price includes inflatables, toys, swimming aids and lifeguard) and swimming lessons from babies up to juniors. 


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Jarrow Hall and Anglo-Saxon Re-enactments

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Jarrow Hall is a Anglo-Saxon Village and Farm in South Tyneside, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Tyne Tunnel / A19. Admission is super reasonable and if you buy a ticket now, your ticket will provide you with unlimited entry throughout 2020 which provides very good value. 


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10+ Walks with Waterfalls in North East England

 
A list of picturesque walks with beautiful waterfalls to enjoy across North East England. 


10+ Walks with Waterfalls in North East England



  1. Routin Linn  
  2. Linhope Spout
  3. Low Force
  4. High Force
  5. Hareshaw Linn 
  6. Falling Foss
  7. Hindhope Linn
  8. Hardraw Scar Falls
  9. Janets Foss
  10. Aysgarth Falls
  11. Hackfall Woods 
  12. Cauldron Falls
  13. Gibsons Cave & Summer Hill Force
  14. Jesmond Dene
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Mortal Fools - When The World Is Loud #WTWIL

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Mortal Fools - When The World is Loud  #WTWIL


When The World Is Loud is a new & innovative piece of audio theatre which has been designed to help us reflect on the past few months, escape the world for a while and look forward to what lies ahead in the future. 

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Carriages Tea Room Bellingham - A unique place for lunch near Hareshaw Linn

Carriages Tearoom in Bellingham is a lovely quirky place to stop when visiting nearby Kielder / Hareshaw Linn or if you just fancy a trip out to Northumberland for a delicious homemade afternoon tea or bite to eat in a quirky setting. 

Carriages Tea Room Bellingham - A unique place for lunch near Hareshaw Linn



At the moment, indoor tables should be booked in advance for meals/afternoon tea only. Outdoor seating is available without booking ahead (but it may be busy) for cake / drinks / scones. 

Details correct as of August 2020 - please check opening hours etc... with venue direct before setting off. 

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Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens Review | Opening Dates & Top Tips for Visiting


Cheeseburn is a unique venue featuring contemporary art in Northumberland. Entry is via donation (suggested donation of £5 per adult) and a fantastic day out in North East England for the whole family.

You can walk around the estate's beautiful gardens, admire the plants and flowers and check out some pretty cool sculptures too. Cheeseburn is only open over selected weekends throughout the year, so make sure you plan your visit in advance. 


Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens Review | Opening Dates & Top Tips for Visiting
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11 Tips for visiting Newcastle with kids post-lockdown

 I recently worked with NE1 Newcastle on a Social Media Campaign. This post is not part of that campaign and has not been paid / asked for. 




We visited Newcastle mid-August and really had a brilliant day. Here are a few tips I have picked up......

1 - Make the most of our beautiful outdoor space

Lots of bars and restaurants have added extra outdoor seating plus we have some lovely city parks where you can enjoy lots of fresh air. 

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Ridley Park, Blyth - One of the best parks in Northumberland

 A beautiful well-kept park in Northumberland with two play areas, water play area (currently closed), cafe, toilets, lots of space for picnics and free parking. Also accessible by public transport. 

 

Ridley Park, Blyth - One of the best parks in Northumberland


Getting to Ridley Park is easy - there is a small-ish free car park on-site (see map below) or there is plenty of parking in the surrounding streets or town centre. Please park responsibly. There are plenty of buses which serve Blyth Town Centre and it is a short & easy 8 minute walk from the bus station to the park. 
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Virgin Money Unity Arena Newcastle - Information, Tickets & Review

 I have recently worked with Virgin Money Unity Arena on an Instagram campaign for which we have been provided with press tickets. I have not been asked or paid to write this post. 

Virgin Money Unity Arena Newcastle - Information, Tickets & Review


One thing I have really missed during the pandemic is shared experiences. Whether this be watching a movie at the cinema, a live performance at a theatre or live music at a summer festival. It sucks! I am therefore so proud that my home city of Newcastle is leading the way and has pulled out all the stops to build the UK's first outdoor socially distanced live performance venue for us to enjoy this summer.  
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Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Top Tips for Visiting

This post is based on a visit in August 2020. 

A budget-friendly day out in Yorkshire. Perfect for those who enjoy long walks in beautiful countryside with various modern sculptures to enjoy. Lots of space, open loos, dogs welcome on leads and a fabulous spot for a picnic. 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Top Tips for Visiting

Yorkshire Sculpture Park has always been on my list of places to visit but we have just never made it. My friend posted a few photos from her visit last week on Facebook though and I was sold. It looked fab so I booked us tickets. It is just under a 2 hour easy drive from Newcastle straight down the A1. 

