2 for 1 Garden Entry with Gardeners' World Magazine

 
Thanks to Angela in our North East Days Out Facebook group for posting a reminder that the popular 2 for 1 Garden Entry with Gardeners' World deal is now available. 




We usually order this every year (we skipped last year for obvious reasons) and usually find that we make our money back on just one visit to Alnwick Garden. 
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Wynyard Hall Gardens, Woodland Walk & Superworm Trail

This post is based on a visit in April 2021. Please double check information with venue direct before setting off as information and facilities available change over time. 

Wynyard Hall Gardens,  Woodland Walk & Superworm Trail

This year we are spending a lot of time here in the North East and I am investing in a couple of annual passes. Somewhere I have been meaning to visit in a long time is Wynyard Gardens. I have visited a couple of times before but it has always been part of a special event. The gardens always look gorgeous so we decided to combine our visit with Wynyard Woodland Park with a trip to Wynyard Gardens which is only a couple of miles away. 
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Burn It Up North Shields Review

(ad) This post is based on us attending a press event on 19 April 2021. We have not been asked or paid to share this post. Please double check details before making plans/booking as information can change (especially relating to opening hours, the booking process and food vendors/prices). 

Burn It Up North Shields Review

I have included a menu and prices at the bottom of this post so make sure you scroll right to the end if you want to check them out. 

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Visiting Ouseburn with Kids

 
Seven Stories has launched a pavement cafe in Ouseburn. It looks like it will be a fantastic place to stop off with kids for refreshments or a light bite to eat when visiting the area. 


The new pavement cafe will be open from Thursday - Sunday 11am-4pm and will serve traybakes, muffins and cakes based on favourite children's stories. 
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Always Dreamed About Starting Your Own Business?

 Advertisement.

I think this past year has been a chance for many of us to take stock and think about what we really want from life. Many of us have been furloughed / working reduced hours which has given us the time and space needed to start a new hobby or learn a new skill. 



Those of you who watch my Instagram stories will know that my brother has been furloughed as a chef, taught himself carpentry from scratch and has been making mud kitchens and tables which he has really enjoyed. There are 1000s of people like Mark who may be thinking about taking their new found skills to the next level or turning their hobby into a business but are perhaps not sure where to start. Or maybe have a business idea but are unsure how to take the first steps or where to apply for funding. If this is something you are interested in exploring, this post is for you. 
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Wynyard Woodland Park : Visitor Information

This post is based on a visit in April 2021. Please always check details direct with venue before setting off as information can change over time. 

Wynyard Woodland Park : Visitor Information


Wynyard Woodland Park is a play area which many of you have recommended to us over the years. I am so pleased we finally made the trip and spent a sunny morning here in April. It is fantastic! 
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Richardson Dees Park, Wallsend : Visitor Information

Richardson Dees Park in Wallsend, North Tyneside is somewhere we used to visit a lot when Harry and Heidi were little and we lived in Wallsend. It was lovely then but having a bit of cash spent on it, it's even better now.

Richardson Dees Park, Wallsend


Richardson Dees Park has a large enclosed play area with decent play equipment for all ages, an outdoor gym, sports pitches (including tennis courts and a bowling green), woodland walks, ducks to feed, a cafe, a skate park, lots of green space and public toilets. It is very easy to reach via public transport or car too. There are picnic tables and benches dotted around the grounds but it does get popular and I recommend bringing a picnic blanket if you're going to spend a few hours here. 
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Pirate Themed Crazy Golf, Morpeth (Review)

This post is based on a visit in March 2021. Please check the Crazy Putt website and social media for up to date information.

I love Crazy Golf and it's a nice activity to enjoy for all ages. One of my children who shall remain nameless is not a fan though and has multiple meltdowns whenever we play / spends the whole time accusing others of cheating or not following the rules properly which can be stressful for us if we play together as a family. I guess it's one of those activities you either love or hate! 

