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Be inspired every day with Living North
Places to go
August 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Don't let rain stop play

When the weather won't play ball, head indoors or a little inland for some more fun.
Ford & Etal Chillingham Castle

Ford & Etal
Home to the Joicey family for more than 100 years, this working estate (just a few miles inland from Holy Island and Bamburgh) has heritage attractions, tempting places to eat, drink and even accommodation – plenty to keep you busy in bad weather. See a show, learn the story of a truly unique Victorian woman at the Lady Waterford Hall, and don’t miss Britain’s only Pre-Raphaelite painted schoolroom.
Cornhill-on-Tweed TD12 4TJ
01890 820338

Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery
Head back in time and discover 10,000 years of history inside this museum and gallery. Two floors of permanent exhibits (artefacts, documents, photographs and audio-visual content) mean you can spend the whole day here, and the gallery on the third floor hosts changing exhibitions. From 8th July ’til November, Bailiffgate Museum will uncover the stories of the artists who illustrated Ladybird books for more than 30 years. This exhibition will display a collection of books, original artwork and artefacts to show how Ladybird illustrators played a big role in the success of the company in the 20th century.
14 Bailiffgate, Alnwick NE66 1LX
01665 605847

Chillingham Castle
Venture into Britain’s most haunted historic castle. Just 20 minutes from the coast, it’s the perfect family day out. Inside you’ll see a display of weapons and a collection of extraordinary and rare insects, as well as the painting of a haunting witch who, apparently, curses anyone who steals from Chillingham (we suggest you don’t take the risk). The bravest of the bunch might want to explore the Torture Chamber or join the evening ghost tours.
Chillingham, Alnwick NE66 5NJ
01668 215359

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Jam Jar Cinema & Lounge Bar
Right in the heart of Whitley Bay, the Jam Jar Cinema is a fantastic place to retreat from the rain and immerse yourself in a good film. Although a far cry from the multiplexes, this cosy community cinema still shows all the latest releases and, following an expansion in 2019, Jam Jar now have three screens and two bar areas to choose from.
16–24 Park Avenue, Whitley Bay NE26 1DG

Bram Stoker’s Dracula Experience
This unique attraction in Whitby uses animations, special effects and live actors to give you a fright! If you’re brave enough to enter, you’ll see Bram Stoker creating his terrifying story of Dracula before coming face to face with vampires. Bram Stoker isn’t the only historical figure of note here though; first title deeds show Sir Isaac Newton to be one of the original owners of the property in which this experience is housed.
9 Marine Parade, Whitby YO21 3PR
01947 601923

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Inland from Roker, visitors can discover the story of Sunderland thanks to the museum’s collection dating back to 1846, and spaces dedicated to shipbuilding, coal mining, glass making and pottery. Perhaps the most famous object of all is Wallace the Lion, who is in the company of the first Nissan car to roll off the production line at their Sunderland factory. The gallery is home to a collection of the works of LS Lowry and the Winter Gardens are a tropical paradise where visitors can see the resident koi carp and more than 2,000 plants. Their ever-changing events programme includes the Wild Wonders Trail and Really Wild Fridays, both encouraging children to learn more about the wildlife around us.
Burdon Road, Sunderland SR1 1PP
0191 561 2323

Alnwick Castle Alnwick Castle

Tynemouth Aquarium
On Longsands beachfront, step into this underwater oasis and meet sealife from both our local shores and tropical seas – everything from Blacktip Reef sharks to harbour seals and Short Snout seahorses (and if you're a fan of Finding Dory, check out the regal tangs). Tynemouth Aquarium have also created a seal hospital, taking in seal pups who have been left injured to nurse them back to health, and you can learn about sealife at the regular talks and feeds.
Grand Parade, Tynemouth NE30 4JF
0191 258 1031

Alnwick Castle
With more than 950 years of history to discover at the second largest inhabited castle in the UK, this one’s also the perfect choice for the Potterheads (that’s Harry Potter fans, for muggles). The castle starred as the magical Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. With guided tours, broomstick training and medieval crafts taking place throughout the year, visitors can also enjoy open-air theatre and screenings this summer as well as special book launches.
Alnwick NE66 1NQ
01665 511100

The Word
Near the River Tyne (which you can look out across via the telescopes on level two), The Word is a state-of-the-art cultural venue and the National Centre for the Written Word. The library has more than 70,000 books, StoryWorld offers an immersive storytelling experience, the digital media wall has six tablets with 11 colouring and drawing activities and there’s a café in which to refuel after all that.
45 Market Place, South Shields NE33 1JF
0191 427 1818

Alpamare Alpamare

Whitby Museum
Whitby Museum is an independent museum run by Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society and also contains the Society’s library and archive. Inside the museum is a treasure trove of artefacts which offer an insight into the history of the coastal town, all the way from the Jurassic era to the present day – everything from fossils to model ships and the Hand of Glory (the pickled hand of a hanged man, believed to have magical powers). This year, they’re celebrating 200 years and there’s plenty of history on display.
Pannett Park, Whitby YO21 1RE
01947 602908

With four state-of-the-art slides for adrenaline junkies and an Alpine-style wellness centre and spa (with steam and sauna baths, bubble jet pools and an infinity pool) for those who are seeking relaxation, Alpamare has it all. Children will want to head to the wave pool, which erupts every 30 minutes with metre-high waves, and there’s a splash and play area where they can burn off some energy too.
North Bay, 28 Burniston Road, Scarborough YO12 6PH
01723 339859

North Bay Railway
Scarborough’s North Bay Railway, a ridable miniature railway, has been welcoming visitors for more than 90 years. There’s so much for the family to enjoy here including the Miniature Railway running between Peasholm Station and Scalby Mills, Sidings Snack Shack, Skytrail high ropes course, mini port boats, bumper boats and a gift shop. Trains run at least every 40 minutes from 10.40am and lakeside attractions are open at the weekends and during school holidays.
Peasholm Station, Burniston Road, Scarborough YO12 6PF
01723 368791

Turtle at The Deep The Deep

Terror Tower
Warning: this one is not for the faint-hearted. Live actors, animated scenes and special effects combine to bring you 11 different scenes (over three storeys in two buildings) featuring some of the most terrifying characters from your favourite horror movies inside a haunted house. But are you brave enough to step inside?
21–22 Foreshore Road, Scarborough YO11 1PB
01723 375975

The Deep
Home to some of Europe’s best aquatic displays, there are so many ways to explore the seas and oceans at The Deep. Give a wave to the Gentoo penguins, beware of the Whitetip reef shark and admire the Moon jellyfish. Plus, the newly refurbished Cool Seas gallery is now open. Visitors can relax in the new jellyfish room with its ambient lighting and calming music and watch a wave crash into the rock pool next to the curved projection wall.
Tower Street, Hull HU1 4DP
01482 381000

SeaGrown Centre SeaGrown Centre

SeaGrown Centre
On the Yorkshire Coast, SeaGrown is developing a new marine industry for the UK. They’ve established a seaweed farm in the cold, open waters of the North Sea, ethically producing a sustainable crop which just needs the sun and the sea – no chemicals, fresh water, power or even land. Hop aboard the Southern Star in Scarborough Harbour to see the work of Britain’s first large-scale offshore seaweed farm with its café, bar, and visitor centre.
Harbour, MV Southern Star Vincent Pier, Scarborough YO11 1PH

Rock Up Hull
With climbing activities for all ages and walls towering over eight metres in height and more than 70 challenges to try, both novices and experts will have plenty of fun at Rock Up Hull. There’s also soft play for littler legs.
St Stephen’s Shopping Centre, Hull HU2 8LN
01482 968000

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