Paddlepod | Cafe with FREE Soft Play (+ Classes for Little Ones)

This is an advert for March 2022. Any shares beyond this have not been asked or paid for. Thanks to our writer Jennifer for this post. 

Myself and my youngest, Thomas (3) were so excited to be invited to play at PaddlePod Newcastle (Killingworth) recently. The centre, along with PaddlePod North Tyneside (Shiremoor), are well known and loved across the North East for their state of the art swimming pools, so we were intrigued to see what fun we could have whilst staying out of the water. 


6 of the Best Flower Displays in Northumberland

 I love nothing more than walking around a pretty, seasonal garden and here in Northumberland, we are spoilt with some truly spectacular displays. This post will share five of my favourites which are not to be missed.

6 of the Best Flower Displays in Northumberland

Please note, flowers are unpredictable and the dates for the best times to view these particular displays are very much for guidance only.

Please follow the attractions on Social Media and check their updates in the surrounding weeks. They will post when the best times to visit are for that year. Often these displays are only around for a week or so and timing is key. 

1 - Snowdrops at Howick Hall 

A trip to Howick Hall in February is such a treat and always a sign that spring is on the way. The ground is covered with tens of thousands of snowdrops, mostly planted by Lady Grey herself between the wars. There is even a special Howick hybrid to look out for. Admission fees apply. Pet dogs are not permitted in the gardens. 

2 - Crocus Lawn at Wallington 

6 of the Best Flower Displays in Northumberland  - Crocus Lawn Wallington

The Crocus Lawn in the walled garden at Wallington is absolutely stunning and like nothing else I've seen. This photo does not do it justice at all. Crocus' don't stick around for long so as soon as Wallington mention they are in bloom, it's best to may a beeline to visit.

Wallington is free to visit for National Trust members, admission fee applies for non-members. Dogs are welcome in the grounds and gardens on leads. 

3 - Daffodils at Warkworth Castle 

Daffodil displays don't get much better than the show they put on around Warkworth Castle. Absolutely stunning! You can admire this display as you walk or drive past with no admission fee required. Read my guide to visiting Warkworth here. 
6 of the best flower displays in North East England

4 - Cherry Blossom at Alnwick Garden 

6 of the Best Flower Displays in Northumberland  - Cherry Blossom Alnwick Garden

Another display that's not to be missed is the Cherry Blossom at Alnwick Garden. It's so pretty and I love that there are lots of swings inbetween the trees for visitors to enjoy too. What a way to take it all in. This is the largest collection of Tai-Haku trees outside of Japan and a real treat.  Admission fees apply. Pet dogs are not permitted. You can enjoy the build up with a live 'blossom watch' stream on their website. 

5 - Rhododendrons at Cragside 

There are several spots to enjoy this colourful display across the estate including the rock garden which springs to life with colour, the carriage drive and Nelly's Moss. 

Entry is free for National Trust members, admission fee applies for non-members. Dogs are welcome on leads in the grounds and gardens. 

6 - Laburnum Arch at Seaton Delaval Hall 

6 of the Best Flower Displays in Northumberland - Laburnum Arch Seaton Delaval Hall

This arch was planted by Lady Hastings in the 1990s and there are 20 trees which arch over the frame. As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into training and pruning these trees to provide this display which is usually at it's best for a few weeks in June. Thank you to the gardening team who put all the work in as it's absolutely stunning. 

New Website Features 

I'm really excited to share some new FREE features which have been added to my website recently. To access them, click the share button / heart in the bottom corner of this post. 

  • A Search Box - Quickly and easily search for posts using this button 

  • Save Posts - Click the heart to save a post to come back to at any time. To find your saved posts, simply click the heart again and select 'my bookmarks' and you can quickly find them all in one place

  • Share Post - Easily share posts with friends and family at the click of a button 

To access all of these features, you do need to 'sign up' to my website which is quick and easy to do the first time you click the button. You should stay signed in once you have signed up. There will also be a prompt to sign up to my new monthly newsletter which will focus on key ideas for this to do in the upcoming school holidays. I really hope you sign up and make the most of these features. 

Let me know your favourite flower displays across Northumberland (and the rest of the North East for that matter). I'd love to see more this year. 

Hello, thanks for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed it. Here are a few ways you can support North East Family Fun: 

1 - Sign up to our FREE What's On in the North East newsletter here (if this link doesn't work - email and ask to be added to our list) 

2 - Say thanks and buy me a virtual coffee here

3 - Follow North East Family Fun on Instagram here 

4 - Share this post with your friends and family


Where Can You Visit in North East England with National Trust Membership?

Some areas may be temporarily closed due to storm damage etc. Please double check with each site's official website and social media for the most up-to-date info before setting off, especially with regards to what is open at the moment, current facilities + opening hours. These can vary through the seasons or change at the last minute and information can change with time. 

We have been National Trust members for over 10 years now. We are huge fans and will probably be lifelong members. I often spot people posting in our Facebook group asking if National Trust membership is worth it. For me, it 100% is. This post is going to share a little about what you can expect from your National Trust Membership here in the North East. 

Visiting Wallington Hall with Under 5s

Thanks to our writer Gemma for this post. 

As National Trust Members, one of the most common places we frequent with the kids is Wallington Hall.

No matter what the season, if you dress for the weather – it’s a place that can be enjoyed all year round.

After parking the car up, rather than walking through the main entrance, the route that we usually take to get into Wallington grounds is the footpath that meanders straight into the woodland. This takes you passed the bike hire shed and opens out at the first of three parks: the Castle Fort play park. 