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Is it Worth Visiting Seaton Delaval Hall this Summer?

This post was first published in August 2020.

Beautiful gardens near Whitley Bay with a surprise around every corner. Perfect for a stroll (many areas are suitable for a pushchair) or as a place for little ones to run about. You can grab a coffee / ice cream from the kiosk and toilets are open. Dogs are welcome on leads. 


Is it Worth Visiting Seaton Delaval Hall this Summer?

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Tyne Green Park Hexham | Playground, Accessible Walk & Picnic Spot

This post was first published in July 2020. 

A beautiful walk, suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, cycling and scooters with open public toilets, an ice cream van, large play area and lots of space for ball games and picnics. Free parking & accessible by public transport. 
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15+ Places To Stop Off When Driving South From Newcastle


I am not the biggest fan of service stations - they are generally soulless places with overpriced fast food, queues for loos and busy outlets. I always try and find a service station alternative where I can and this is where National Trust and English Heritage membership can come into its own.

15+ Places To Stop Off When Driving South From Newcastle


Below are a few suggestions for places to stop off if you are driving South from Newcastle. Prices & info correct as of July 2020. Always check up-to-date information direct before setting off. During the pandemic, a lot of these places will require pre-booking. 
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30+ North East Farms & Animal Attractions


Prices and info correct July 2020. With the ongoing pandemic, some of these attractions may be closed at the moment or running a reduced offering. Many will require pre-booking. Always check for up-to-date information with an attraction direct before setting off. 

30+ North East Farms & Animal Attractions


 
We have over 30 animal attractions here in North East England. I have popped the most popular ones together in one post and organised them into price brackets. There is something for everyone from free attractions to personal VIP animal experiences. 

Let me know your favourite animal attractions in the North East. 
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Auckland Castle Deer Park Review

Disclosure - I visited Auckland Castle Deer Park as part of my research for another paid project. This post has not been paid/asked for. 

Our local woods (Plessey Woods) are lovely but also super popular. If there is the slightest bit of sunshine, you can guarantee the car park will fill up fast. It is a big place and ok to socially distance once in there but some of the first few paths can still get busy. 

Auckland Castle Deer Park Review


I have made it my mission to try and discover woodland areas which are a little quieter this summer. So far I have featured Ford & EtalBelsay HallCausey ArchBedlington Country Park, East Cramlington Nature Reserve  and Queen Elizabeth II Country Park. All significantly quieter than Plessey Woods. 
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Northumberland College Zoo Review


We visited in July 2020 when some Coronavirus restrictions were still in place.  

Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens has recently re-branded to Northumberland College Zoo. I do not know the reason behind this change and reckon lots of people will get mixed up with the other Northumberland Zoo further up the A1. Whatever the reason, it was a good excuse for us to revisit - the last time we blogged about Kirkley Hall was back in 2014!



If you are visiting during summer 2020, tickets should be pre-booked online. Their family deal is such good value if you are a family of 5 like us as it works out at just £4.30 per person which is a proper bargain. 
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Outdoor Adventures around Durham to Enjoy with Grandparents in Tow

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Outdoor Adventures around Durham to enjoy with Grandparents in tow



Today I am sharing a few ideas for outdoor days out in the county of Durham which are perfect for both little ones and grandparents too. There are of course the obvious places like Beamish Museum and Hamsterley Forest but today I want to focus on a few of the lesser-known hidden gems in the area. 
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The New Plough Coffee Trailer & Penshaw Monument


I first spotted the New Plough Coffee Trailer on New Girl in Toon's Instagram. The little coffee and cake stop had been recommended to Chloe by Nomipalony and now I am recommending it to all of you. A chain of influencing at its best ;-) 

The New Plough Coffee Trailer & Penshaw Monument


The New Plough at Waterside Cox Green is a cute little horse box serving cakes and drinks with outdoor seating overlooking the River Wear in Sunderland. It is situated next to a livery and you can walk along and say hello to the horses, ponies and pigs too. It is such a lovely spot for a drink with kids. 
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Eat Out to Help Out Northumberland List - Half Price Dining near Top Attractions


The Government has launched a new scheme which runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout August 2020. Restaurants / Pubs / Cafes can register to take part and offer 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to a maximum of £10 per person per visit at no cost to themselves. 