Pirate Themed Crazy Golf, Morpeth (Review)

I still persist and book these things though and recently we tried Crazy Putt Adventure Golf at Morpeth Family Golf Centre. Despite one child pretty much crying the whole way around because the rest of us were 'cheating' 😳 the rest of us really enjoyed this course and declared it the best outdoor crazy golf course we have tried. 

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30 of the Best Things to do at Kielder with Kids

This post was published in April 2021. Not all of these facilities will be open at all times and many are seasonal. Please ensure you contact venues direct to check facilities and opening hours/booking requirements before making plans. Also note that prices may have changed since posting so please do check this too. 

30 of the Best Things to do at Kielder with Kids


We absolutely love Kielder. The remote village, forest and reservoir is just three miles South of the Scottish border and it is one of those places where you really feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere. There is very limited phone signal making Kielder the ideal spot to really switch off from the world.

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Durham Botanic Garden : Visitor Information

This post is based on a visit in April 2021 when not all facilities were open due to Gov restrictions. Please check their website for up-to-date information before visiting or making plans. 

Durham Botanic Garden : Visitor Information


At time of publishing, Durham Botanic Garden is free to visit and open Monday-Friday 10am - 2:30pm. You do not need to pre-book and can just walk in. The cafe, toilets and indoor facilities/bird hides are currently closed. I would still recommend as a nice peaceful walk with points of interest or a place to meet up with friends/family (within Gov guidelines) and it is lovely for a stroll. There is plenty of seating throughout the gardens and it wasn't too busy at all on the day of our visit in the school holidays. 

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Tyne Riverside Country Park : Visitor Information

This post is based on a visit in April 2021. Please check with venues direct for the most up to date information. 

Tyne Riverside Country Park : Visitor Information

Tyne Riverside Country Park is situated on former industrial land by the River Tyne near Newburn. It is a lovely spot with various facilities and perfect for riverside strolls and woodland walks. The park is very well connected and part of the Wylam Waggonway and some areas are suitable for cycling and horse riding. 

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Wansbeck Riverside Park

This post is based on a visit in April 2021. 

Wansbeck Riverside Park is a large nature reserve in Ashington, Northumberland.  Expect riverside walks, a large public play park with lots of space to run around, flat surfaced paths, green space, lots of seating and a cafe. It is FREE to visit.

Wansbeck Riverside Park


We used to take the kids often when they were little as it was an ideal spot for dog walking and also a good spot for blackberry picking. We revisited on Easter Bank Holiday and it was just as good as I remember. 

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Nelly's Moss Lakes A 1.5 Mile Easy Pushchair Friendly Walk at Cragside

This post was published in April 2021. Please check details with venue direct before setting off as facilities, opening hours and information can change. Please follow Government guidelines. 

Nelly's Moss Lakes A 1.5 Mile Easy Pushchair Friendly Walk at Cragside


At time of writing, visits to Cragside must be pre-booked for members and non-members. We pre-booked our visit online. Tickets are released in the early hours of Friday morning (just after midnight) for the following week. If you are unable to book a slot, I recommend giving Cragside a call on the day you would like to visit. They usually have a number of no-shows and cancellations and can often squeeze you in. 
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Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre

 This post is based on a visit in March 2021. Please check with venue direct for any changes in information before you visit. 

Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre



The Land of Oak and Iron covers an ancient woodland area around Derwent Valley. It is a fantastic area for wildlife spotting, walking and cycling. Situated just off the A1 near the Metrocentre, it is a nice place to enjoy some fresh air after shopping or equally, a destination in itself. 
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20 Budget Hotel Rooms in Northern England which Sleep 5


The question I am probably asked more often than any other is if I can recommend any hotel rooms which sleep 5 and do not break the bank. The struggle is real! Especially during peak travel times. 

20 Budget Hotel Rooms in Northern England which Sleep 5


I have searched high and low to try and find a list of reasonably priced hotel rooms which sleep 5 in Northern England. Please note, I have not tried and tested these rooms myself so they are a starting point for your research rather than a list of recommendations. Family rooms tend to state they can sleep a maximum of 2 adults + kids so many of these may not be suitable for families with older teens or a group of 5 adults (not that I would want to share a room with teens anyway). 

