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5 Family-Friendly Activities in Newcastle upon Tyne

5 Family-Friendly Activities in Newcastle upon Tyne - Newcastle is famed for its iconic architecture, wealth of rich history and vibrant nightlife, but this dynamic city is also packed full of an array of hidden gems that are waiting to be uncovered. Whether you want to make the most of the great outdoors or explore one of the city’s amazing museums, Newcastle upon Tyne is brimming with cultural activities that are perfect for all the family.

One of the best things about spending a long weekend in Newcastle is exploring the exciting activities the city has to offer. That’s why we’re bringing you a handful of family-favourites and hidden gems, so you can make the most of your time in this mesmerising metropolis. From enjoying the arts to getting up close and personal with nature, we’re showing you why a city break to Newcastle is the perfect choice for your next family getaway.

5 Family-Friendly Activities in Newcastle upon Tyne

Take a trip to the Life Centre

Getting the kids interested in science couldn’t be easier with this fun, family-friendly museum. Located in the heart of the city, it is just minutes from Newcastle Central Station. The Life Science Centre provides an interactive experience that the whole family is sure to love. It boasts an impressive portfolio of attractions - like the 4D motion ride, live science theatre and planetarium.  Visitors of all ages will find plenty of things to see and do here. For a winter break, make sure you take a trip to the Centre’s outstanding outdoor ice rink, open in Times Square from November to February.

Experience the world-famous living museum

Travel just 10 miles south from the bustling city centre to discover Beamish, the world-famous open-air museum. Step back in time and interact with live actors as you explore the story of life in the North East during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. From shopping in the Edwardian-style town to travelling on the recreated tramways, combining fun with learning makes Beamish an excellent choice for the whole family.

5 Family-Friendly Activities in Newcastle upon Tyne - Get close to nature...

Get close to nature at Jesmond Dene Park

This city is buzzing with history, heritage and stunning natural beauty at every turn - and that’s certainly true of the beautiful parkland of Jesmond Dene. Just a stone’s throw from the bustling city centre, and minutes from the affluent suburb of Jesmond. Stumbling across this unique haven of tranquility is an experience that you are sure to remember. From the rich history that surrounds the Dene’s Old Mill to the popular family-friendly petting zoo in the heart of the parkland, there’s plenty to explore in this area of breathtaking natural beauty.

Celebrate creativity at Seven Stories

Situated in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley, Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children’s Books. From dressing up to getting creative with word play, Seven Stories is a hidden hotspot that’s dedicated to sparking the imaginations of visitors. Home to a visually spectacular display of original illustrations, manuscripts and multi-sensory activities, this unique museum celebrates British children’s books in an interactive way that’s fun for all the family.

Learn to ride at Stepney Bank Stables

Whether you’re an avid horse-rider or a complete novice, Stepney Bank Stables offers high quality riding lessons to both adults and children. Making it their mission to enhance lives through horses, the staff at this unique equestrian centre are committed to teaching valuable skills and encouraging confidence in each of their students. From the pony academy to private lessons, Stepney Bank Stables offers a family day out that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Whether it’s exploring the city’s natural beauty or marvelling at interactive museum displays, Newcastle upon Tyne’s family-friendly activities are fun for all. From well-known attractions to the hidden treasures, make sure that you explore all that this stunning city has to offer this winter, and the best way to do it is to follow one of four Treasure Trails available around the city. 

6th December 2016

Posted In: Ideas


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Children’s Treasure Trails – A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

The majority of our Trails are written with a family in mind, Mum and Dad (or Granny and Grandpa) with two children of 7 years and older. But we are often asked for Trails suitable for younger children and we do have a selection in the catalogue that work well for 3 or 4 years and upwards as they have either picture only clues or most of the clues are pictures and the very young can match a picture in a booklet with the real thing.

In no particular order here a small selection.

Trails in pedestrian only areas

For Treasure Trails to work well, the Trail writers need clue material and the best material is found in cities and towns rather than out in the countryside.  But with towns and cities comes traffic and that doesn’t always mix well with the very young.