Eat Out to Help Out Northumberland List  - Half Price Dining near Top  Attractions


The scheme has been subsidised by the Government to give a boost to some of the hospitality trade. 
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A Fantastic Outdoor Sunday Lunch at The Woodmans Arms


If there is one thing I started craving towards the end of lockdown, it was a proper pub Sunday lunch. I mean Steve makes a lush dinner but to do it right, it takes forever and then there are so many dishes too. 





So around a month ago, I booked us an alfresco table at one of our favourite pubs (The Woodmans Arms in Whickham) for Sunday lunch as our payday treat. I counted the days and obsessively watched the forecast as the date drew closer.  
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Lockdown 2020 - Our Photo Diary


A few photos to remind us of the time we were told to stay home and save lives. 



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What to do at Ford & Etal (an itinerary for first time visitors)

This post was published in July 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic (when most restrictions had lifted).

Ford & Etal is somewhere I have wanted to visit in forever. I did have a trip penciled in for Easter but thanks to Coronavirus, it had to be postponed to this summer. 

What to do at Ford & Etal  (an itinerary for first time visitors)
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Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth - Now With Reservations


We have visited Riley's Fish Shack on a few occasions now. We love the vibe, the delicious, fresh seafood and those views of King Edward's Bay. In the past, you could not make a reservation and just had to join the queue up the bank. 

Riley's Fish Shack, Tynemouth - Now With Reservations



The queues were notorious and we have always spent 1 hour+ queuing and waiting for food.  It all did kind of add to the anticipation of it all though and it was worth it for us on a little lunch date but not brilliant with kids in tow or if we wanted to catch up with friends. Who wants to spend most of the night queuing? 
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Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle | a four mile walk with kids

This post is in two parts - the first section was published in July 2020, when some but not all Coronavirus restrictions had been lifted in England. The second part is the original post from a trip in 2016 - I love looking back through the older photos. 

There are some FAQs halfway between the two posts. 

Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle | a four mile walk with kids

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5 Sets of Steppy Stones to Jump Across this Summer


Whenever I share a photo of stepping stones on Social Media, I am always asked for more info so I thought I would pop them together in a post. Crossing them all might be a fun challenge to set yourself this summer. 



Let me know if there are any others from North East England that you would add to the list. 
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Causey Arch Picnic Area, Tea Room & Walk

Disclosure: I visited Causey Arch recently as part of another campaign . This blog post was not part of the campaign & I have not been paid / asked to share this specific post. We covered our own costs. 

We have visited Causey Arch a few times as a stop off when enjoying the Tanfield Railway. We always just stop off for a quick picnic though and have never really fully explored the area - until now. 

Causey Arch Picnic Area, Tea Room & Walk


First of all, there are over 40 free parking spaces. We visited on a warm weekday afternoon in July and as you can see, there was ample parking. Use postcode NE16 5EJ and follow the brown tourist picnic signs as you approach. 
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Treasure Trails Review

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Treasure Trails Review


Although I am working with Treasure Trails on this particular post, I want to begin by saying we are genuine customers too. We have tried a few over the years including a Treasure Trail with Here Come the Hoopers during a weekend break to Scarborough. They are something we will continue to purchase again in the future too. 
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Durham's Hidden Gems: Walks, Rides & Picnic Spots

This is an advertisement feature. 

Durham is a county that covers an area of over 862 square miles. There is so much outdoor space to explore from your door. From heritage coastline and nature reserves to rolling countryside and dark skies. Durham is an area of outstanding natural beauty. There is an abundance of outdoor space to enjoy. 

Title Image:Durham's Hidden Gems: Walks, Rides & Picnic Spots

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The Ultimate Guide to What's On in the North East for Kids | Summer Holidays 2020



Hello and welcome to my ultimate guide to what's on for kids in North East England this summer. The format of this post is going to be slightly different from usual as understandably, there are hardly any events taking place this year. 




I have tried to include as many ideas as I can for fun this summer though. I hope you find it useful. This post will be updated across the summer as more events are announced so please bookmark this post and check back. 

If you visit anywhere and would recommend, please post the details/ a mini review in our North East Days Out Facebook group here. 
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Our First Proper Day Out This Summer



As of 4 July, one household can meet up with another household in any setting. I had booked tickets to Belsay Hall a few weeks ago and originally, it was just going to be me, Steve and the kids going.



