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Brilliant Things to Do This Weekend Clockwise from top left: Clothes Cycle | Newmillerdam Country Park | Hula Co. | SOPHiE
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April 2024
Reading time 4 Minutes

End your April on a high with these great things to do across the North East and Yorkshire

Whether you're enjoying spring blooms, have your nose stuck in a book or want to singalong to your favourite throwback tunes, there's something for everyone this weekend.
Hexham Book Festival Hexham Book Festival


This Friday (26th) marks the beginning of this year’s Hexham Book Festival, for which Living North is proud to be the media partner. The festival will take over the town for 10 days, and the first festival day includes a special schools event with Clare Balding, and journalist and political commentator Will Hutton headlining the evening events. Enjoy a whopping 55 events over the course of the festival (including film screenings, writing workshops and book group events), which will take place across Hexham, in venues including the Queen’s Hall and Forum Cinema. Highlights include an appearance from David Nicholls (author of global bestseller and Netflix hit One Day), who will discuss his latest book You Are Here. 

Blooming lovely…

Harrogate Spring Flower Show returns this Thursday (25th) so head to The Great Yorkshire Showground to bring in the new growing season with a spectacular celebration of horticulture. You can expect stunning show gardens, live talks, demonstrations, shopping and floral arrangements. Find new inspiration for your garden, stock up on all of your essentials or simply stop by to smell the roses. New for this year, you can enjoy complimentary plant workshops led by experts such as mossarium crafting, making seed bombs and creating floral arrangements. 

New threads…

The UK’s largest sustainable fashion market is coming to Newcastle for the very first time so be sure not to miss it this Sunday (28th). Taking place in Vertu Motors Arena, Clothes Cycle will welcome more than 80 sellers and will showcase the very best in sustainable fashion. You can also enjoy live music, great food from on-site street food traders and a cheeky tipple or two from their fully-licensed bar.

Boy band Blue Blue

Raise the roof…

Enjoy a throwback party like no other at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music this Friday (26th) with heartthrobs Blue. Rising to fame in the early noughties with hits like All Rise, Too Close and If You Come Back, the BRIT award winners are now on a Greatest Hits tour bringing you all of your singalong favourites and plenty of anecdotes from the past 20 years in the industry. Further south, catch rock legends New Model Army at the O2 Academy in Leeds on Saturday (27th). For something a little different, step back through time and celebrate all things vintage with A Century of Swing at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on Saturday (27th). Watch the golden era of swing be brought back to life with this electrifying show.

Catch a show…

This is your last weekend to catch The Syndicate at Leeds Grand Theatre. A fantastic new play based on the hit BBC show written by the late great Kay Mellor, the story follows five supermarket employees whose lottery syndicate numbers come in and change their lives forever. We caught up with director (Kay Mellor’s daughter) Gaynor Faye to find out more, and you can read the interview at This is also the last weekend you can catch I Should Be So Lucky at Sunderland Empire Theatre. Enjoy all of your sing-along favourites with this feelgood musical about a star-crossed couple with wedding-jitters and dreams of tropical getaways.

Cocktails at Hula Co Hula Co

New kids on the block…

Enjoy a tropical escape at Hula Co, Newcastle’s newest bar and restaurant, which is serving up delicious street food and cocktails. Expect all things Hawaiian-inspired – think poke bowls, pineapple-topped nachos, and lime-cured salmon tacos. Make sure to check out their extensive cocktail menu too! For a sweet treat this weekend, we can’t think of anywhere better to stop by than SOPHiE in York, seeing delicious pastries, cakes, specialty coffees and even cocktails. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for a second location popping up on Skeldergate Bridge in the city. This Thursday (25th) make sure you head along to Harrogate for the grand opening of the historic Harrogate Arms Café at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Originally built in 1844, the building has undergone a major redevelopment and is welcoming visitors for the first time in nearly a decade. Each day will feature a special menu utilising produce directly from their Kitchen Garden to champion the use of fresh ingredients – delicious!

Stop and smell the flowers…

If you want to get out and about this weekend, take some time to visit some gorgeous blooms across the North East and Yorkshire. At Burnby Hall Gardens, their current Tulip Festival has more than 18,000 tulips (with 130 varieties) for you to marvel at. The stunning cherry blossoms are also currently out at The Alnwick Garden, but be quick! The blooms only last for a few weeks each year. For bluebells, Newmillerdam Country Park (south of Wakefield) is a great spot to enjoy spring blooms, with a central lake, woodland and circular path.  

On the up…

For all of you sporting fans out there, make sure you don’t miss Leeds Rhinos Netball team play Loughborough Lightning at home on Sunday (28th) at Leeds First Direct Arena. Currently seventh in the Super League, the team have become a force to be reckoned with. Touted as ‘The Big One’, the event will include plenty of activities for the family, as well as the chance to see the team take on Super League heavyweights Loughborough Lightning. 

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