The Liverpool St George’s Hall Treasure Trail is set in the heart of Liverpool and is ideal for young children. It is a very compact Trail and the route is entirely around St George’s Hall, which is awash with amazing architecture, stuffed with history and full of old statues, and the tranquil St John’s Gardens which back onto the hall. The whole area is pedestrianised (though you have to keep an eye out for the occasional vehicle) and should take about an hour and a half to complete. It’s suitable for both wheelchairs and pushchairs. Certain parts of St George’s Hall are open to the public without charge, including the old courtroom, so you can make a whole day of it.

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - One of the picture clues in Worcester
One of the picture clues in Worcester

The Worcester in Pictures Treasure Trail is also set around a pedestrianised area, the centre of Worcester. The clue is in the name as this Trail is made up entirely of picture clues.  Maybe whilst Mum shops, Dad can do the Trail with the children or whilst Dad watches Worcester Warriors in action, Mum can take the younger members of the family off for a bit of exploring!

Trails around gardens

The Harrogate 4 Kids Valley Gardens Trail is a treasure hunt which is entirely within the beautiful Valley Gardens in the heart of Harrogate, Yorkshire.  Families can discover many hidden gems in this Grade II listed garden, including 36 mineral wells, the New Zealand Garden and the Sun Pavilion and Colonnades. Within the gardens, you can also stop off for mini golf, disc golf or enjoy the playground, tennis courts or skate park, or take a walk through pinewoods. Take a picnic or take a break in the café for a great family day out!

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - Weather Vanes are always so interesting
Weather Vanes are always so interesting

The York Rowntree Park mini Trail was written especially for the young ones.  All the clues are contained within a large park on the edge of the city centre. Children need to be accompanied, as there is a large lake in the middle of the park. As well as our fabulous Treasure Hunt Trail, there are plenty of other delights to keep you entertained within the park. The attractive ornamental lake is home to a host of noisy ducks who welcome any bread you may have spare. Watch out for the geese though, they’re not always so friendly! Model boat enthusiasts are also encouraged to make use of the lake. For the more energetic, there is bowls, tennis or a skate park, basketball courts and table tennis areas. For the youngsters there are two well equipped children’s play areas, with an array of interesting slides, climbing frames and assault course type paraphernalia for tots to toddlers to teens to enjoy!


Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - Look out for Romans!
Look out for Romans!

Trails to engage children in history

The Caerleon For Kids Picture Trail is all about the Romans and perfect for getting children interested in the history of those times. The Trail writer’s favourite clue is clue 3 where the picture is of a roman and the answer is lavatory paper! Children and adults often love talking about poo!

What no directions?

For a different experience of following a Treasure Trail, we recommend you try out the Barton under Needwood Pictorial Trail.  Every written clue is based on a photograph, so you need to keep your eyes peeled as you explore the village of Barton under Needwood in Staffordshire. The clues can be solved in any order! There are no directions, but the locations of the clues are marked as circles on the map on page 7 of the booklet. Be warned though,  at times the route is beside busy roads or by water, so it is very important to keep a close eye on children and dogs.

Picture only Trails

Children's Treasure Trails - A Picture Paints a Thousand Words - Find us on facebook with this photo
Find us on facebook with this photo

Our Trail writers have written picture only Trails in some of our most popular locations including Bourton on the Water; Durham and Norwich and in all these places not only are there picture only Trails, but regular ones as well.  So, families with children with a wide range of ages could split up for the afternoon so that the younger members get their share of solving clues and working out the answers to the puzzles.  An example of a clue from a picture only Trail is “These sleepy felines should allow you to eliminate one possible hiding place for the gold, but Tommy Rustle has mixed the letters up to try and trick you”.  So you can see Mum and Dad will still need to get involved in solving the Trail.

Trails to do in the rain

And finally, move along please and mind the gap! This London Tube Trail has lots of picture clues and is perfect for families and adults looking for something different to do on a rainy or cold day! The Trail runs ‘downhill’ from Tower Hill Station to Earl’s Court and visits 9 stops along the way. It will take around 4 hours and whilst there isn’t much walking there are lots of steps, stairs and escalators to negotiate. We advise that you begin the Trail in the morning, after rush hour, to take advantage of the quieter period on the line.

Feeling inspired to solve the mystery of one of these Trails? We’d love to hear how you get on – find us on Facebook to share your photos.  Look for the picture of the ‘sleepy felines’.

15th October 2014

Posted In: Family Fun

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