I hope you find this list useful, please email Sam@NorthEastFamilyFun.co.uk if you have any other recommendations for me to add to this list. The more the merrier! Prices and details checked March 2021. Please check details direct with hotels before booking as information can change. 

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13 North East Days Out which are perfect to enjoy with Grandparents

 

13 North East Days Out which are perfect to enjoy with Grandparents

Many places in the North East are aimed primarily at kids and parents but what about grandparents? Today's post features a round up of North East days out and attractions which are perfect for everyone in the family and multi-generational days out - from kids to great grandparents. These places offer a ride variety of activities for all ages, from mining sites to beach walks.

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10 UK Zoos Where You Can Stay Overnight

The Premier Inn links in this post are (ad) affiliate links. I have not been otherwise compensated to write or share this post. 

10 UK Zoos Where You Can Stay Overnight


We love visiting UK Zoos. I know they can sometimes be controversial but I have always found the conservation efforts and charity work offered by our zoos to be second to none. Many of our UK Zoos are charities and by staying overnight, you can help to support their important work. 
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Baby & Toddler (and beyond) Swimming Lessons in North East England

Advertisement - this post has been sponsored by PaddlePod, a lush local business who I have used in the past and I am more than happy to recommend. 

Baby & Toddler (and beyond) Swimming Lessons in North East England


Under the current UK roadmap and at at time of publishing, swimming pools can re-open from 12th April. Hurrah! Prior to the pandemic, my three used to go swimming once a week after school and I would say it is the one thing they have really missed above all else this year. Swimming has so many health and wellbeing benefits and is something they really enjoy too.
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Family-friendly Beer Gardens to try this Summer

I love a cold beer or a glass of wine in the sunshine as much as the next person. I'm a strong believer that the fact I'm a parent does not mean I cannot partake in this little pleasure (obviously please drink responsibly).

20+ Beer Gardens with outdoor play areas in north east england

 
Here is my roundup of child-friendly pubs throughout the North East that serve food alongside a good selection of drinks and also have a nice outdoor space and a play area to keep the kids entertained. Let me know in the comments if there's anywhere else I should add to my list.
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13 Outdoor Crazy / Mini Golf Courses in North East England

Some of these outdoor golf courses are able to re-open on 29 March 2021. This date is subject to change and booking is at your own risk. Not all of these courses will be taking bookings at this time.

13 Outdoor Crazy / Mini Golf Courses in North East England

 
Sometimes attraction websites are not updated and I always find the best way to find out recent info/ask questions is via the attraction Facebook page. Courses may require pre-booking, especially during peak times. Please check all info before visiting/booking direct with venue, follow Government guidelines and have fun! 
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Life Lately - February 2021

Welcome to another instalment of life lately - a place to chat / share my thoughts on life at the moment. As I type this, we are still in lockdown 3.0 in England. Boris is setting out a roadmap out of lockdown later but it has mostly been leaked to the press already. I am actually feeling very optimistic about the plan.


 

I know dates can change if there are spikes / the numbers don't keep falling but the thought of being able to enjoy a trip to the beach over Easter with family and friends and the the kids returning to school in two weeks is keeping me going. After the worst winter ever, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 
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10 Roman Sites to Visit with Kids across North East England

 

to Visit with Kids across North East England

The North East is home to many Roman sites and places of interest and visitors travel here from across the world to visit. We are spoilt for choice and very lucky to have these on our doorstep. 

Over the years we have visited these attractions and the kids have learned so much about Roman History through experience which I am grateful for. 

Why not set yourself the challenge of visiting all of these attractions over the next few years? 

Prices and information correct as of February 2021. Please check details and opening hours before setting off and follow current travel advice and Government restrictions. 


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Easy Hazelnut & Nutella No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

 
This recipe is loosely based on Nigella's Nutella Cheesecake Recipe.  After Nigella shared the recipe on Instagram, I knew I had to try my own version. Now I didn't measure anything out in this recipe so the measurements are all approximations. Sometimes this is the best way though! 

