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Be inspired every day with Living North
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November 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Get a jumpstart on your weekend

From immersing yourself in a night of film to wandering through a wintry wonderland and meeting Santa himself, here are the best ways to stay busy this weekend.
Mother Shipton’s Cave Mother Shipton’s Cave

Out of this world…

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first aired episode of Doctor Who, The Sill are hosting a talk between two of its show runners to discuss all things sci-fi. Join director Graeme Harper and production manager Margaret Hayhoe as they look back on the groundbreaking show and its lasting impact. The talk is part of a larger festival celebrating the influence of Delia Derbyshire who helped develop the iconic theme tune. There is something for everyone at The Sill this Saturday including a monster exhibit, synth workshop and a Doctor Who pop-up choir.

Winter wonderland…

With December fast approaching why not head to Mother Shipton’s Cave for some festive fun? Starting this Saturday, the attraction has transformed itself into a Christmas village with plenty to do for the whole family. Keep your eyes peeled for Santa’s elves as you make reindeer food and sip on hot chocolate. Chief Elf Chestnut will also be there to greet the whole family and take you to visit Santa himself. Alternatively, you can also explore the more peaceful Winter Woodland Walk. Tickets can be found online with different experience packages available. Want some more ideas on where to find lots of festive family fun? Just head to

Colour me curious…

New artist Wiktoria Dlugosz is holding an exhibition of her watercolours in Newcastle on Saturday, marking her first in the region. The self-taught artist has been working with watercolours for the past three years after deciding to leave her legal career behind, and draws inspiration from the local countryside. The show will be held in the Freelance Dance Studio in Jesmond and promises to be a treat with prints starting from only £20. Why not stop in to visit other local artists as well?Mushroom Works are holding their open studios this weekend where you can buy artworks, furniture and handmade stocking fillers direct from the artists who have studios there. Mary Ann Rogers is a hugely popular watercolorist who draws her inspiration from the wild Northumberland hills and the wildlife around her studio, which is open on Sundays. It’s a perfect way to spend a calm and relaxing afternoon, and a great place to pick up a present or two!

 White Christmas White Christmas

Read More: We Check Out Christmas at Lilidorei and The Alnwick Garden's Sparkling Winter Light Trail

Lights, camera, action…

Step your movie night up this weekend with a trip to your local Showcase Cinema for their festive flashbacks screening, starting from this Friday (24th). This weekend look out for classics including Love Actually, White Christmas and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Grab your popcorn and settle in for a fun night guaranteed to put you in the festive mood. Find your own local Showcase Cinema in Teesside and Leeds.

Belly full of laughs…

Dinner and a show? A classic combination that never fails to delight. Come along to The Central in Gateshead this Saturday (25th) for a night full of laughs and some great drinks too. Fresh from the Fringe festival, improv comedy group Spontaneous Wrecks return for a night of madness and mayhem. Be prepared to think on your feet as the show is based entirely on suggestions from the audience. If you would rather sit back and watch the night unfold, make sure you get a drink at what has been called the best ale house in Gateshead. Don’t miss out on their Whisky Lounge too which boasts more than 90 whiskies from around the world. We’ll drink to that!

Going on an adventure…

Are you ready for a quest? Look no further than The Magic of Middle-earth in Barnsley this weekend. The exhibit is at the Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre and is perfect for anyone with a love of all things Tolkien. Prepare to go beyond the books and screen to look at the lasting legacy that Tolkien created, from soundscapes to live action games. Boasting a collection of more than 200 rare items and pieces of artwork, the exhibit has something for everyone. There is also the promise of hands-on activities including gaming sessions and clay sculpting. The best news? It’s free!

York York BID Nutcracker Trail

Read More: Why We Loved Northern Ballet's Beauty & The Beast at Newcastle Theatre Royal

These boots were made for walking…

Looking to enjoy that bracing November air? We’ve got you covered. Northumberland National Park offers regular guided walks for those who want to explore the beautiful scenery together so pull on your walking boots and wrap up warm! This weekend the walk begins in Corsenside and takes you around Redesdale including the Lisles valley and Rede river. Be sure to keep an eye out for stunning views of the Linn waterfall. Sounds like the perfect way to walk off the stress of the week. For more stunning walks to get you out and about, head to

Bah humbug…

If pantomime isn’t for you we have a great alternative for taking in a show. This Friday and Saturday (24th–25th) Chapterhouse Theatre Company are taking up residence in Durham Cathedral to put on a performance of A Christmas Carol. This classic wintry tale of greed and redemption is a Christmas staple, and with the added drama of the Cathedral as a backdrop, this will be a must see!

A cracking day out…

Take a walk through the historic city of York and see if you can spot the unique Nutcracker statues that have been dotted around the city. Just pick up a map from the visitor centre and your mission can begin. The hand-painted works were created by local artist Sian Ellis who took her inspiration from local schools and charities. Make sure to keep track of all the names of the Nutcrackers for a chance to win a £250 gift card and your very own miniature nutcracker. You’d be nutty to miss out!

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