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Cracking Things to Do This Weekend Clockwise from top left: Newcastle Puppetry Festival | Alnwick Castle | Raby Castle | Gin Train
What's on
March 2024
Reading time 3 Minutes

Can you believe it's Easter already?

Whether you're searching for Easter eggs or sitting back with a cheeky dram, here are the best ways to bring March to a close across the North East and Yorkshire this weekend.
Edward Scissorhands

Catch a show…

At Newcastle Theatre Royal this weekend make sure to catch Edward Scissorhands, as the Tim Burton classic has been reimagined as a stunning ballet. Relive the heartbreaking romance of the classic film with tickets still available for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (28th–30th). For something more upbeat, catch Legally Blonde The Musical at Leeds Grand Theatre, with tickets available from Thursday to Saturday (28th–30th). Follow the glittering and glamorous Elle Woods as she takes Harvard by storm

All aboard…

The popular Gin Train will be steaming along the Worth Valley once again, hauled by a vintage steam train with reserved seating on preserved British Railways carriages from the 1950s. Whilst on board you’ll stream through the rolling Yorkshire hills and enjoy four perfectly paired gin and tonics, each with a hand-picked garnish to accent the natural flavours of Mermaid Gins. Alongside the drinks, guests will be served a selection canapés, be given a masterclass in the history of Gin and delve into the origins of Mermaid Gin. Tickets are available for the 29th and 30th March.

Getting OOT

With the six nations behind us, we are well and truly back in the Gallagher Premiership and round 14 sees the Falcons take on Leicester in the Big Night Oot game on Friday night at Kingston Park. It’s going to be a big one, with plenty of action on and off the pitch – this 90s themed night with special guest DJ, fancy dress competition, entertainment and plenty of food and drink is great way to kick off your Easter weekend. Head along to support the Falcons as they battle hard for their first Premiership win. With plenty of home-grown talent in the team Friday night sees local lad Tom Penny reach his 100th cap. It’s a great achievement and we wish Tom, Callum and all the team the very best of luck!

Newcastle Puppetry Festival Newcastle Puppetry Festival

There are no strings on me…

Beginning this Saturday (30th), Newcastle Puppetry Festival returns for its fifth year across the city’s venues and public spaces. The award-winning festival will feature more than 100 free and ticketed puppetry events, including workshops, films, talks and performances for adults, children, teens and families. The festival will kick off with ‘Beasts on the Street’, where large-scale puppet creatures will roam Northumberland Street, including a giant spider and a snow lion. At 2pm the ‘City of Kittiwakes’ community parade will transform the shopping street with puppets, music and dancing.

Great grub and good grog…

Head to The Feather’s Inn in Stocksfield for a weekend of fun, food and drink. Their Easter Beer and Food Festival includes an Easter hunt around the village on Friday (29th), and a pop-up bakery and a Makers Market (on Saturday 30th). There will also be a chance to tuck into a delicious barbecue on Saturday (30th). Further south, the York Chocolate Festival is running from 27th–31st March as part of the ongoing York Food & Drink Festival. From the bustling marketplace featuring local chocolatiers and confectioners to immersive workshops and hands-on family activities, there’s something for all ages. Have fun participating in daily chocolate workshops, sampling trail, and solving the Easter egg hunt!

A cheeky dram…

International Whisky Day was on Wednesday 27th so now is the time to celebrate. In Northumberland, Ad Gefrin is the place to be. Their incredible whisky distillery and museum celebrates the ancient heritage of the area, going as far back as the Northumbrian kings and queens of the seventh century. Make sure to try their very first whisky blend, Tácnbora, a blend of Scottish and Irish whiskies that honours the ancestry of the area. Staying in? Try this cranachan recipe, a Scottish classic that can be made with whisky or pudding wine for a child-friendly version. 

The Plotters’ Forest and Easter Family Fun The Plotters’ Forest and Easter Family Fun

King of the castle…

The region’s castles are the place to be for a fun-filled Easter weekend. At Raby Castle, activities for all the family include egg-cellent eggs in The Plotters’ Forest and Easter Family Fun trail through the Deer Park, both taking place throughout the weekend. Further north, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is excited to announce the opening of its gates for the 2024 season on Friday 29th March. This weekend, become an artisan's apprentice in their marketplace and witness the creation of crafts from centuries gone by, taught by their resident costumed artisans.

Walk it off…

There are plenty of trails across Ilkley Moor to enjoy this weekend – our favourite is the White Wells Moorland walk which takes you from the edge of Ilkley town to the high moor, with wide views across Ilkley and the Wharfe Valley. Start at Darwin Gardens car park, turning left to cross the cattle grid and then right through the gate beside Hillside Court. Take the stone steps on the right, going up the bank to White Wells Spa Cottage and continue to the end of Ilkley Crags. Head along the northern flank of the moor, until you get to a small quarry where the path steepens. Turn right and you’ll be back at your starting point. Further north, just north of Hebden Bridge there are more than 15 miles of footpath to explore across the 400 acres of countryside at Hardcastle Crags, all punctuated by tumbling streams, grassy meadows and towering trees. The Railway Trail is our favourite – this three and a half-mile route starts from Gibson Mill and follows the river through woodland.

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