things to do in the north east

Welcome to the vibrant and exciting North East of England! Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of art and culture, or an adventure seeker, the North East has something for everyone. From iconic landmarks and historic sites to thrilling outdoor activities and mesmerizing events, there are countless things to see in the North East region.

If you’re interested in exploring the rich history and heritage of the North East, you’ll be captivated by the extraordinary attractions and places of interest on offer. Marvel at the magnificent Durham Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its stunning architecture. Immerse yourself in the medieval grandeur of Alnwick Castle, a popular filming location for movies and TV shows.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, the North East won’t disappoint. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on breathtaking coastal walks along the stunning Northumberland coastline. Dive into thrilling water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding in the region’s picturesque lakes and rivers. Indulge in a game of golf at some of the finest courses in the country.

Planning a family trip? The North East offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions. Visit Adventure Valley, where kids can enjoy outdoor play areas, farm animals, and exciting mini-golf. Step into a world of discovery at the interactive exhibits of Newcastle’s Discovery Museum. Have a fun-filled day out at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, with thrilling rides and games for all ages.

Sightseeing in the North East is a delight for culture enthusiasts. Explore the contemporary art exhibitions at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. Discover the region’s industrial heritage at the immersive Beamish Museum. Journey back in time and explore Housesteads Roman Fort along the magnificent Hadrian’s Wall.

To make your visit even more memorable, don’t miss the exciting events that take place throughout the year in the North East. From music festivals and cultural celebrations to sporting events and food festivals, there’s always something happening. Plan your visit around the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon that attracts thousands of participants and spectators.

With its diverse range of activities, attractions, and experiences, the North East is a destination like no other. From thrilling adventures to absorbing culture and history, this region has it all. Pack your bags and start planning your unforgettable trip to the North East today!

Top Things to Do in the North East

The North East of England is home to several top destinations that offer unique experiences and attractions. Whether you’re looking for the top things to do in the North East, unusual activities, or free attractions, this region has it all. Here are some of the must-visit places:

Durham

With its stunning cathedral and charming historic streets, Durham is a top destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Durham Cathedral, known for its magnificent architecture and breathtaking views. Take a stroll along the River Wear and discover the hidden gems of this picturesque city.

Newcastle

Newcastle is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, rich cultural scene, and friendly atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the bustling Quayside area, where you’ll find a plethora of restaurants, bars, and live music venues. Visit the iconic Angel of the North sculpture, and don’t miss the chance to explore the historic Newcastle Castle.

Northumberland

Northumberland offers a blend of stunning landscapes, impressive castles, and beautiful coastlines. Discover the iconic Alnwick Castle, known for its appearances in popular films like Harry Potter. Explore the breathtaking scenery of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you can enjoy coastal walks and spot wildlife.

Sunderland

Sunderland is a vibrant city with a rich industrial heritage. Visit the National Glass Centre, where you can learn about the history of glassmaking and watch skilled artisans at work. Take a walk along Roker Beach and enjoy the beautiful views of the North Sea.

Teesside

Teesside is a hub of art, culture, and innovation. Explore the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), which houses an impressive collection of contemporary art and hosts temporary exhibitions. Take a stroll through the Tees Valley Sculpture Park and admire the outdoor artworks.

Tynemouth & Whitley Bay

Tynemouth and Whitley Bay are popular seaside destinations with beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of activities for all ages. Visit Tynemouth Priory and Castle, a historic site with stunning views of the coastline. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the sandy shores or try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding.

These are just a few of the top destinations in the North East of England. Each place has its own unique charm and offers a range of activities, events, and free attractions. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, outdoor adventures, or vibrant city life, the North East has something for everyone.

Destination Top Things to Do Unusual Activities Free Attractions
Durham Visit Durham Cathedral Take a guided ghost tour Explore Durham’s historic streets
Newcastle Explore Newcastle Castle Join a street art walking tour Visit the Great North Museum
Northumberland Discover Alnwick Castle Explore Bamburgh Castle Enjoy the coastal walks
Sunderland Visit the National Glass Centre Take a boat trip along the River Wear Explore Roker Park
Teesside Explore the mima Visit the Transporter Bridge Discover Stewart Park
Tynemouth & Whitley Bay Visit Tynemouth Priory and Castle Take a surf or paddleboarding lesson Relax on the sandy beaches

Historical and Cultural Attractions

The North East of England is renowned for its rich history and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re a history buff or an art enthusiast, there are plenty of attractions in the region that will captivate your interest. From magnificent castles to iconic cathedrals, the North East offers a variety of historical and cultural sites to explore.

