6 of the best places to visit in the North East

September 10, 2021 6 min read

The NorthEast of England is one of the most beautiful and friendly places in the UK. However, there is that much to do that it can be a little bit tricky picking out exactly where you want to visit.

Well, here at Powder Butterfly we’ve put together a list of all of the best places to visit in the NorthEast so that you can spend less time wondering and more time doing.

Holy Island

Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne, is situated just off the coast in Berwick, Northumberland. Home to the monastery founded by St Aiden in 635AD, this historic island is only reachable via a sea road that becomes unusable due to tidal ebbs. Because of this, we recommend you check theonline tidal information so you don’t get caught out.

Home to the famous Lindisfarne Mead, this island is perfect for the pilgrim in your family that wishes to visit a beautiful and religiously significant area of the country. Should you also wish to spend a little bit more time on the island you can also call ahead tobook a room in one of the several accommodations.

Farne Islands

Lindisfarne Castle: SourceWikipedia 

Image by By Chris Combe from York, UK - Holy Island Sunrise

Newcastle City Centre

Let’s be fair, Newcastle is big enough that we could write a whole book describing the many different ways you could waste time here. So for the sake of time, we will simply recommend the city centre, most notably, Northumberland Street and Eldon Square shopping centre.

Newcastle is a phenomenal city filled to the brim with history, family activities, good food and drink and so much more. However, if shopping is your thing then Northumberland street and the attached Eldon Square are perfect for you. 

Filled with shops both big and small and with easy access to pubs and restaurants, as well as a cinema, bowling alley, theatre, minigolf course and more, there’s nothing you can’t do in this beautiful city. You can even catch a game of football at the world-famous St James Park, which has played host to Olympic football games and The Rugby World Cup.

Don’t forget to check out the newest additions to the city at The Stacks food court and the many markets you can find dotted around the city. And with public transport from almost anywhere in the NorthEast, you don’t even need to worry about parking.

Alnwick Castle and Gardens

If you are a Harry Potter aficionado then at some point you must have heard of Alnwick Castle. This historical landmark played host to the first 2 movies from the worldwide phenomenon and for good reason. 

This massive castle could take up your entire visiting day alone, just simply wandering around the grounds and rooms. And we haven’t even mentioned the regularly scheduled events that take place showcasing historical scenes and magical moments from both the wizarding and muggle world. 

But not only did the wizarding world appear at Alnwick, but many of yourfavourite movies and shows have also used this historic building as their backdrop. See how many sets you can find!

Alnwick fountains

The Alnwick Garden Fountain: SourceBusiness-live

And once you’re done in the castle you can take the short walk next door to visit the beautiful Alnwick gardens, home to “The most Deadly Garden in the world”. The Alnwick Garden is filled with natural wonders that will take your breath away and a few man-made ones that will do the same as well.

Feeling peckish? Why not visit the famous Alnwick Treehouse and have a quick bite inThe Treehouse Restaurant. Or maybe water features are your thing? If so, then why not stop and admire the fountain situated in the centre of the park? Or visit the Poison Garden to learn more about the most dangerous plants the world has to offer and why they keep them under lock and key!

Durham City

Durham City Arial View

Durham City aerial view: SourceThe Northern Echo

The historic city of Durham is home to one of the most beautiful landmarks and places of worship in the NorthEast, as well as playing temporary home to famous festivals and more.

If you visit Durham City, you simply have to spend time in the Durham Cathedral, soaking in the history and contemplative spirit of the building. But not only is this a place of worship and history, but also a star on the big screen. 

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will recognise the pillars from Thor’s homeworld in Avengers Endgame and wizarding fans will recognise the courtyard from the first Harry Potter movie.

Once you’ve seen the cathedral you can pass over the Palace Green to the University Library or visit the Castle on a guided tour. The university itself even holds a spot in history as one of the first universities to be opened and recognised in England. Students still take residence in the castle ground to this day. The grounds themselves are even a UNESCO World Heritage Site, further displaying the historical importance of this great establishment.

If shopping is your thing, you can spend your time in and around the various shops and markets of the city centre or take your coffee and walk down the beautiful riverside on the River Wear. 

Durham also plays host to the Lumiere Festival every 2 years. This light-based festival draws thousands from across the area daily to view the many different displays and installations. A must if you can time your trip right.

Whitley Bay

Sometimes a dose of vitamin sea is all you need to finally relax. And the NorthEast isn’t shy of places to set up the beach towel and catch some rays. However, Whitley Bay is something special.

With access to any beach you could want to visit and a host of historical and leisure facilities, Whitley Bar has something for everyone.

Just want to laze your hours away on the sand? Whitley Bay beach and Cullercoats are right there for you, with the equally fun South Shields just a Metro ride away.

Or maybe you want to take in a bit of culture while you’re here? Then stop by the Whitley Bay Playhouse to see a show or act from the local talent. And if history is your jam, then head north to St Mary’s Lighthouse or south to the Tynemouth Priory and Castle. 

And this being a seaside town there is no shortage of food to go around. With dozens of fish and chip restaurants available you can eat your fill and then burn it off with a few rounds of air hockey in one of the many arcades.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the recently restored Spanish City for some upmarket meals or the Tynemouth aquarium to see the local wildlife up-close and personal. Whitley bay is fun for all the family.

Beamish Outdoor Museum

And finally, Beamish is an absolute must if history is your thing. And even if it isn’t you should rank Beamish high on your list of things to do when in the NorthEast. 

Beamish was originally a pit village that was preserved over the years through funding and volunteering work to help maintain an accurate representation of life in the 1800s and onwards. Why not visit the colliery and learn about the areas coal mining roots? Or head to the schoolhouse for a lesson from the chalkboards? 

Beamish is a place where history comes to life through a crowd of well-versed volunteers who help you to better understand the hardships and joys of living in both pre and post World War eras. From faithful reconstructions of older houses to painstaking preservation of existing houses and more, history will have never felt so real.

Not only does Beamish have its permanent fixtures in the form of buildings and vehicles, but you can also take part in one of the many seasonal events that take place throughout the year. And this history doesn’t stop there.

The museum is being added to every year, with current plans to build a faithful recreation of 1950’s housing, including homes from well-known figures across the region. And the best part is your ticket will allow unlimited yearly access to the site, so if you want to pop back and visit at any time you can. 

And so much more…

The NorthEast is simply overflowing with things to do when you visit. This shortlist is more than enough to fill barely a weeks worth of activities and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the nightlife and local history.

The NorthEast is a beautiful place that is home to some of the most friendly people and beautiful scenery. No matter what time of year you visit us you are certain to find something that suits you. 

Want a souvenir of your time with us? Why notvisit our shop and pick something up?

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