OH I DO LIKE TO BE...
Why not make the most of the mild weather this weekend and head to the beach. Whether you fancy a stroll on the stretch of sand between Blyth Pier and Seaton Sluice, or a guided walk through the grounds of Seaton Delaval Hall, or both, it’s a great way to blow away winter’s cobwebs. Call in at The Beehive on the way home –a perfect (dog friendly) spot to pop in for lunch.
Unleash your creativity and enjoy a fabulously artistic weekend. Grab your beret and your best paint-smudged smock and head down to Newcastle's cultural quarter, the Ouseburn Valley. Start with the irresistible Eggs Eclipso at Ernest, see the new Spring Exhibition at The Biscuit Factory – which includes an incredible collection of contemporary rings (that you can buy!) – before rounding the day off with live music and real ale at The Cluny. Now that's our kind of day.
Going out for brunch is always a treat – and kind of makes you feel like you’re on holiday, which is even better. Try The Running Fox at Felton, Quay Ingredient on Newcastle’s Quayside or The Mockingbird Deli in Yarm. A great way to start the day.
STARRY STARRY NIGHT
Dine at Battlesteads before heading into their Observatory to enjoy an introduction to stars, galaxies and the universe. Award-winning Battlesteads is on the edge of the largest area of protected dark skies in Europe – the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park.
Kendal is bouncing back from the recent floods in fine style as its lauded food and drink festival returns this weekend for a seventh year. With a market showcasing some of the best produce the region has to offer, demos from top local chefs and producers, a family zone to keep the kids entertained and a night celebrating the region’s best distilleries, it’s well worth making the trip.
CASTLES AND CHARACTERS
Alnwick – Home to Harry Potter, the Keep Calm and Carry On signs and occasionally Downton Abbey’s Crawley family – is a great place for a fantastic day out. After you’ve wandered round the pretty market town, browsed the shelves at Barter Books and taken in the delights of The Alnwick Garden, head for afternoon tea at the iconic Alnwick Treehouse.
TO DIE FOR
There's going to be a crime spree at Gateshead Central Library this Saturday. London-based crime writers Erin Kelly, Louise Millar, MJ McGrath and Kate Rhodes will be discussing women and crime fiction, performing a murder mystery and hosting a killer quiz with cocktails. It's an adult-only event, from 1.30pm to 6pm, head here for tickets.
UGLY BUG BALL
Take the kids caterpillar hunting at Penshaw and see if you can find butterfly caterpillars – just one of the 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 3/4 organised by The National Trust. You can climb trees, roll down hills, explore the nearby woods, and there’s even a secret geocache to be found www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penshaw-monument
THE GREAT ESCAPE
Looking for a cerebral challenge this weekend? Put your problem-solving skills to the test at Exit Newcastle. During this live escape game, you and your team must complete a series of challenges and solve a number of clues in order to exit the room before the hour is up. With all of the mental resourcefulness necessary for this fun-filled activity you might be left feeling a little peckish. Pleased To Meet You is the perfect place if you are hoping to grab a bite near-by.
And finally… Keep the weekend alive on Monday night by heading to the pub, finding a quiet corner and settling down for Newcastle v Leicester – here’s hoping for the dawn of a new era...