10 Free Days Out Near a Metro Station

This post shares 10 FREE days out which are close to a Metro Station. If you don't live near a Metro Station, many offer bus connections and some stations have free/paid car parks too if you'd like to park and ride. 

10 Free Days Out Near a Metro Station


Don't forget, kids aged 11 and under travel for free by Metro with a fare paying adult. All day, every day and they don't need a ticket. Find out more/check the t&cs here. 
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What's On in the North East for Kids & Teens - July 2022

 This post will cover events for the first three weekends in July - the rest of July will be covered in my Summer Holiday What's On Guide coming soon......... 

AD - This post contains adverts 

What's On in the North East for Kids & Teens - July 2022


I'm pleased to share a bumper guide of events taking place this July in the run up to the kids breaking up from school.


As always, this guide has been written in advance and it is super important to click the links to the official websites and check for the most up-to-date information from venues themselves as the information provided in this post may have changed. 
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Stockeld Park - New Indoor Play Area Opens

This post is not an advert and has been based on a press release. Please contact Stockeld Park for the most up-to-date information. Photo credits: Stockeld Park. 

Stockeld Park - New Indoor Play Area Opens

Stockeld Park regularly pops up as a recommendation for somewhere to visit in our Days Out Facebook Group and it features in our 'Places to stop off when driving South' blog post. When I heard they had expanded and added a new attraction, I thought it was worth sharing. 


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A lovely weekend in North Yorkshire

 


We've just returned from a lovely break in North Yorkshire. It was a bit of a celebration for us - Steve was originally due to leave his employed job this week and combined with the fact that my kids had a 4 day weekend meant that booking somewhere to celebrate Steve's new found freedom and making the most of a long weekend in term time was on the cards. 
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Pranzo Whitley Bay | Lunch Menu Review

This post is based on a visit in June 2022. Always check for the most up-to-date information with Pranzo direct when making plans (find their FB page here). 

Pranzo Whitley Bay Review
Credit: Pranzo

Pranzo is an Italian Trattoria and Deli on Station Road in Whitley Bay. It's next door to Sushi Me Rollin' and on the same street as Whitley Bay Metro Station so super easy to get to by public transport. There is street parking outside (sometimes paid - check times) and there is a free car park outside Whitley Bay Metro Station. 

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Where to Buy Lobster in Northumberland

This post has been published by Steve. Please always check with venues direct for the most up to date information when making plans. 

For most people (myself included), Lobster is a very occasional treat and something to save for really special occasions. The odd time we do order lobster, it does feel super special.

Where to Buy Lobster in Northumberland


Over the years, we have tried lobster from a few places in Northumberland when out celebrating special occasions and we thought we'd put together and post sharing some of our favourite spots and the best places to buy this luxurious crustacean. 

I personally love it when my lobster turns up with a lobster crack and pick so I can really get in there and get every little piece. More often than not though, the restaurant has done all of the hard work for you and I have found lobster to generally be served ready to eat. 

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11 Reasons to Visit 'A Northumberland Menagerie' in 2022

This is an advert for June 2022. Any edits/shares beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. Please always check with venues direct for the most up-to-date information when making plans and before setting off. 



A Northumberland Menagerie is a series of exhibitions by artist Bethan Maddocks taking place across four museums in Northumberland in 2022 (until 30 October). Click on the links below for more information about the exhibitions at each site: 
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How to Book Fishing at Kielder (with Kids)

Thanks to our writer Bethanie for sharing this post. Always check with Kielder Waterside Park for the most up to date information when making plans. AD - the links in this post are affiliate links. 

How to Book Fishing at Kielder (with Kids)


Would it surprise you to learn that Kielder is the largest man-made lake in northern Europe? It is also home to one of the largest areas of forest in England.
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Crieff Hydro Self Catering Review


AD - This post has been published by our writer Gaia and is based on a press stay in June 2022. Any shares beyond this date have not been asked for. Please always check with Crieff Hydro direct for the most up-to-date information. 

Crieff Hydro Self Catering Review
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Kids Eat Free in Whitley Bay

This post has been written by our writer Steve and is an advert for June 2022. Any shares / edits beyond this have not been asked for. The photos in this post have been taken on multiple visits over the years - we're big fans! 