Visiting Wallington Hall with Under 5s

Visit Angus | A Dog Friendly Destination

This is an advert for March 2022. Please check the Visit Angus website for the most up to date information when making plans. Photo credits : Visit Angus. 

Visit Angus | A Dog Friendly Destination

We spent a long weekend in Angus in January 2022 and had such a lovely time (check out our 11 reasons to visit here). We travelled on the weekend before we brought our Cockapoo puppy Fozzy home for the first time and I must admit, I did spend a lot of the weekend wishing we'd been able to bring him.

Rio Steakhouse Newcastle Quayside Review (with kids)

This post is based on a visit in Februray 2022. Please check with venue direct for up-to-date info, menus and opening times when making plans. Reservations recommended but walk ins may be accommodated.  

The North East has seen a few Brazilian style steak restaurants pop up over the years and although popular, they never seem to last too long. Rio Steakhouse seems to have bucked that trend and received rave reviews when they opened in Jesmond and went onto expand into Newcastle and Middlesbrough with restaurants in Sunderland and Durham planned soon. 


15 Child Friendly Weekend Break Ideas in North East England

A question that pops up in our North East Days Out group time and time again is people looking for a one or two night break in the North East with kids. 

Usually to celebrate a special anniversary or birthday. I thought I would put my top recommendations in this post featuring places which offer one or two night stays and are brilliant for families with kids alongside a few places to visit nearby.

Family room at Seaton Lane Inn 

Please make sure you double check family facilities when booking, especially if the hotel has a pool as often children can only use swimming pools at specific set times. If you have any questions about any of the places mentioned, please contact the venues direct as they will have the most accurate and up to date information. 

Acorn and Oak Review (A New Role Play Cafe at Royal Quays)

Thanks to our writer Jennifer for this post which is based on a visit on 12 March 2022. 

I have always loved the concept of children’s role play cafes. They are a great indoor alternative to soft play, and really encourage my children (aged 3 &6) to engage in some fun, creative and imaginative play. As regular visitors to similar venues in the North East, we were really excited to hear that a new cafe, Acorn and Oak, would be opening it’s doors on the 1st March, and hurried to book our visit.

Acorn and Oak Review (A New Role Play Cafe at Royal Quays)

Victoria Tunnel Tour | What to Expect

 This post is based on a visit in March 2022. Please check the Victoria Tunnel website for up-to-date information when booking. 

Apologies for the quality of the photos in this post. I wasn't really concentrating on getting the best snaps as I was listening to the tour guides and didn't want to appear rude with my phone constantly out (plus wanted to concentrate) and obviously the lighting isn't the best down there. 

Victoria Tunnel Tour | What to Expect

I have wanted to take a Victoria Tunnel Tour for ages. I actually booked for Mother's Day 2020 but cancelled due to the pandemic. I am so pleased I was able to rebook and finally experience a tour for my friend Chloe's birthday in March 2022. It was brilliant and I would highly recommend. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for frequently asked questions. 

Visiting the Crocus Lawn at Wallington

Visiting the Crocus Lawn at Wallington

The Crocus Lawn at Wallington is now in bloom. We popped along this morning (10 March) to visit and wow what a treat! According to google, Crocus' bloom for 2-3 weeks so if you'd like to see this spectacular display at their best, I'd recommend getting there sooner rather than later. 

5 Family Walks in Northumberland (tried and tested by a 2 & 5 year old)

Thanks to Gemma from GeeGee Writing for this post. 

Family walks may well be attributed with lockdowns, but with a little imagination (and the right clothing) they have integrated into our family life as one of our favourite things to do.

5 Walks in Northumberland (which are perfect for under 5s)

Life with young children can be expensive, and it’s often the simple and cheaper things in life that are the most enjoyable.


Why Angus is the Perfect Place to Escape the Crowds

This is an advert based on a visit in January 2022. Please use this post as a guide and then use the Visit Angus website to plan your trip for the most up-to-date information. 
We visited Angus in January 2022 and just had the best time (make sure you read 11 Reasons to Visit Angus once you've finished this post). One of the things that really stuck me about the region was how beautiful and peaceful the great outdoors are here.


Zog and the Flying Doctors at Northern Stage | A Review

Ad - Our writer Gaia received press tickets to this performance. If you'd like to book Gaia to review an upcoming show, you can email Photo credits: Mark Senior

Having never taken Ada (aged 4) to a theatre performance before I wasn’t sure how she would react to Zog & The Flying Doctors at Northern Stage. She loves the book though so I was hopeful that it would go down well. We headed to Northern Stage in Newcastle on a rainy Friday to check out the show by Freckle Productions. 

What's On in March for Kids & Teens across North East England

This post contains adverts. As always, please check information with venues direct before heading out as cancellations / changes are possible. 

What's On in March for Kids & Teens across North East England

Before I jump into this month's what's on guide, I wanted to share a special early bird ticket offer that is running for Kynren throughout the month of March. 


Allensford Park Playground, Walks & Cafe Review (dog friendly)

Thanks to Gaia from Toon Lunch Club for this post about Allensford Park & Cafe - it looks like a lovely place to visit in Consett with the family. Over to Gaia....... 

Allensford Park Playground, Walks & Cafe Review (dog friendly)

A good playpark is like gold dust when you’ve got small children. For me, the boxes it needs to tick are:

- Enough equipment to keep a 3 and 7 year old simultaneously occupied

- Somewhere to sit and watch them

- A cafe nearby serving decent coffees, hot chocs in the winter and icecreams in the summer

- Picnic benches for packed lunches

- Walks nearby incase we’re feeling adventurous or have brought the dog

© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig