A fortified castle since 1344, Chillingham should be on everyone’s list. The all-white cattle are spookily different, the gardens are stunning and the dungeons are frankly alarming – particularly the iron maiden and the stretching rack. Shudder.
Gibside have got a range of activities and events to keep the kids entertained this Easter holiday including Explorer Monday, Foodie Tuesday, Wildlife Wednesday, Adventure Thursday and Fit Friday. Oh to be young again.
Near Rowlands Gill, Tyne & Wear
GREAT NORTH MUSEUM: HANCOCK
The living planet gallery (which spans the ground and first floor of the museum) is undoubtedly the highlight of any visit to Hancock, telling the story of wildlife and habitat with a series of life-size displays, but there’s plenty more to see. Walk the Hadrian’s Wall gallery, rummage through Fossil Stories (and see the T.rex!) and under fives will love The Mouse House.
Barras Bridge, Newcastle
0191 208 6765
KIELDER WATER & FOREST PARK
They’ve won more awards than you can shake a stick at, which is handy because there’s plenty of sticks to be found in this picturesque forest that’s bursting with activities from mountain biking and archery to sailing. There’s a Stick Man trail for the little ones, inspirational art and architecture for the big ones and it’s home to the largest expanse of dark sky in Europe.
0845 155 0236
Step into the time machine (aka an original electric tram) and transport yourself back to the historic North at Beamish. After walking through the Georgian gardens at Pockerley Old Hall, ride the Waggonway, enjoy beef dripping fish and chips in the 1900s Pit Village, spam sarnies in the 1940s and a drink at The Sun Inn (which once sat in Bishop Auckland). Covering every area of living and working life, this immersive museum is a great day out for all.
Beamish, County Durham
0191 370 4000 www.beamish.org.uk
LIFE SCIENCE CENTRE
Astronaut Chris Hadfield described Life Science Centre’s planetarium as ‘magical’, and said it would go a long way in helping to inspire the next generation of astronauts. If that’s not enough of a reason to visit we don’t know what is – but how about the curiosity zone, chocolate workshops, the region’s only 4D motion ride and a new brain zone open from 25 March to 10 April. See you there.
Time Square, Newcastle
0191 243 8210 www.life.org.uk
EASTER ADVENTURE QUESTS
Little adventurers can join heroic quests, meet characters from the past and crack clues on a historic hunt this Easter Bank Holiday weekend (all for a chocolate reward). Events are being run at English Heritage sites across the North East, including Housesteads, Chesters and Birdoswald Roman Forts, Corbridge Roman Town and Belsay Hall.