Is there anything better than fish and chips by the sea? We're very lucky to live so close to the seaside that it only takes a few minutes to get some fresh fish and chips. Trenchers is a great restaurant inside Spanish City in Whitley Bay to visit for just that. 

Kids Eat Free in Whitley Bay

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The Fun Jungle Washington Review

This is a guest post by our writer Cat and based on a visit in May 2022. Please always check with venues direct for the most up to date information when making plans.

The Fun Jungle Washington Review

The Fun Jungle is a soft play centre located in Sulgrave in Washington. If travelling by car, NE37 3AZ will get you to the Industrial Unit which is just off the main road. The unit stands alone through some metal gates and has plenty of free parking. 
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Visiting Eshott Airfield & Cafe

This post is based on a visit in June 2022. Please always check for the most up-to-date information with the venue direct when making plans and before setting off.

 Visiting Eshott Airfield & Cafe


A few people had mentioned that Eshott Airfield is somewhere I should visit and write about. My 6 year old nephew is currently into planes and as we'd recently watched Maverick together, we thought why not continue the Top Gun theme and visit the airfield together to see what it was all about. 
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14 Things to Do in Hexham Town Centre with Kids (2022)

Hexham is a picturesque market town in Northumberland. Regularly voted as one of the happiest places to live in the UK, it's a lovely place to visit for a day out. 

14 Things to Do in Hexham Town Centre with Kids



Hexham is super easy to get to by public transport - there is a bus and train station in the centre of town. We usually park in Wentworth Car Park (NE46 1QE) which is free with a Northumberland Parking Disc - just make sure you park in the correct colour zone for your length of stay. 
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Darwin Forest Review (2022)

 Ad - This post was published in June 2022 and is based on a press trip in May 2022. Any shares / edits beyond this date have not been asked for. Please visit darwinforest.co.uk for the most up-to-date information. 



This trip had been originally planned for Spring 2020 but for obvious reasons, had to be postponed. Our original plan was to spend the weekend visiting Alton Towers with our Merlin Annual Passes and using Darwin Forest as a base from which to do this. 
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Our Family Meal Plans (Summer)

Ad - some of the links in this post are affiliate links 


I love reading other people's meal plans and used to share our own when I first started this blog. I sometimes do still share on Instagram. Anyway, this feature is back. I am not the best at sticking to features so I'm not going to say I will share this every week religiously but I will try my best to keep it updated. 
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The Loading Bay North Shields Review

This post has been published by our writer Steve and was last updated in June 2022. For the most up-to-date information, please see here: https://www.theloadingbaynorthshields.co.uk/

The Loading Bay is a great little Street Food Hang Out near North Sheilds Fish Quay. I recently visited with Sam and Sam's brother Mark for brunch. 



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What's On in the North East for Kids & Teens - June 2022

This post contains adverts. There are loads of events planned for June and it certainly feels like a bumper month. This post is scheduled in advance and information can change - always check with venues direct for the most up-to-date information before setting off. 

What's On in the North East for Kids & Teens - June 2022


If you visit anywhere and would like to recommend to others this month, please share your photos and a mini review in our Facebook group here. You can do this at any time. 

If you're an event organiser, you can share upcoming events in our Days Out Facebook Group every Friday (one event per business per week). The group has almost 30k members and this is a FREE service. 

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Why are Kids Clubs on Holiday So Controversial?

 
I am writing this bit of a rant after receiving what I perceive to be judgemental comments on a TikTok video I posted a few weeks ago


Why are Kids Clubs on Holiday So Controversial?




Some of the comments mention that you shouldn't send your kids to childcare on holiday and that holidays are supposed to be about creating memories together as a family rather than sending your kids off to strangers. 
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Stephenson Railway | FREE Train Museum & Cheap Heritage Train Rides

This post is based on a visit in April 2022. Please check the Stephenson Railway website and social media for the most up-to-date info, especially regarding opening times, booking info and special events. 

Stephenson Railway is a small, free to visit train museum in North Shields. There is a free car park onsite and a bus stop nearby. The museum is not open all of the time and trains only run on selected dates so do check before heading out. 

Stephenson Railway | FREE Train Museum & Cheap Heritage Train Rides

The museum is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs and the train platform is accessible too however train carriage doors are restricted to 55cm and cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Wheelchair users must be able to self transfer from a platform to a carriage if they wish to ride. Find out more about access here. 
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Puffin Crafts Amble | A Review

Thanks to our writer Bethanie for this post. 

