In North East England we are blessed with so many free places to have fun family days out.
Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North, Northumberland
Northumberlandia is a unique piece of public art set in a 46 acre community park with 4 miles of footpaths on and around the landform. The country park and landscape sculpture is open from dawn until dusk each day and the centrepiece of the park is Northumberlandia, a stunning human landform sculpture of a reclining lady. Made of 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil, she is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long.
Ouseburn Farm, Newcastle
Ouseburn Farm is a community led project located in the Lower Ouseburn Valley, just a mile from Newcastle city centre. The farm attracts over 50,000 visitors a year and has an array of animals, gardens, orchard and an onsite café serving coffee and fresh food which has been produced directly from the farm.
Rising Sun Country Park, North Tyneside
The Rising Sun Country Park is a green oasis of 162 hectares, set in the heart of North Tyneside. Boasting a nature reserve with ponds, woodlands and extensive grasslands; a farm and Countryside Centre, the site is a haven for wildlife and an ideal place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, with extensive footpaths, bridleways and cycleways to explore, bird hides, cafe with terrace and park views, free parking with picnic and barbecue area, children’s play area and water play feature.
Tynemouth, North Tyneside
Tynemouth is located at the mouth of the River Tyne. In the late 18th century, sea-bathing became fashionable in Tynemouth from its east-facing beaches. Today Tynemouth village is a popular place for people from far and wide to come for a variety of reasons. It is steeped in history, has some fabulous attractions, great shopping and a vibrant nightlife. A perfect destination for a day trip, the charming village has something to offer everyone with Longsands, King Edwards Bay, Tynemouth Pier and lighthouse and the Collingwood Monument all to explore for free.
Hamsterley Forest, County Durham
Hamsterley Forest is a delightful 2000 hectare oasis, sprawling along the sides of a sheltered valley. Visitors to Hamsterley have no shortage of options when it comes to forest adventure or a tranquil getaway from the hustles of modern living. From wildlife watching and dark sky gazing to adventure play and high octane mountain biking, there is something there for everyone. Hamsterley Forest’s new Viking Wildplay Trail is set along an 800-metre long path straddling both sides of the bubbling Bedburn Beck. It features a number of timber play structures designed and built by North Shields based company ‘Infinite Playgrounds’. And don’t forget to download the app before you start the Gruffalo trail.
Embleton Bay, Northumberland
Embleton Bay was named as the UK Beach of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards this year. This sweetly curving beach, with its small grassy square and white-painted fishermen’s cottages is picture postcard pretty. The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle rear upwards in the distance along from the long stretch of sand curving around Embleton Bay, where you can paddle in the shallow water, go rock pooling or relax on the sand.
Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields
Arbeia Roman Fort is one of the UK’s most important archaeological sites. Just a five minute walk from South Shields seafront is Arbeia Roman Fort, the most extensively excavated Roman military supply base in the Empire. Built in AD160, this UNESCO World Heritage Site stood guard at the mouth of the River Tyne and once controlled the main port of entry to the Roman Empire in Britain. Today, Arbeia is a fascinating place to visit and is a great insight into what life was like in Roman Britain. It combines the excavated remains of the original fort with excellent reconstructions of buildings.
Saltwell Park, Gateshead
Saltwell Park is one of Britain’s finest examples of a Victorian park. It’s historical and peaceful grounds has earned many awards such as Green Flag and Britain’s Best Park. The park offers a whole range of facilities for the whole family to enjoy including ornamental and woodland gardens, a boating lake, bowling greens, play areas, a maze, Pet’s Corner, Rose Garden, educational centre and the stunning Saltwell Towers – a gothic mansion is surrounded by ornamental gardens which has been sympathetically restored to its former Victorian glory to provide a well-equipped visitor centre and tea room.
Tyne Riverside Country Park, Northumberland
Accessible from Prudoe or Wylam Stations and Tyne Valley bus routes, Tyne Riverside Country Park offers 200 acres of meadows, grassland, woods and river bank, following the River Tyne for four miles. Walk past Stephenson’s Cottage -– the now-picturesque birthplace of railway engineer George Stephenson – explore the industrial heritage remains, and go wildlife-watching.
For a full A-Z of Free Family Days out in North East England head over to the My Boys Club family lifestyle, food and travel blog.