Benton Road, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 259 9966
Family entertainment centre for small kids to big kids with climbing wall, fairy castle, spaceship and underwater play frames, toddlers’ activities and indoor sports area.
Further information: www.adventurelands.com
Centre for Life
Times Square, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 243 8210
Family-friendly science centre with interactive and virtual games, 3D films and workshops that explain the origins of life and why we’re all different in an exciting, fun and often hilarious way. Changing exhibitions, planetarium, theatre and amazing Motion Ride.
Further information: www.life.org.uk
Blandford Square, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 232 6789
Discover Tyneside life from the Romans to the 21st century, from its maritime history and famous inventors to its fashion and music scene. Attractions include an interactive Science Maze and Turbinia, the world’s first steam boat and fastest ship of its day.
Further information: www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery
Great North Museum: Hancock
Barras Bridge, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 222 7418
The North’s leading natural history and archaeology museum, re-opened after a £26million refurbishment, showcases a large-scale interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall, planetarium, Egyptian mummies, ancient Greek treasures, live and stuffed animals, life-size T-Rex dinosaur skeleton and regular blockbuster exhibitions.
Further information: www.twmuseums.org.uk/greatnorthmuseum
Stepney Bank Stables, Stepney Bank, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 261 5544
City centre, community-run riding stables with indoor arena and over 25 horses and ponies.
Further information: www.stepneybank.co.uk
Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides
Lovely quayside walks with funny sculptures to look out for. Plus ‘tilting’ Millennium Bridge and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art with glass lift and great views from the top platform.
Seven Stories, The Centre for Children’s Books
30 Lime Street, Newcastle
Tel: 0845 271 0777
Just what it says! Seven floors of a converted Victorian mill with imaginative exhibitions about children’s book writing and illustration (lots of original artworks and manuscripts), creative workshops, story telling, meet the author and illustrator events, reading room, play centre and huge bookshop. Plus café.
Jesmond Swimming Pool, St George’s Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 281 2482
Nearest public swimming pool.
Further information: www.jesmondpool.co.uk
David Lloyd Centre, Castle Farm Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle
Tel: 0191 284 1275
Private members’ club; contact Reception to arrange day visits.
Further information: www.davidlloyd.co.uk
Alnwick Castle / Alnwick Garden
Tel: 01665 510777 / 01665 511350
Grand castle - home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland - that featured in Harry Potter films, with regular archery, falconry and magical history events. Plus spectacular 21st-century garden including Grand Cascade, water features, Poison Garden, Labyrinth and one of the world’s largest Tree Houses.
Further information: www.alnwickcastle.com / www.alnwickgarden.com
Discounted tickets can be purchased from the hotel reception.
Angel of the North
Antony Gormley’s mind-blowing 20 metre high angel (that’s four double-decker buses). 10 minutes south of city centre on A167. You can’t miss it!
Further information: www.gateshead.gov.uk/angel
Lovely sandy ones at Druridge, Warkworth, Embleton, Newton-by-the-Sea, Beadnell and Bamburgh in Northumberland. Closer to Newcastle, there are long sandy beaches at Tynemouth and South Shields.
Beamish Open Air Museum
Beamish, Co Durham
Tel: 0191 370 4000
Life in north-east England in the early 19th and early 20th centuries is recreated at this award-winning, open air museum with trams, steam engines, a farm, colliery village, town, shops and fairground set in 300 acres.
Further information: www.beamish.org.uk
Blue Reef Aquarium
Grand Parade, Tynemouth
Tel: 0191 258 1031
Thirty display pools and tanks with tropical sharks, octopus, seahorses, giant crabs and piranhas plus underwater tunnel and seal cove as well as informative talks and feeding displays.
Further information: www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk
73 miles altogether! Lots of museums and forts along the way, including Housesteads Fort (with communal Roman loos) and Vindolanda (full-scale replica Wall). Segedunum Fort at Wallsend (0191 236 9347, www.twmuseums.org.uk/segedunum) with reconstructed wall, bath house and viewing tower, and Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum, South Shields (0191 456 1369, www.twmuseums.org.uk/arbeia) with reconstructed fort, are closest.
Further information: www.hadrians-wall.org
Kimmerston Riding Centre, Wooler, Northumberland
Tel: 01668 216283
Set at the foot of the Cheviot hills and offering both hill rides and beach rides.
Further information: www.kimmerston.com
Shipley Lane Equestrian Centre, Alnwick, Northumberland
Tel: 01665 579305
Plenty of variety from bridleway and beach rides to indoor school and outdoor arena.
Further information: www.shipleyequestrian.co.uk
Tynemouth and Whitley Bay
As well as Blue Reef Aquarium and beaches (see above) there are the ruins of Tynemouth Priory & Castle, with stunning views over the coast, and St Mary’s Lighthouse, on its own mini-island accessible by a tidal causeway.
Wet ‘n’ Wild
Royal Quays, North Shields
Tel: 0191 296 1333
The UK’s largest tropical indoor water park with whirlpools, slides and chutes.
Further information: www.wetnwild.co.uk
Whitehouse Farm Centre
North White House Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland
Tel: 01670 789998
Animals to stroke and feed including llamas, wallabies, meerkats and pygmy goats as well as cows, donkeys, guinea pigs and rabbits. Plus adventure playground, go-karts, tractor rides, willow maze and face painting.
Further information: www.whitehousefarmcentre.co.uk