But Steve landed a new role at work and his hours changed which meant he could no longer make it. So I asked if my brother and his son (4 year old Evan) would like to use our spare ticket (under 5s are free so I booked another ticket for Evan). My bro lives with my mam and we realised my mam had the day off work too so we thought we would make a day of it and invite mam along too so I booked another ticket. Luckily there were still tickets left. 
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15+ North East Pubs & Restaurants Where You Can Pre-Book An Outdoor Table


 

North East Pubs & Restaurants Where You Can Pre-Book An Outdoor Table

 For those who are not ready to dine inside a pub/restaurant yet, I asked my Facebook & Instagram followers for some of the best places in the North East you can pre-book an outdoor table. 

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Our £1000 (ish) Moroccan Back Garden Makeover


For the past two years, our back garden has grown out of control and was pretty unusable. Our back gate kept breaking every time there was a bit of wind and despite Steve's best efforts, it just wasn't secure. The whole fence would sway in the wind. Our shed was broken into a few times and the whole space was just unsafe/unusable. 

Our £1000 (ish) Moroccan Back Garden Makeover


We didn't do anything about it last summer as we were out and about a lot and didn't actually miss the back garden at all. We are lucky to have lots of space in our front (although this isn't private). We also didn't have the money to replace our fence but vowed to save and for it to be our project this summer. 
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Fun & Easy Magic Tricks with MAOAM Mischief Hub

This is an advertisement feature with MAOAM. 

MAOAM is a fun confectionery brand which includes a range of popular treats, such as Stripes, Pinballs and Bloxx.  We are delighted to be partnering with MAOAM this year and will be sharing some of the tricks and mischief they have up their sleeves to help families make the most of their time at home. 

This summer, we are spending most of our time at home. We have now fallen into a nice routine and we are very much used to the new norm. 

Fun & Easy Magic Tricks with MAOAM Mischief Hub



I will level with you though, sometimes the days can feel super long and monotonous and often the days all roll into one. Anything that can add a little mischief and excitement to our day or break it up gets the thumbs up from me. 
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Thali Tray Date Night


Over the past few months, Steve and I have been enjoying little date nights at home. With no babysitters or inclination to visit a restaurant, you have to do what you have to do. We started off weekly but now I would say we plan something for just us every couple of weeks. 



Sometimes we cook and other times we order from one of our favourite restaurants. I love how many places have adapted to provide an at-home service and I am so thankful for this. One such place is Thali Tray in Ouseburn
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30+ of the Best Cycle Routes for Kids around North East England


Over the years,  I have been asked a lot for ideas where families can ride their bikes with kids. I am not an expert in this - we just ride our bikes along the cycle path near our house or at the coast.

It is something I have been asked more and more during the past few weeks though so I decided to ask my readers for suggestions for their favourite routes so I could put them all together in one list for others to use. I hope you find this resource helpful. 

30+ of the Best Cycle Routes for Kids around North East England

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Life Lately (June 2020)



Welcome to another little catch up. Here is what has been going on this month...... 



Heidi is back at school 

The biggest change for us this month is that Heidi is back at school now. She is in Year 6 and transitioning to a new school this year. We weighed up the pros and cons and decided it was best for Heidi to return. She attends school two days per week in a small class of 8 with her teacher and absolutely loves it. 

Heidi has really enjoyed being back with her friends and is enjoying some fun activities at school such as designing a fairground, coding a ferris wheel, making pin art, school games and making space doughnuts. Honestly when I dropped her off on the first day I was so nervous, it was worse than the first day of school in reception but she was beaming when I picked her up later that day and it was the happiest I have seen her in days. 
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15 of the Best Parks & Playgrounds in North East England



15 of the Best Parks & Playgrounds in North East England


Please note, due to COVID 19, some of the facilities (especially water play areas/cafes/toilets) may be closed. Check details with venue direct for up to date info before setting off. In England, parks are permitted to open from 4 July but not all will open on that date.  Always check venues direct for up-to-date details before setting off. 

Please respect the local area, observe social distancing, use alcohol hand gel / wash hands regularly (especially before eating), leave no trace, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, consider leaving and returning another time. 

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus, please stay at home and follow NHS advice/guidelines. 
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Dinosaur Crazy Golf & Dobbies Garden Centre Morpeth


Like many people during lockdown, we have taken to gardening this summer. We have visited Dobbies Morpeth (aka Heighley Gate) a few times over the years but it had been well over a year since our last visit. 