A great rainy day in Northumberland activity, Puffin Crafts Amble is an independent craft shop and Making Space. It is a light and calm space where you can enjoy painting and crafting. 

Puffin Crafts Amble | A Review



Not just to be saved for a rainy day however, you can have birthday parties here or meet up with family for a fun hour and a half of painting. The shop space has been well thought out and accessible for all visitors. Read on to find out more about what to expect from your visit.....

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Does Craster Have A Play Area?

Whenever I share my blog post about the walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle, I will often receive comments from people not realising that Craster has a play area. It does indeed have a playground and it's kind of hidden away which is why I think some people don't realise it's there.

In fact it was only after I'd visited Craster a few times myself that I stumbled across it. 

Does Craster Have A Play Area?

The playground is in a beautiful location overlooking the sea and just next to the Northumberland Coastal Path. In fact I think it may actually be right on the path. 
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15 Things to do at Ford & Etal

Ford and Etal is one of our favourite places to visit in Northumberland. Not far from Berwick, there are three main areas to explore (as well as a few off shoots). It's the kind of place you could just walk around and take in the beautiful scenery/bring a picnic or spend £ visiting multiple attractions - the choice is yours. 

15 Things to do at Ford & Etal

A lot of Ford & Etal is dog-friendly and it's definitely somewhere you can feel comfortable visiting with your dog. We drove between Ford and Heatherslaw (and caught the train to Etal) as they are all several miles apart. If you are keen, you could walk it. 
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Hulne Park, Alnwick | A Guide to Visiting

Thanks to our writer Bethanie for this post. 

Hulne Park in Alnwick has long been a favourite walking spot for my family and I. We
started walking here when my son was a baby (nine years ago!) and enjoy the space it
provides.

Hulne Park, Alnwick | A Guide to Visiting


In a nutshell, Hulne Park is located in the market town of Alnwick and makes
up part of the Northumberland Estates. Among the various walking routes, expect to
find parkland, Alnwick Abbey, a Priory and farmland.
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Visiting Cragside's Formal Gardens

 

Visiting Cragside's Formal Gardens

We have been National Trust Members for over 10 years now and despite visiting many, many times, I am always discovering new areas. One such area was the Formal Gardens at Cragside. 
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How to Find Hownsgill Viaduct

Thanks to our writer Gaia for this post featuring a scenic walk with small children, a beautiful picnic spot and tea room with free parking. 

How to Find Hownsgill Viaduct

  • Address: Howngill farm and tearooms
    Consett DH8 9AA
  • Public transport - get the bus to Consett bus station or derwentside college and join the route at Consett Telescopes which is a mile from the Hownsgill Viaduct.
  • Accessibility - this railway path is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. The climb down from the top of the viaduct is not accessible (but easy to avoid).
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Ingram Valley Cafe & Riverside Walk

Ingram Valley is a beautiful place to visit in Northumberland. Expect rolling hills, riverbanks, waterfalls and winding paths alongside lots of lovely plants and wildlife. It's in a fairly remote location and it's easy to find places to stop for a picnic where you'll have the immediate area completely to yourself. 


We always usually park in Bulby's Wood. I like it here as there are toilets, lots of flat green space for a picnic and easy access to the water for paddling (read about parking at Bulby's Wood and spending the day at Ingram Valley with kids here). 
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What's On at Little Lindi Festival 2022

This is a non-paid guest post by Little Lindi Festival (and not an advert). The images in this post are for guidance only and taken by myself at similar events. 


What's On at Little Lindi Festival 2022

Little Lindi Fest is a family festival taking place at Lambton Park in County Durham 22-25 July 2022.

All workshops, music and performances are included with your ticket. There is an additional cost for fairground rides, food, therapies and drinks. 

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Billionaire Boy On Stage | Review & Top Tips

This is an advert. 

Billionaire Boy Review & Top Tips

David Walliams' Billionaire Boy is showing at Sunderland Empire this weekend and tickets are available for performances on Friday 20th, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May from just £13 + bf.

