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Be inspired every day with Living North
winter activities Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
November 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

No need to feel the pinch this winter, we have you covered

From taking in the bracing winter air on a long hike to getting into the festive spirit on a Christmas trail, there are plenty of ways to spend your time this winter without breaking the bank.
Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

Take a hike…
Get ready to blow off the cobwebs with this stunning walk along the White Rose Way. Beginning in the centre of Leeds, the trail stretches a whopping 104 miles to Scarborough. With easy access throughout, there’s no pressure to complete it. Instead take the time to simply enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. Guides can be found online. Want some more ideas for wintry walk? Try these.
The White Rose Way, Leeds

Run, run as fast as you can…
With Christmas just around the corner why not get into the spirit with this adorable hunt around Skipton? Installed throughout the town are 10 gingerbread figures to find, with a map available to help. Be sure to keep track of the clues you find along the way for a chance to win a voucher!
Gingerbread Trail, Skipton

Walk with history…
There’s plenty to do at the historic ruins of Kirkstall Abbey this winter. The Abbey regularly hosts a market in its grounds with more than 40 stalls to explore and plenty of upcoming Christmas activities. The Abbey also has a large playground and there are woodland walks in the surrounding area. If you’re looking for a quieter day out, why not attend a free talk on the local history of the Grade I-listed building with refreshments provided?
Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

Sticks and stones…
Heading further north, try the Lowry Trail in Berwick, inspired by the artist L. S. Lowry who visited the town for more than 30 years. Lowry, known affectionately as the ‘matchstick men’ artist, took much of his inspiration from the town itself and is famous for depicting seaside and industrial scenes as well as the cobbled streets of Berwick. The trail should take around three hours to complete and there are 18 art installations to be found. Maps can be downloaded online or head to the Visitor Centre.
The Lowry Trail, Berwick 

A garden stroll…
With constantly shifting exhibitions there is always something new to see and do at the Baltic. This winter head along for the current exhibit Residential, a colourful and bold collection of work that aims to celebrate neurodiversity in art. Take a quiet moment of reflection in The Waiting Gardens of the North exhibit by Iraqi-American Artist Michael Rakowitz. This work looks at the power of community with an indoor garden for visitors to wander through and interact with. For something more festive, head along with friends and family to the Baltic’s free gingerbread decorating sessions beginning Friday 1st December. It promises to be a treat!
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

Sing it out…
A night of carolling sounds like music to the ears. With the festive season fast approaching, many churches and communities host a carol night for the public to come along, have some fun and get into the Christmas spirit. Durham Cathedral, Hexham Abbey, Bradford Cathedral and Newcastle Cathedral are just some of the many, many churches to offer free carol services in the run up to Christmas Day, so why not check in with your local church?

Great North Museum, Newcastle

Step through time…
Right in the heart of Newcastle, a visit to the Great North Museum is always a treat. With interactive exhibits throughout the museum, there is plenty to keep the family entertained for hours. Be sure to visit the Hadrian’s Wall interactive exhibit, and watch out for the T-Rex in the Fossil Stories gallery. The museum also has the Mouse House for under fives with free children’s activities and a play room. If you want a better insight into the museum why not book a free tour with one of the volunteers? For some festive fun be sure to stop by on 17th December to meet three of Santa’s reindeer, who will be visiting from 11am to 3pm.
Great North Museum, Newcastle

Once upon a time…
Struggling to find a way to keep the kids entertained this winter? Pop along to Seven Stories in Newcastle, a charity dedicated to making literature accessible to all. There are plenty of interactive exhibits with work from your favourite children’s authors and illustrators. Entry is free and the centre also puts on regular workshops and activities for children including the upcoming ‘Breakfast with Mrs Claus’. Ideal for any budding bookworms.
Seven Stories, Newcastle 

Run, rabbit run…
Wrap up warm, pull on your best red suit and try your local Santa fun run this winter. These have become a firm favourite over the festive season and with events taking place across the UK there’s no doubt you can find one local to you. To name just a few we have fun runs in Wakefield (3rd), Alnwick (3rd), Hull (10th) and many more!

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