Dinosaur Crazy Golf & Dobbies Garden Centre Morpeth


The garden centre is just off the A1 - exit onto the A697 towards Coldstream and it is less than half a mile up the road on your left (use postcode NE61 3DA). There is a huge free car park for customers. 
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A Pizza Picnic from Di Meos Ouseburn


Ouseburn is my favourite part of Newcastle. I just love the vibes in this area of Newcastle plus it is home to some of my favourite restaurants, pubs and places to visit

A Pizza Picnic from Di Meos Ouseburn


Back in February Half Term, we were going to visit Di Meos for Pizza and ice cream after a street art trail but the queue was too long, there were no spare seats and it was freezing cold so we popped to Gingerinos instead (which by the way is fantastic and I would also highly recommend) . 

As Steve's payday treat this month though, I was craving a trip to Ouseburn and this time was a little more organised and phoned ahead to pre-order our pizza at Di Meos. 
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Strawberry Picking in North East England - What to Expect this Summer


We love visiting Brocksbushes Farm near Hexham to pick strawberries and are honestly over the moon that we have still been able to enjoy this tradition this summer. 


Strawberry Picking at Brocksbushes

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The Best Places to Paddle in Streams across North East England


A few weeks ago, I published a post sharing safety advice against the dangers of swimming in reservoirs (you can read the full post here). Please do not swim/paddle at the likes of Kielder / Derwent Waterside Park. There are lots of hidden dangers. 

The Best Places to Paddle in Streams across North East England


However, paddling in streams is a kind of rite of passage in childhood I think. Obviously, you still need to remain vigilant - young children can drown in a teeny amount of water and depths can change suddenly. Children should never be left unsupervised. 



For more ideas for places to visit across North East England this summer, click here to join our FREE Days Out Facebook group which is packed with recommendations. 

 

Before we jump in, a lot of these places are likely to be busy, especially if it is a sunny day. Consider heading out early/later in the evening if possible to avoid the crowds. Car parks do fill up and if you are unable to park responsibly, please leave and return another time. Remember to leave no trace and take all litter home with you. 

Please read local safety advice before entering the water. Some of the places mentioned may not technically be classed as a stream.  

Some areas / facilities may be closed at the moment due to Coronavirus. 

I have not visited all of these places personally so please do your own research before setting off to avoid disappointment. You can see more suggestions and photos from others over on this Facebook post


The Best Places to Paddle in Streams across North East England 


Plessey Woods 

Plessey Woods Stream to paddle in



Plessey Woods is a popular spot in Northumberland. There is a cafe, play park, visitor centre, toilets and lots of green space to run around / enjoy a picnic right next to the car park.

I can confirm that the toilets are open at the moment (June 2020). 

If you venture into the woods there are various routes to take (with signposted routes for step free / accessible / pushchair friendly routes) with trails and sculptures hidden throughout.

Watch out for the Ogre swamp! The woods can get fairly muddy in bad weather so if you visit after rain, I would recommend an all-terrain pushchair. 

As you head down through the woods, there are spots to paddle in the river by the bridge and jetty. 


Humford Woods / Bedlington Country Park 

Humford Woods stream to paddle in


There are lots of places to paddle in and around Bedlington Country Park, especially near Humford Mill. If you park at the mill, the river is accessible (however you will need to navigate a moderate hill).

There are stepping stones across the water too. If you cross the stepping stones and follow the river, there is a lovely waterfall area where you can paddle too. 

There are picnic tables and a play park on the river bank. 


Ingram Valley 

Paddling in the stream at Ingram Valley


We absolutely love Ingram Valley. It is a natural beauty spot in Northumberland National Park with plenty of space to paddle. 

We normally park in Bulbys Wood Car Park which has its own toilets. From here, the grass is flat and accessible and just a short distance away from the stream (you can see the stream from the car park). There are more parking spots, further loos and a cafe further along the road if you continue driving. 

Bring some change as an ice cream van sometimes randomly pops up!


Rothbury



Paddle in the river at Rothbury

Rothbury is a beautiful town in Northumberland. The walk along the river is beautiful and very scenic and you can paddle at the riverbank area by the main bridge into town. 

There are picnic tables and a play park (which is currently being refurbished) right by the river and the walk is accessible too. 


Hamsterley Forest 

Paddle in the stream at Hamsterley Forest

Hamsterley Forest is a super popular spot. Expect bike trails, walking routes, a Gruffalo trail, lots of play areas, cafe, visitor centre & areas where you can paddle in the river. 

The forest has accessible walking trails and is pushchair friendly. The car park is chargeable, see website for details. 