Find out more and book here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/billionaire-boy/sunderland-empire/
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15 Places to Visit where No Dogs are Allowed

A question which regularly pops up in our Facebook group is people asking for places to visit where no dogs are allowed. Obviously, we are a family who loves dogs but I do understand they aren't for everyone whether this be due to previous trauma, fear, allergies or something else. 

North East Places to Visit where No Dogs are Allowed



All of the places in this list are outdoor as I feel like the indoor options such as museums / galleries / cinema etc.... are all obvious.
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14 Things to do in Morpeth with Kids

Morpeth is a market town in South Northumberland and a place I have been a regular visitor from being very small. It's a lovely place to spend a day with a nice variety of things to do. This post will share some of my favourites.

14 Things to do in Morpeth with Kids


Morpeth is easy to get to by public transport - there is a train and bus station in the town centre as well as a few car parks. Parking in most car parks is free with a Northumberland Parking Disc (within restrictions). You can buy a disc from machines in car parks or the leisure centre. 
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20 Things to do in Durham City Centre with Kids

Durham City Centre is a nice and compact city (if a little hilly) with plenty to offer visitors for the day. Durham is easy to get to by train (just 10 minutes from Newcastle), bus or car. If driving, I recommend Belmont Park and Ride. 


20 Things to do in Durham City Centre with Kids

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7 Pubs with Play Areas in Northumberland

Please always check facilities with venues direct before setting off as they can change over time. 

7 Pubs with Play Areas in Northumberland


When my children were under 8, a decent pub with a play area was the holy grail for me. Being able to relax in the sunshine with a small glass of wine as they played or finish a meal and actually hold a conversation with friends and family as the kids were entertained was a little piece of heaven.
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10 Tips for Visiting Eden Camp

This post was published in May 2022. Please check with Eden Camp direct for the most up to date information. 

10 Tips for Visiting Eden Camp


Eden Camp in North Yorkshire is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time. We finally got around to it over Easter 2022. My family have a keen interest in history, especially the boys, and I knew it would be somewhere they'd enjoy. Not always an easy task with teenagers. 
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The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons in North East England

 
As part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations this year, over 1500 beacons will be lit across the the UK and commonwealth on the evening of 2nd June 2022 in recognition of the Queen's long and selfless service. 

Please always check details with venue direct before setting off as information may change. 

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons in North East England


These beacons are designed to bring local communities together to celebrate this historic milestone. 
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10 Fun Travel Games to Play with Tweens in 2022

This is an advert for May 2022, any edits or shares beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. 

Planning days out and things to do in the evening with tweens and teens on holiday can be tricky and I am often asked about ideas for things to do with older kids that won't break the bank. It's tricky when they're too old for mini discos and find holiday entertainment 'boring'.

10 Fun Travel Games to Play with Tweens in 2022

Something I would highly recommend doing is packing a few age-appropriate travel games in your bag to enjoy in the evening when you go on holiday (home or abroad). Or why not plan an afternoon in your local pub or beer garden (obvs drink responsibly) and enjoy a games afternoon with your tweens this summer? 
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Little Land of Adventures Review | Newton Aycliffe

Thanks to our writer Grace for this post. 

How great is it when there’s a fab little children’s play cafĂ© on your doorstep! Come rain or shine, I can get a latte and a slab of cake while my two girls run round being doctors, mummy’s, policemen and builders! 

Little Land of Adventures Review | Newton Aycliffe

Little Land of Adventures is fairly new but thanks to Covid we’ve not had chance to visit much. Now we are restriction free, we’ve been able to pop in for an hour on one occasion and on another we stayed for a couple of hours! 

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Disney On Ice Returns to the North East this December

This is an advert for May 2022. Any edits/shares beyond this date have not been asked or paid for. 

Disney On Ice Returns to the North East this December

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big will visit Newcastle's Utilita Arena from 7-11 December 2022. Tickets will go on pre-sale at 9am on Friday 6 May and general sale at 9am on Friday 13 May. 
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What's On Across North East England for Kids & Teens | May 2022

AD - There are adverts in this post

Please always double check event information with event organisers direct before heading out for the most up-to-date information. 

What's On Across North East England for Kids & Teens | May 2022
Credit : Tynemouth Food Festival 
 
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Shiremoor Adventure Playground | A Guide to Visiting


Thanks to our writer Jennifer for this post and photos. This post was published and last updated in May 2022. Please check with Shiremoor Adventure Playground for the most up-to-date information before setting out, especially regarding opening hours. 
 