1. Alnwick Castle

Located in Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is a majestic fortress that dates back to the 11th century. It is famous for its stunning architecture and has been featured in several films and TV shows, including the Harry Potter series. Take a walk through history as you explore the grand halls and beautiful gardens of this impressive castle.

2. Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks in the North East. Its breathtaking architecture and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit attraction. Take a guided tour to learn about the cathedral’s fascinating history and admire the intricate details of its stained glass windows.

3. Beamish Museum

Step back in time at Beamish Museum, an open-air museum that brings the North East’s industrial heritage to life. Explore the recreated town and village, ride on vintage trams, and interact with costumed characters who will transport you to a bygone era. It’s a unique experience that the whole family will enjoy.

4. Housesteads Roman Fort

Discover the fascinating Roman history at Housesteads Roman Fort, situated along Hadrian’s Wall. Explore the archaeological remains of the fort and take in the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect day trip for history enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike.

5. BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

If you’re a fan of modern art, don’t miss a visit to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. It is one of the UK’s largest contemporary art institutions and hosts a diverse range of exhibitions and events. Immerse yourself in thought-provoking installations and explore the ever-changing world of contemporary art.

6. Great North Museum

Located in Newcastle, the Great North Museum offers a fascinating journey through natural history, archaeology, and ancient civilizations. From dinosaur skeletons to ancient Egyptian artifacts, the museum’s diverse collection will captivate visitors of all ages. Admission is free, making it an accessible attraction for everyone.

Experience the Rich History and Culture of the North East

Whether you’re embarking on a day trip or planning a longer stay, make sure to include these historical and cultural attractions in your itinerary. Immerse yourself in the heritage of the North East and gain a deeper understanding of its fascinating past. From castles and cathedrals to museums and art galleries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this historically and culturally significant region.

north east tourist attractions

Outdoor Adventures and Natural Landscapes

The North East of England offers an abundance of outdoor activities and natural landscapes to explore. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures or peaceful retreats, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning region.

Coastal Delights: Northumberland’s Sandy Beaches and Dramatic Cliffs

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Northumberland’s coastline. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy beaches, bask in the sun, and feel the gentle breeze. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs that line the coast, creating a picturesque backdrop for your outdoor adventure. The unspoiled nature and tranquillity of the area make it a perfect destination for a peaceful day out with family and friends.

A Splendid Seafaring Experience: Explore the Farne Islands

Embark on a boat trip to the Farne Islands, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Get up close and personal with adorable puffins and playful seals. The islands offer a unique opportunity to witness these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the Farne Islands and the abundance of wildlife that calls it home.

Rugged Landscapes: The Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines

For those seeking adventure and breathtaking vistas, the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines are waiting to be explored. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on scenic trails that wind through rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and charming villages. Indulge in the beautiful landscapes, where vibrant heather moorland meets rugged limestone formations. These areas are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an array of activities such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching.

Water Sports Thrills: Kayaking and Paddleboarding on the Region’s Rivers and Lakes

If you’re a thrill-seeker, the North East’s rivers and lakes provide the perfect playground for water sports. Grab a kayak or a paddleboard and navigate the meandering Tyne or Tees rivers. Feel the rush as you navigate the gentle rapids and admire the picturesque surroundings. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there are opportunities for everyone to enjoy the thrill of these adventurous water activities.

Adventure Parks: Fun for the Whole Family

Looking for a day of excitement and entertainment for the whole family? The North East boasts a range of adventure parks that offer an array of activities for children of all ages. Adventure Valley is a popular choice, with outdoor play areas, farm animals, and mini-golf. Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in South Shields offers thrilling rides and attractions that will make your day unforgettable. Spend quality time with your loved ones and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Whether you’re exploring the stunning coastline, delving into rugged landscapes, or seeking a thrilling water sports experience, the North East of England offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Immerse yourself in nature, embrace the thrill, and discover the beauty of this remarkable region.

Outdoor Activities in the North East

Festivals and Events

The North East of England boasts a vibrant calendar of festivals and events throughout the year. From music festivals like the Lindisfarne Festival and the Mouth of the Tyne Festival to cultural events like the Durham Miners’ Gala and the Tall Ships Races, there is always something happening in the region.

Don’t miss the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon that takes place in Newcastle every September. Food and drink enthusiasts can indulge in the Taste of Northumberland Food Festival and the Newcastle Beer Festival. Check the event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit to the North East.

events in the north east today

“The North East of England offers a vibrant calendar of festivals and events year-round, making it a must-visit destination for those looking for a lively cultural experience.” – Anna Thompson, Travel Enthusiast

Family-Friendly Activities

The North East of England offers a range of family-friendly activities for all ages. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or indoor attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Spend quality time with your loved ones and create lasting memories.