Easy Hazelnut & Nutella No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe

This cheesecake is perfect for those who love nuts. The recipe is quick and simple to make and looks really good too. 
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Microneedling - An Honest Review with Before & After Photos

Disclosure - This post contains products I have both paid for myself and received as a gift. This post has not been paid / asked for. 



A little bit of background info...... 

I am a 37 year old low-maintenance kind of gal. I am definitely not one for elaborate pampering sessions (although I am partial to the odd face mask). After a year of low-maintenance during lockdown though, I started to feel unhappy with both my skin and hair which both started looking really unhealthy so I decided to do something about it. 

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Morrisons Recipe Box Review (A cheaper alternative to Hello Fresh)


This week we ordered a Morrisons Recipe Box to try. When Steve is working his late shift, I am in charge of cooking and it is the only time we eat separately from the kids. I usually order a Gousto Box for half of the week as they provide perfectly portioned meals for two which are easy enough to prepare and usually taste lovely with minimal effort on my part. 

Morrisons Recipe Box Review (A cheaper alternative to Hello Fresh)
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Easy Biscoff Cheesecake (UK Recipe)

If you are looking for an easy no-bake cheesecake recipe which is a real crowd pleaser and perfect for a weekend treat, check out our easy Biscoff Cheesecake recipe which Jack and I prepared. 

Easy Biscoff Cheesecake (UK Recipe)

This cheesecake does not require any baking and is best made a day ahead so you can chill overnight in the fridge. We split the recipe into three easy phases - the base, the filling and the topping. It does require time to chill but the actual making part takes no time at all so it's ideal to make if you are busy. 

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30+ Recommended TV Shows to Binge Watch Alone

The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. Other than this, I have not been paid/compensated to write this post. 

30+ Recommended TV Shows to Binge Watch Alone


We are staying in now more than ever before and I am SO thankful for streaming services allowing us to get our teeth into a series and pass the time. Steve works shifts and often works evenings plus the boys all like to have regular film nights featuring films I am not really that interested in so I always like to have a series on the go which is just for me. I recently finished Love Life so thought I would ask my Facebook page for recommendations.
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A Lodge with a Hot Tub & Dining with Kids at Close House Newcastle : A Review

This is an advertisement and based on a visit in October 2020. Please always check information direct with hotel before booking as details can change over time. 

Close House is a country estate offering award-winning golf courses, fantastic dining, beautiful walks and gorgeous accommodation. You will find Close House near Heddon-on-the-Wall in Northumberland and just over a 20 minute drive from Newcastle City Centre. It is super easy to get to by car, just a few minutes from the A69. 

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What's On for Kids across North East England | February Half Term 2021

This post is currently being updated for February Half Term 2021. If you would like to submit an idea, please email Sam@NorthEastFamilyFun.co.uk  Nobody has paid to be included in this post however I have worked with some of the businesses mentioned in the past. 

This post will be updated with new events in the coming weeks so please save the post and pop back soon. 



This half term we are being asked to stay at home. I will say, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to keep busy or organise things. We plan on lots of lies in, XBox gaming and TV. There's nothing wrong with that. We will be adding a few activities into the mix though and I know for some families, lots of activities are preferred. There's no right or wrong way to do half term, especially this year. 

Stay home and stay safe everyone. 
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Remote Learning with Tweens & Teens in 2021 - Our Routine

 

I wanted to write a post which documents our experience of remote learning in 2021. Last year, H, H and J had from March - September off school. It was all new to us then and I feel like we muddled through as best we could, focussing more on life skills like cooking and gardening and more holistic subjects such as Yoga, reading and art. 


