Days Out Attractions & Buildings
Roman Army Museum
Open: 10am-5pm. Closed Dec to early Feb. Adult £5.00, Student/OAP £4.25, Child £2.75, Family (2+2) £14. This must see museum stands next to Walltown Crags, one of the highest standing sections of Hadrian’s Wall. Fabulous new exhibitions in three exciting galleries allow you to immerse yourself in the life of the Roman army.
Rothbury is one of the prettiest Northumbrian villages sitting as it does alongside the river with the dramatic Simonside hills framing the view behind. Four miles east of Rothbury is Brinkburn Proiry. This 12th century priory was carefully restored in the 19th century and is one of the best examples of early Gothic architecture in the north. Founded in 1135 by Augustinian canons, the building stands in a beautiful setting in a loop of the river Coquet. If you visit the priory in early July you may be lucky enough to catch the Brinkburn Music Festival. This series of classical concerts and workshops is held annually in the priory which, as well as having beautiful surroundings has pretty impressive acoustics. A little closer to Rothbury village is Cragside House. This beautifully maintained Victorian estate was built for Lord William Armstrong (of Vickers-Armstrong fame) and was the first building ever to be lit by hydro-electricity.
Sitting high over the sea, Saltburn retains all the traditional charm of a Victorian seaside resort including colourful Italian gardens and walks through wooded glens. It also has the oldest water balanced cliff tramway in Britain, linking the town with the pier 120 feet below. Visit nearby Deepdale and the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum to gain an insight into how the industrial revolution affected the area.
Saltburn Smugglers Heritage Centre
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Tees Valley
Smuggling was like ye old DVD piracy, and in this museum you will learn of John Andrew ‘King of the Smugglers’. If he was alive today, he would be the fellow in the back of the cinema with a video camera in his top hat. The museum is set in an ancient fisherman’s cottage and it adjoins The Ship pub, so when you’ve finished with the smuggling, you can begin the guzzling. Open: July-Aug 10am-6pm daily. Sept 10am-6pm Wed-Sun. Adult £1.95, Child £1.45, Family £5.80.
Seaburn is renowned for its wonderful, sandy beaches and was a popular holiday haunt of artist LS Lowry who captured many of its wonderful sights on canvas. Today it’s the home to the Sunderland International Airshow, which takes place every August, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans keen to get a glimpse of some the stars of the skies.
This tiny fishing harbour has more to offer the weary traveller than many much larger towns. A Farne Island boat trip is a must. Check out the seal and bird colonies as you hit the waves. There are guides available and cruises to Holy Island can be arranged too. When you return ruddy cheeked and with frozen fingers check in to The Olde Ship Hotel. With locally caught seafood on the menu, seafaring paraphernalia at every turn and a welcoming real fire this hotel offers the perfect sanctuary on stormy nights.
Segedunum Roman Fort
2 Buddle Street, Wallsend
Segedunum 2015-16 opening times Until March 31 2015 10am - 2:30pm 1 April to 31 May 10am - 4:30pm 1 June to 31 August to 10am - 5pm 1 September to 1 November 10am - 4pm 2 November to 31 March 2106 10am - 2.30pm Café / shop open from 8.45am weekdays and 9.15am weekends 2015-16 admission prices at Segedunum Adults: £5.50 Concessions: £3.50 Children (16 and under): Free Adult season ticket: £11.00 Concession season ticket: £7.00 Group (10+): Adult: £4.25 Concession: £2.75 Group with guided tour (10+): Adult: £7.25 Concession: £5.40 Discover what life was like at the last outpost of the Roman Empire. Displays chronicle the changes at Wallsend from Roman times to present day. Segedunum features the only reconstructed bath-house in the country, and also provides a chance to see the original remains of Hadrian’s Wall.
Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Book
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm. Adults £6.50, child £5.50 (under 4’s free), family ticket £19 Seven Stories is Britain’s first gallery and archive dedicated to children’s books, situated in an imaginatively converted Victorian mill. Discover exhibitions, events and activities inspired by children’s books and the centre’s growing collection of original manuscripts and illustrations. A thoroughly entertaining experience. Includes a great bookshop and café.
Shipley Art Gallery
This craft-inspired shop stocks an array of unique handmade gifts, cards and jewellery. All sales help support the Gallery.
Open: Mar-Oct 11am-5pm daily except Friday. Nov-Dec Weekends 11am-4pm. A South Shiels treat, the 1871 Souter Lighthouse, is the first ever electrically powered lighthouse.
South Shields is home to the Arbeia Roman Fort. This is one of the few Roman sites where you can actually watch excavations in progress throughout the summer months. There is a fine reconstruction (full size) of the fort’s West Gate, and on some of the special event days you can sample Roman food or watch re-enactments of training. Other local treats include the 1871 Souter Lighthouse, (the first ever electrically powered lighthouse) and the South Shields Museum and Art Gallery. The town also boasts more than its fair share of curry houses – perfect for when you’ve had your fill of historical visits. For a more unusual dining experience venture a half mile up the coast to The Marsden Grotto. This restaurant/bar is built into the cliff itself and offers unbroken views of the dramatic North Sea below.
South Shields Museum & Art Gallery
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 11am-4pm Closed: Dec 19-Jan 8 This art gallery space has been specially refurbished using Arts Council England funding to enable an enhanced display of the works of art in the collection and to create a spotlight loan area.
St Andrew's Church
Open Mon-Fri 9am-1pm or by arrangement. Often called the Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts movement, this fine church contains work by Pre-Raphaelites Eric Gill, Burne-Jones, Gimson and William Morris.