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The Best Family Days Out for Half-Term
Discover our recommendations for the best family days out in North East England. From free days out to exciting adventures, our comprehensive guide is perfect for getting you started.
Discover your next fun day out.
Across the half-term, the most common question at Stay Northside is, ‘Mummy, what are we doing today?’ With the Easter holidays almost here, don’t tear your hair out; visit the beautiful North East of England. Discover our top ten local favourite places to enjoy when you stay with us.
Experience endless fun at Hamsterley. Keep costs low and experience the excitement of an almost-free day out. The forest is £7.00 to park all day and is worth every penny! Our family cannot escape from the forest without being covered in mud, having sopping wet feet and getting lost in the woods searching for faeries and goblins. The forest has a fantastic playground with different hidden areas, a popular Gruffalo trail and a reasonably priced cafe serving delicious cakes and hot drinks. We also like to take our bikes, and during your stay with us, you can get an exclusive discount with ebike-escapes.
2) Preston Park
It always amazes us how much there is to do here for a small cost. The park and entrance are free, with the museum and butterfly world (prepare for the tropical heat) incurring a small charge; the tickets are valid for a whole year, so pass them on for others to enjoy during their visit to beautiful North East England. For older children, the high slide is accessible by a daring rope climb, and the skate park is always a big hit. The park has a lovely playground for younger children and a kiosk for ice creams. Preston Park museum has many exhibitions and a traditional northern street with a few ‘real’ shops; we can never avoid the sweet shop!
This dale is a new family favourite. Nature is unspoilt, and the scenes are breathtaking. Often you are the first family to visit. History is all around here, with empty mines ready for exploring.
About a 40-minute drive from Stay Northside, Beamish is an experience like no other. Clim aboard a tram, old-fashioned double-decker bus or steam train to access the different areas of the open-air museum set in different ages throughout the last 200 years. The staff dress in period clothing, and the children can experience life at school in the 1950s and explore working-class houses from the era; we cannot get around the whole place in a day!
5) Raby Castle
A perfect example of a castle, Raby is a favourite to go and look around. The staff are very child friendly, and the castle is rich in heritage. There are hundreds of deer roaming around, and the cafe serves impressive cakes and pastries! They recently opened The Plotters Forest, an excellent outdoor adventure play area for children.
6) The Beach
There are too many incredible beaches to name within an hour’s drive, but the highlights of the North East coastline have to be lemon tops and fish and chips. If you are new to the area, a lemon top is a must! We always swim in the sea, get sand in our hair, and no matter how many changes of clothes I take, the children ALWAYS go home in their underwear! As a family of explorers, we have tramped up and down many an English coastline, but the North East offers outstanding beauty every time.
We hold this place close to our hearts as we live nearby, and it has been a go-to activity since the boys were babies. Getting in is cheap, and seeing so many trains close up is fantastic. There are many activities for children, including a park outside. They are currently expanding and have lots of exciting plans for the future. In the summer there are train rides too!
In the middle of the village of Piercebridge, there are the remains of a Roman fort. It has been partially excavated, and suspected that far more has never been discovered. A peaceful walk is nearby to get to the roman bridge on the other side of the river. After we visit the fort, we walk across to Sam Turners Farming Shop, where they serve the best cake, lunches and coffee in the area.
What a great day out this place is! They have bouncing pillows, tractor rides, parks, go-karts, soft play and interactive animal experiences. The boys never love the inflatable tyre slide!
10) Newby Hall
Newby is just under an hour away; it has acres of managed gardens that are stunning throughout the summer. The historic house has many different rooms to look around and guides to talk to. There is a teddy bear exhibition, a train ride and a great splash pad. But the children like to come here mainly because of the park! The paddle boats are great fun and make a loop of the park area. There are wooden bridges, a fort and a zip wire, amongst lots more.
When the fun is over, cosy down in our beautiful holiday cottage
At Stay Northside, we are confident the North East of England has something to offer every family. Book your stay with us to enjoy everything the local area provides. Please contact us with any questions; we are always happy to help.