Plankey Mill 

As far as I can see, Plankey Mill is open. We used to visit the area a lot as kids. There is a large grassy area for picnics/BBQs/ball games, loos in the farmhouse and access to the river for paddling. The old wobbly bridge has been replaced. Before you cross the bridge, Plankey Mill is accessible and flat. 

See below for a recent Tripadvisor review: 

Plankey Mill Review

  • Postcode NE47 5ND
Alternatively, you can visit the National Trust Allen Banks site and walk through the woods alongside the river. There are various areas to paddle in along the route. The walk can be slightly challenging. Find out more here. 


Causey Arch 


Causey Arch is such a lush picnic spot surrounded by ancient woodland, grassland and a stream to paddle in. There are picnic tables dotted about or near the car park too. 

It is a fairly steep walk down to the river and their website says it is accessible but just be aware - there is a steep part! 


Jesmond Dene 

Paddle at Jesmond Dene

Jesmond Dene is a popular area just outside of Newcastle. Expect picnic spaces, grassy areas, a cafe, Pets Corner (may not be open) and gorgeous woodland walks where you can stop to paddle in the river. The walks are accessible and pushchair friendly. 


Falling Foss 

paddling in the river at falling foss



Falling Foss near Whitby is a gem. It is a bit of a steep climb down from the car park and I am not sure I would take a pushchair/wheelchair myself. I think there may be a disabled drop-off area right next to the tea garden though so it may be worth phoning ahead to ask. 

There is the most beautiful outdoor tea garden in the heart of the woods, a waterfall you can paddle near or various points where you can paddle throughout the woods. 



Corbridge 

paddling in the river at corbridge


We love Corbridge. Lovely independent shops and pubs, a Roman Town to explore and of course the river to play in too. 


The following sites are reader recommendations and places I have yet to visit myself so can only provide limited info at the moment (apologies). I will update this post with more information as we visit a few of them this summer : 

 
Haltwhistle Burn

Haltwhistle Burn
Wiki Commons




Derwenthaugh Park near Winlaton Mill

Derwenthaugh Park
Geograph Britain : David Dixon 

 

Mitford 


Geograph Britain : John Walton 

Finchale Priory 


paddle in the river at finchale priory
Geograph Britain - Mat Fascoine 





Hawthorn Dene

  • Postcode: SR7 8SH
  • Find out more here
  • Reader comment - Hawthorn Dene has some lovely shallow streams 

Sheepwash 


Watergate Forest Park 

  • Postcode: NE11 9RQ
  • Find out more here
  • Reader comment - Watergate park in Whickham is an easy little walk with good paddling spots. 

Stanhope Ford

Wiki Commons


  • Find out more here
  • Reader comment - Went to Stanhope on Saturday and there were quite a few paddling in the river there. Get there early to get a parking spot. 

Allensford 


Hareshaw Linn


Wiki Commons



  • Find out more here
  • Reader comment - Hareshaw Linn has loads of spots where people can paddle. There is a spot further up where you can swim too. 

NOW CLOSED Linn Waterfall 
 
Please see additional advice from the MOD re: visiting Crammel Linn here: 




Ponteland Park 

  • Park in town
  • Find out more here
  • Reader comment - There are a few places to paddle in Ponteland Park. 

Malton Picnic Area, Lanchester 

  • Postcode: DH7 0TH
  • Find out more here (website states this area is accessible for wheelchairs & pushchairs) 

Hill End, Frosterley 


Blaydon Burn 


Tyne Riverside Country Park 

 
NOW CLOSED Carrick Picnic Site, Blanchland 

Update - A reader has informed me that this area is currently closed due to vandalism.  

River Swale in Richmond 



Saltburn Valley Gardens 

 

Asygarth Falls Codbeck 


Boilhope Burn 

  • Car park postcode: DL13 2SZ
  • Find out more here
  • Reader comment - Boilhope Burn on the B6278 past Stanhope Ford has lovely picnic areas and a stream to paddle in. 

Castle Eden Dene 


Low Slitt Woods, Westgate 

  • Park at Westgate town and walk through the woods past beautiful waterfalls and streams.
  • Find out more here. 


If you are looking to travel a little further afield, check out the best places for paddling in Yorkshire by Yorkshire Tots or how about Wild Swimming in the Peak District by Peak District Kids? 


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Let me know if there is anywhere else we should add to the list. I cannot wait to visit some new places from this list myself and will update the post with more photos and info when we do. 






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