After Christmas, it was announced that most children (my own included) would not be returning to their school buildings to learn and would be returning to remote education. At time of writing this, it has been over a month since my children last saw their friends in person or stepped foot in school and who knows how long it is going to go on for. February Half Term was initially used as a goalpost but increasingly, it is looking more like Easter or even beyond. Who knows though? Anything could happen over the next few months and we just need to wait and see. 
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Things to look forward to in February



I am SO pleased to see the back of January. What a long and boring month! There are a few things to look forward to this February including Chinese New Year, Pancake Day and Valentine's Day. We've got to take these small pieces of pleasure where we can right not I think. 
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The Running Fox Delivery Information

Please note, prices and information correct as of 15/1/21. Things can change so please double check information with The Running Fox before placing an order.  

The Running Fox Delivery Information

The Running Fox is one of my favourite places to stop for a foodie treat in Northumberland. We have been visiting for years and I have fond memories of taking the kids to feed the ducks in Felton after breakfast here and splashing out on Afternoon Tea with various friends and family over the years. Their style is homemade, plentiful and delicious more than refined and anything I buy from The Running Fox always feels like such good value and like an indulgent treat. 

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40+ lunch ideas for kids at home

Most people get a little bored of the same sandwiches for lunch every day and one of the best things about the kids being at home is that we can mix it up a little with their lunches. I thought I would share some of the sandwich alternatives we love alongside a few reader recommendations too. I hope it provides a little inspiration for when you are next in a lunchtime rut. Let me know your favourites too. 

40+ lunch ideas for kids at home
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20+ Free Burns Night Activities & Recipe Ideas

 
Burns Night falls on Monday 25 January this year. Steve always likes to cook Haggis and have a dram of Whisky on this night and as we will be at home this year, I thought we might make it more of an event.


20+ Free Burns Night Activities & Recipe Ideas

This post includes a few ideas for getting starting.  As a good starting place, I recommended downloading this fantastic, free Burns Night toolkit from Visit Scotland which includes poems, recipes, a quiz and more. 
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Valentine's Day Food Delivery & Gift Guide (North East England Lockdown Edition)

Steve and I are a pretty romantic couple but we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. We don't buy cards/gifts and sitting in a restaurant with a set menu with lots of loved-up couples just feels forced and isn't usually the best value night out. As we do like our food, we do usually use it as an excuse to cook a nice meal at home. 


This year though, I have decided we will be celebrating. It is an opportunity to support our local businesses and something to look forward to. I have put together a few ideas for those wanting to do the same. Please note, I have not been compensated to write this post. 

Thanks to those on FB and Instagram who have helped so far. Please note that some gifts may sell out so if you see something you like, order sooner rather than later. I have not personally checked/verified every business but they have been recommended to me. I will be updating this post with new info and ideas as they are announced so do pop back. 
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Life Lately : January 2021

 

Staying in is the new going out 

How are we all doing? I thought I would check in with a new life lately post. I like writing these posts as it is a chance to get a few things off my chest and record normal, every-day family life which is just as important as the exciting bits. 

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Where can I stay in a Treehouse in North East England?

 
A stay in a treehouse has to be on most people's bucket list and over the past few years, a few options have popped up across North East England. I have popped the options I have found into this post if you are looking for inspiration for your next North East break with a twist. Let me know if you know of any others and I will add them to this post. 


Wild Northumbrian, Kielder

Where can I stay in a Treehouse in North East England?
Houlet Treehouse at Wild Northumbrian - Credit Wild Northumbrian
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Our Summer Holiday Plans | Rumbling Bridge

 

This week, we have cancelled holiday number 7645. We were set to stay in a log cabin with a hot tub in Kielder over a weekend in January but alas, the Government/COVID has other plans. Our Kielder trip cost £575 so I spent some time on Boxing Day trying to find a summer holiday break of a similar value with the idea being, we just use the refund money to book so it doesn't actually cost us anything extra. 

Our Summer Holiday Plans | Rumbling Bridge

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30 Photographs Taken in Northumberland during 2020

The year 2020 was not the best for most but it didn't stop Northumberland from looking as beautiful as always. Today I am sharing 30 of my favourite photographs taken in Northumberland across 2020 as a reminder that we are so lucky to call this place home.  


A winter trip to Northumberlandia - click here for more information
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