Days Out Parks, Gardens, Walks & Tours
Approximately 10 miles out of Middlesbrough the bank offers magnificent views of Teesside, and is popular with ramblers, scramblers, hang-gliders and other outdoor types.
Castle Eden Dene
Open: Footpaths open at all times. Lodge open for parties if booked in advance. Cut deep into limestone, this is the largest of Durham’s wooded coastal ravines and the North East’s largest area of natural woodland. A National Nature Reserve with 12 miles of footpaths within its 500 acres, Castle Eden Dene is packed with over 450 different species of plant and many resident birds and mammals. Public events are held all year; call for details.
Chesters Walled Garden
This 2-acre 18th century garden is sheltered on three sides by woodland and open on the fourth to stunning views of the Tyne Valley. For 200 years the garden provided the fruit and vegetables for Chester’s House but it is now laid out as a unique herb garden. Open: March-Oct 10am-5pm daily. Nov-mid March opening hours depend on the weather and it is advisable to telephone before visiting.
City Sightseeing Tour Bus
Starting from Newcastle’s Central Station, the open-topped tour bus now has two different routes around the city region taking in the major landmarks including: Grey's Monument, BALTIC, the Tyne Bridge, Ouseburn and St. James' Park.
Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park
The main attraction is the visitors’ centre, opened in 2000. Since then, this beautiful 300 acres of Woodland has thrived undisturbed by the cruelty of man. Though walking through peacefully without building shopping malls is still encouraged.
Cragside House and Gardens
House Open: March-April, late April – May, June – July, Sept - Oct 1pm-5pm. Early April- late April, late May- June, late July – Sept, Oct 11am- 5pm. Daily except Mon Gardens, estate, shop and restaurant: March- Oct 10.30am- 5pm, daily except Mon. Nov- Dec 11am- 4pm, Tues- Sun. A fine and slightly eccentric example of the work of Norman Shaw, built for Lord Armstrong between 1864-95 and the very first house in the world lit by hydro-electricity. A very impressive building in equally impressive surroundings with restored Victorian gardens, famous for its displays of rhododendrons (May-June).
Crook Hall and Gardens
Durham, County Durham
A medieval hall with Jacobean drawing-room, turret and gallery, set in 4 acres of gardens including 2 walled gardens, a silver and white garden, an orchard, courtyard fountain, large moat pool and a maze. The hall is haunted by the White Lady. Ruskin and Wordsworth visited Crook Hall in the 1800s. Described as 'A tapestry of colourful blooms' by Alan Titchmarsh, Crook Hall is enchanting throughout the seasons. Light lunches and homemade cream teas are served in the Georgian dining room or in the pretty little courtyard. Wednesday-Sunday, 11-5pm adult: £6 child& conc: £4.00
Derwent Walk Country Park & Derwenthaugh Park
Over 300 acres of woodlands, riverside meadow and bridleways. Gateshead Visitors’ Centre at Thornley Woodlands 01207 545 212 and Swalwell 0191 414 2106.
Derwentcote Steel Furnace
Forge Lane, Hamsterley Colliery, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear
Dilston Physic Garden
Open: April-October, Weds and Sat only. Adult £4, Conc. £3, under 16s fre Inspiring medicinal herbal plants garden.
Druridge Bay Country Park
Open all year. Toilets and information open 9.30am-4.30pm. Café, shop and display rooms open April – Sept, weekends, bank holidays and school holidays 11am – 4pm. Closed to vehicles at night.
Located in the heart of Newcastle and less than five minutes away from the A167, Exhibition Park is the perfect day out for any family in Newcastle. This gorgeous spot has something for everyone from the swing park for the toddlers to the putting range for the parents. The park has a full range of activities to suit everyone’s taste and also has large amounts of open greenland on which to simply relax, read, have a picnic or whatever you should desire. As well as the sports facilities, the park also offers disabled access, parking, picnic areas, gardens, boating lake, refreshments and toilets.
Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park
Eston Hills will transform into Middlesbrough Mountains if you’re on an exploration of the hills from Flatts Lane. If you believe that the best way to conquer the top is to start at the very bottom, then this is the challenge for you. (However, there are countryside volunteers at hand if you accidentally get lost on the way. phew!)