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GR8LIST: Great family days out near Newcastle upon Tyne


By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

With its museums, art galleries, parks, stunning architecture, 2,000 years of history, and some of the UK’s finest beaches and countryside on its doorstep, Newcastle offers so much more than just a party lifestyle. Here, we pick out some key attractions for you for great family days out which are within a short drive of the city.

St Mary’s Heritage Centre

St Mary's Heritage Centre

Oakwellgate, Gateshead NE8 2AU

St Mary’s Heritage Centre is a unique visitor attraction on Gateshead Quays, with spectacular views of the River Tyne. Celebrating 900 years of Gateshead’s history, the Grade 1-listed former church and graveyard gives visitors the chance to explore local history and family history with a range of exhibitions, resources and activities for all the family. The Centre is home to St Mary’s Bookshop, dedicated to selling local history publications covering Gateshead, Newcastle and the surrounding areas.

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National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre

Liberty Way, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland SR6 0GL

Take a trip to the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and discover the UK’s national centre for glass making, where you can see live glass blowing demonstrations. Enjoy some food in The Glass Yard, the centre’s fantastic eatery. You can also explore the amazing glass building, view contemporary glass exhibitions and buy local and national artist-made gifts.

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Nelson Industrial Estate, 3 Atley Way, Cramlington NE23 1WA

Airbox is the North East’s ultimate trampoline experience for children and adults alike, with gravity defying fun for all of the family! The venue is full of interconnected trampolines, angled walls, roll-over platforms, slamdunk basketball nets, trick airbags, foam pits, battle-beams, cardio wall, ninja area, party rooms, and even the Box Café serving hot and cold refreshments and food. There is also a mini area with soft play and mini trampolines for under 5s. Not only will you have heaps of fun, you’ll get fit and active at the same time!

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Raby High Force

High Force

Alston Rd, Forest-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle DL12 0XH

Set in the stunning countryside of Upper Teesdale and situated in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, High Force is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in England. Also located here is the High Force Hotel, a traditional country inn with excellent food and drink, cosy rooms, function room and ample parking.

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Jarrow Hall

Jarrow Hall

Church Bank, Jarrow NE32 3DY

Discover the incredible world of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria and the extraordinary life of Bede – the father of English history – at this historic and environmental oasis in the heart of South Tyneside. Set across 11 acres, Jarrow Hall features a museum dedicated to exploring the life and legacy of Bede, alongside an extensive Anglo-Saxon farm and reconstructed Anglo-Saxon dwellings. Suitable for visitors of all ages and companion animal-friendly too, the site is also available for private hires, events and weddings, alongside school and academic visits.

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Arbeia Roman Fort

Arbeit Roman Fort

Baring St, South Shields NE33 2BB

Built in AD160 Arbeia Roman Fort guarded the entrance of the River Tyne and was once the supply base for the mighty frontier of Hadrian’s Wall. Today, the excavated remains, full-scale reconstructions of original buildings and finds from the fort show what life was like in Roman Britain. Seasonal opening hours – check website for details. Donations are welcome and entry is free.

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Beamish Wild

Beamish Wild

Coppy Ln, Beamish, Stanley DH9 0YB

Set in the treetops of ancient woodland, the high ropes course at Beamish Wild is two hours of non-stop fun and challenges guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. Your fun day out in the treetops has been packed out with four zip-wires, rope bridges, swinging tires and you will be finishing off with the awesome Powerfan free-fall experience!

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Whitehouse Farm Centre

Whitehouse Farm

Whitehouse Farm Centre, Morpeth NE61 6AW

A farmtastic fun day out at one of the biggest and best farm attractions in the North East. Cuddle a bunny or stroke anything from a sheep to a snake! Meet a large and varied collection of animals from traditional to the more exotic and unusual. Be mesmerised by meerkats and marmosets, visit our new and improved bird of prey area or enjoy a snack in The Hungry Pig Café & Gift Shop. Plus enjoy more seasonal events and hands-on activities throughout the year. Full programme of events and activities all year round – check out the website for full details.

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Image credits: ©Colin Davison/Great North Museum; Discovery Museum; NeptuneTech/; Newcastle Castle; Newcastle Racecourse; The Escape Key; Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums; Whitehouse Farm Centre

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