Shiremoor Adventure Playground is one of our favourite outdoor spots to visit in the North East; a wonderful community-based play space which for me, really captures the essence of childhood.

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Stump Cross Caverns Cavewoman Party

 This is just a quick post to share some information I was sent through by a reader who attended a Cavewoman and Magician Party at Stump Cross Caverns in Pately Bridge and wanted to share their experience with others. 

Stump Cross Caverns Cavewoman Party

Their photos certainly caught my eye so I am happy to share. Please note, I have not personally attended this so won't be able to help with any questions (please contact the venue direct if you need further info). This post is simply to raise awareness and a reader recommendation. 
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Why You Need a Disposable BBQ Stand

Ad - the links in this post are affiliate links 
 

Why You Need a Disposable BBQ Stand

When ever I post about our disposable BBQ stand, I am always asked about where I bought it from so I thought it was about time I put a post together. 

We bought our stand five years ago and it is still as good as new (although granted, we do only use ours a few times a year). 

Ours is part of the Asado brand who specialise in BBQ stands and accessories. 

Unfortunatley, the product we purchased is no longer available but their updated Dual BBQ Stand is available and looks just as good, if not better as it is adjustable and fits different sized disposable BBQs (although it doesn't come with a cool bag). 

The Asado Dual BBQ Stand can be adjusted to fit most disposable BBQs and lift them off the ground. One side of the stand is suitable for family size disposable BBQs and the other side is suitable for standard size disposable BBQs. If there are slight adjustments to be made, you can do this to secure the BBQ. 


I have not personally used the particular stand above but I am very happy with the previous model of the stand we bought and it has stood the test of time for us. Make sure you read the Amazon reviews before buying (overall 4* at time of publishing). 


Asado Dual BBQ Stand 

Asado Dual BBQ Stand 


We love a good BBQ but sometimes finding stones to raise a BBQ off the ground can be a bit of a nightmare and not always possible. It is super important to always raise your BBQ from the ground to avoid any damage. 

In the past, we've enjoyed a BBQ at the beach, near a stream on a family day trip and our local woods. We have also taken the stand with us when staying in a cottage, when we stay at the caravan and camping. It's such a versatlie bit of kit. 


Obviously please always check that BBQs are permitted in the places you are visiting and follow all safety guidance. Enjoy your BBQs responsibly. 

We usually fill a 2L pop bottle with water and pour this on the BBQ when we're finished with it which cools it down quickly and by the time we've finished / are ready to leave, it's generally cooled completely down and able to be disposed of responsibly and safely. Do not leave your BBQ unattended and leave no trace. 

Disposable BBQ stands are designed to be much more safe and secure than simply standing on the ground or on a table and reduce the risk of fire/damage too. Definitely a product I am pleased we invested in. 



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Why You Need a Disposable BBQ Stand





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How to Find Consett Telescopes

Thanks to our writer Gaia for this post. ‘The Telescopes’ are a local landmark in Consett, County Durham and something my kids love to visit. As they’re located on the Coast 2 Coast cycle route we normally take the bikes for a little ride while we’re there. If you’ve never seen them before they’re definitely worth a visit and one to tick off the list along with the Giant Spoon in Cramlington.


How to Find Consett Telescopes

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100 Days Out for Teens across North East England

What should I do with my teenagers is a question I see popping up time and time again. My honest answer, is to ask them what they'd like to do.


100 Days out for Teens across North East England




Teens are all different and I think trying to be interested and learn about what they are passionate about and doing planning something along those lines to do together offers a good chance of success.
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Aln Valley Railway Review

Thanks to our writer Bethanie for this post which was last updated in April 2022. Please check with Aln Valley Railway direct for the most up to date information when making plans. 


Aln Valley Railway Review


Located on the Lionheart estate in Alnwick, the Aln Valley Railway is an ambitious project which opened in 2012. It is looking like it is going to be an up and coming place for a family day out.

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Parkhead Station Railway Path - Pushchair Friendly Walk & Cafe

Today our writer Gaia is sharing a flat, pushchair friendly walk with stunning views and a lovely tea room. This post was published and last updated in April 2022.


Parkhead Station Railway Path - Pushchair Friendly Walk & Cafe

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