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Free Family Days Out North East England

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Believe it or not, it is still possible to have a fantastic family day out in North East England without having to spend an absolute fortune. If you are looking for interesting things to do at the weekend that are free, take a look at the following suggestions, and pick the one that appeals to you the most.

Jesmond Dene, Newcastle upon Tyne

A public park on the east side of the city, you are probably already familiar with Jesmond Dene if you are a resident of Newcastle. However, if you live a little further afield or have not yet visited the park for any reason, you should definitely put it on your shortlist of things to do. Occupying the valley through which The Ouseburn flows, it is a great place for family picnics in the summer, with plenty of quiet spots where you can relax and forget about the stresses and strains of day-to-day life for a few hours. In the winter, it is a good spot for a bracing stroll on a fine Sunday morning.

If you have young children in the family and are there between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm, don’t forget to check out Pets Corner. Admission is free and in addition to the pigs, goats, sheep rabbits and many other animals, there is a kids’ play area for under 8s.

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

If you want to learn more about the history of Sunderland, from prehistoric times to the present day, head to the Museum and Winter Gardens this weekend. With interactive multimedia exhibits to keep the children entertained, the fossilised remains of a gliding reptile discovered in Eppleton Quarry and a Koi Carp pond in the gardens, Sunderland Museum has something for all the family. Free admission makes it a great day out for families that are trying to cut down on their monthly outgoings.

Guisborough Forest & Walkway, Pinchinthorpe

The hamlet of Pinchinthorpe or more precisely, the disused railway station that can be found there, is the starting point for the Guisborough Forest and Branch Walkway. With cycle trails, bridleways and walking routes, as well as orienteering and trim trails, starting from Pinchinthorpe and winding their way through the forest, you will not be short of things to do on a day out here. Free picnic areas and the BBQ site are great places to stop off for lunch and you can borrow pond dipping equipment for the children if you visit in the summertime.

Druridge Bay Country Park, Northumberland

If you fancy a day at the beach then Druridge Bay is an excellent place to visit. As well as the three miles of beach backed by sand dunes, there is also a large lake surrounded by trees and beautiful meadows. Although entry to the park is free, there is a charge for water sports permits if you want to go out on the lake. At the time of writing it is £6 for adults and £4 for children. If you have your own canoe or sailing dinghy and visit on a regular basis, a seasonal permit at £60 for the whole family could work out to be good value.

Bill Quay Community Farm, Gateshead

This is a great place to take the children to at the weekend, especially if they love farm animals. Sheep, goats, pigs, cows, chickens, ducks and geese can all be found at Bill Quay farm, as well as many other animals. Open from 9am -5pm, 7 days a week, admission is free for the whole family. There are some activities laid on for younger children that may incur a small charge for materials though, so it’s a good idea to take some money along with you.

Wynyard Woodland Park, Stockton-On-Tees

If woodland walks and leisurely picnics sound good to you, make sure to jot down the name of this park so you can take a look when the weather gets warmer again. Situated between Thorpe Thewles and Wynyard, around a 10-minute drive from Stockton-On-Tees, it used to be a working railway that was primarily used to transport goods to the various ports along the River Tees. Nowadays it is a beautiful woodland area, with a children’s adventure playground, a visitor centre, tea rooms and many picnic areas. In common with all the suggestions on this page, admission is free, making it a great place to take the family when you are counting the pennies.

National Glass Centre, Sunderland

Whilst this is not the ideal place to take toddlers on a day out, families with older children may enjoy spending the day finding out all there is to know about glass. With regular glass blowing demonstrations held throughout the day, it really is a fascinating place for kids to visit and there are many activities laid on too. Admission is free, as are the children’s activities, so even if you are on a tight budget this is a great place to take the family.

Locomotion (National Railway Museum), Shildon

Boys and girls of all ages are sure to enjoy exploring the many exciting exhibits at the National Railway Museum in Shildon. There are quite a few interactive exhibits and an outdoor play area that is handy for families with younger children who may fancy taking a break from trains and letting off some steam while there. There is no charge for admission but if you are planning to visit the gift shop you will need to take your wallet along as your kids are sure to want to buy something from this delightful store.

It is not always easy to enjoy days out with the family, without spending a small fortune in the process, but I hope you can see from the above suggestions that it is far from impossible, even in the highly commercialised world that we live in today. If you want to keep costs to an absolute minimum, it is a good idea to take a packed lunch along when visiting any of these places.

About the author

Peter Davis Peter Davis is a Marketing Analyst at PaydayLoan123 specialising in financial products. Peter writes most of our articles as he stays up to date with the latest information. He enjoys most sports, particularly playing football and watching his favourite football team. Peter really like his food too as we have all witnessed first hand!

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