50+ Free Days Out Across North East England

You don't need to spend a fortune, or indeed anything at all to enjoy a fantastic day out. This post will share a list of more than 50 places you can enjoy a free day out across North East England - that's practically one day out per week for a full year. 

The criteria to make this list is that the attraction must offer free admission as standard. Parking and travel costs are excluded from this. Many places do rely on donations and if you can, donations will always be welcome. 

I have split the lists into indoor and outdoor days out which will hopefully help during our ever-changing British weather. Please always double check information with venues direct before heading out, especially opening hours. Some of the places mentioned on the list are open seasonally and some are currently closed for the winter / due to current circumstances. 

Indoor Free Days Out 

Discovery Museum (Newcastle)

The Discovery Museum is a science and local history museum. Expect a science maze, three floors of galleries showcasing Tyneside's history, a Red Arrows Flight Simulator (small charge) and refular free crafts. There is a cafe and indoor picnic tables too. Very convenient for Newcastle Central Station and easy to reach by train, bus, metro or car. Read our full guide to visiting here. 


Find BALTIC on NewcastleGateshead Quayside just over the Millennium Bridge. It is a Contemporary Art Gallery with ever changing exhibitions which are often hands-on/interactive and always thought-provoking. Facilities for children are fantastic with an indoor picnic area, free tea/coffee/juice and free toddler / children's activities at various times across the week (see their website for info). BALTIC is easy to get to by bus, car or on foot from the city centre. Read my guide to visiting here. 

Laing Art Gallery (Newcastle) 

The Laing Art Gallery is in the centre of Newcastle, not far from the main shopping area around Northumberland Street. The gallery hosts regular changing historical and contemporary exhibitions and is also home to a small play area for under 5s. Super easy to get to via bus, Metro or car. 

Great North Museum (Newcastle) 

Great North Museum is a museum of Natural History and Ancient Civilisations with permanent exhibitions, a planetarium and a large temporary exhibition space. The Museum is home to a popular 'Mouse House' area for under 5s and hosts regular free events across school holidays. Super easy to get to by bus, Metro and car. Read my visitors guide here

Locomotion (Shildon) 

Read our guide to visiting Locomotion Shildon here. 

Stephenson Railway Museum  (North Shields) 

Chain Bridge Honey Farm (Berwick) 

Shipley Art Gallery  (Gateshead) 

The Dorman Museum  (Middlesbrough) 

Durham Cathedral  (Durham) 

Oriental Museum (Durham) 

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens  (Sunderland) 

Seven Stories (Ouseburn) 

South Shields Museum & Gallery  (South Shields) 

National Glass Centre  (Sunderland) 

Kirkleatham Museum (Redcar) 

Barter Books  (Alnwick) 

Grace Darling Museum (Bamburgh) 

Tynemouth Lifeboat Station (Tynemouth) 

Newbiggin Maritime Museum (Newbiggin) 

Lit & Phil  (Newcastle) 

The Common Room  (Newcastle) 

Hatton Art Gallery (Newcastle) 

Lady Waterford Hall (Ford & Etal) 

Smaland Soft Play  (IKEA Gateshead) 

The Late Shows - 13 & 14 May (NewcastleGateshead) 

Zen Garden at Theatre Hullabaloo - 31 Jan - 1 May 2022 (Darlington) 

Outdoor Free Days Out 

Obviously there are lots of free country parks / walks available around the NE and this list doesn't include them all. I have tried to only include places you could spend more than an hour. 

The Morph Trail - until 3 April 2022 (North Tyneside)

Superworm Trail (Hamsterley Forest)

Superworm Trail - FB post states it will be available from Easter weekend but it may be available earlier (Kielder Forest)

Superworm Trail (Guisborough Forest)  

Please note, with the Superworm Trails, you can buy an optional activity pack for £3.50 each. It is possible to enjoy the trail without the pack and to just follow the boards (which is free to do). 

50 FREE Days Out Across North East England

Fire & Ice Durham - 25 + 26 February 2022

North of Tyne Under the Stars -  February & March 2022 (North of Tyne)

Love Exploring App / Trail at Various NE Locations including Hirst Park, Carlisle Park, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Wharton Park, Hardwick Park & Stockton on Tees. Lots of FREE trails and VR games to play during walks with themes around dinosaurs, space, wildlife and more. 

The Lowry Trail  (Berwick) 

Rising Sun Country Park (North Tyneside) 

Herrington Country Park & Penshaw Monument (Sunderland)

Seaglass Hunting at Seaham (Durham) 

Minotaur Maze, Salmon Centre, Kielder Castle & Walks  (Kielder) 

Arbeia Roman Fort  (South Shields) 

Druridge Bay Country Park
 (Northumberland Coast) 

Northumberlandia (Cramlington) 

Ingram Valley (Northumberland National Park) 

Allen Banks and Staward Gorge (Hexham) 

Plessey Woods (Morpeth) 

Hardwick Park (Durham) 

Richardson Dees Park (Wallsend) 

Wynyard Woodland Park 
 (Stockton on Tees) 

Ouseburn Farm 

Pets Corner Jesmond Dene (Jesmond) 

North & South Marine Parks (South Shields) 

Carlisle Park & Steppy Stones  (Morpeth) 

Angel of the North & Saltwell Park (Gateshead) 

Splash Parks (Ridley Park / Chester le Street / Hirst Park ) 

Preston Park Adventure Playground (Stockton on Tees) 

Hylton Castle (Sunderland) 

Cramlington Giant Spoon  (Cramlington) 

Seal Spotting / Rock Pooling at St Mary's Island (North Tyneside)

Please note, there is an admission fee to enter the lighthouse building but you can walk around the permimeter/ access the wildlife huts free of charge. Please act appropriately around the wildlife and take notice of the visitor signs.

Rainton Meadows  (Houghton-le-Spring) 

Holy Island  (Northumberland) 
Check tide times before visiting. 

Hadrian's Wall - Temple of Mithras, Walltown Crags and Sycamore Gap  (Northumberland) 

Other Ways to Enjoy a FREE Day Out 

Heritage Open Days - 9-18 September 2022 

National Lottery Free Days Out 


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