Attractions

Visit Adventure Valley, an exciting outdoor adventure park where children can explore outdoor play areas, interact with friendly farm animals, and have a fun game of mini-golf. It’s a fantastic place to let the kids run wild and enjoy the fresh air.

For an educational and interactive experience, head to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. Explore fascinating exhibits and learn about the region’s history, science, and technology. Kids will love the hands-on activities and engaging displays.

If you’re looking for a day of thrills and excitement, make your way to Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in South Shields. With thrilling rides, arcade games, and a beautiful beach just steps away, it’s the perfect destination for a fun-filled family day out.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat trip along the River Tyne. Marvel at the stunning scenery and keep an eye out for seals and seabirds in their natural habitat. It’s a unique and memorable experience for the whole family.

Outdoor Adventures

The North East is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the region’s picturesque countryside, stunning coastlines, and expansive parks. There are plenty of opportunities for cycling, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting.

Embark on a family-friendly cycling adventure along the Northumberland Coast Path. Enjoy the breathtaking views and stop at charming coastal villages along the way. It’s a great way to stay active and appreciate the natural beauty of the region.

If you’re up for a challenge, hike along the Hadrian’s Wall Path. Discover ancient Roman ruins, breathtaking landscapes, and panoramic views. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in history and embrace the great outdoors.

Attraction Location Highlights
Adventure Valley Durham Outdoor play areas, farm animals, mini-golf
Discovery Museum Newcastle Interactive exhibits, educational displays
Ocean Beach Pleasure Park South Shields Rides, arcade games, beautiful beach
River Tyne Boat Trip Newcastle Seal and seabird spotting

Whatever activities you choose, rest assured that the North East will provide endless entertainment for the whole family. Create special moments, bond with your loved ones, and make the most of your time together.

Conclusion

The North East of England is a treasure trove of experiences and attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a history lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or a culture aficionado, this region has something to offer you. From exploring the awe-inspiring grandeur of Durham Cathedral to immersing yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene of Newcastle, the North East never fails to captivate.

Outdoor adventurers can revel in the breathtaking natural landscapes that abound, from the stunning Northumberland coastline to the rugged Yorkshire Dales. Families will find an array of exciting activities, from adventure parks to boat trips, ensuring quality time together and unforgettable memories.

And let’s not forget the rich history and heritage that permeate every corner of the North East. Discover the secrets of medieval castles, stroll through open-air museums that bring the past to life, and delve into the fascinating world of Roman history along Hadrian’s Wall.

So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, make sure to include the North East of England in your itinerary. With its diverse range of activities, attractions, and experiences, it promises an unforgettable journey. Don’t forget to check the event calendar to make the most of your trip and create lasting memories. Start planning your visit today and let the North East of England captivate you.

FAQ

What are some popular activities and attractions in the North East?

The North East offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including visiting historic sites, exploring the vibrant arts and culture scene, and enjoying outdoor adventures. Some popular attractions include Durham Cathedral, Alnwick Castle, coastal walks, and water sports.

What are the top destinations in the North East?

The North East is home to several top destinations, including Durham, Newcastle, Northumberland, Sunderland, Teesside, and Tynemouth & Whitley Bay. Each destination offers unique experiences and attractions, with plenty of activities, events, and free attractions to explore.

Are there any historical and cultural attractions in the North East?

Yes, the North East is steeped in history and boasts numerous cultural attractions. Some must-visit sites include Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Durham Cathedral, Beamish Museum, Housesteads Roman Fort, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Great North Museum.

What outdoor activities and natural landscapes can be found in the North East?

The North East offers an abundance of outdoor activities and natural landscapes. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the Northumberland coastline, boat trips to the Farne Islands, hiking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines, and water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. There are also adventure parks like Adventure Valley and Ocean Beach Pleasure Park.

What festivals and events take place in the North East?

The North East has a vibrant calendar of festivals and events throughout the year. Some notable events include the Lindisfarne Festival, the Mouth of the Tyne Festival, the Durham Miners’ Gala, the Tall Ships Races, and the Great North Run. Food and drink enthusiasts can enjoy the Taste of Northumberland Food Festival and the Newcastle Beer Festival.

Are there family-friendly activities in the North East?

Yes, the North East offers a range of family-friendly activities. Families can visit attractions like Adventure Valley, the Discovery Museum, and Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. They can also take boat trips along the River Tyne to spot seals and seabirds. Outdoor adventures, such as cycling, hiking, and wildlife spotting, are also available.