Play Hard

5 hotspots for a day out in the North East

Whether you’re after a fun-filled family day out or you’re in need of a culture fix, we’ve got you covered.

Written by High Life North
Published 25.06.2021

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

We love being able to experience something new and, at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, we can! Take a walk on the wild side and meet exotic birds and animals, (our faves are the mischievous meerkats) or go for a cheeky walk with the friendly wallabies. Yep, you heard right – now, how often can you say that you’ve walked with a wallaby?!

Oh, make sure you take time to explore the acres of stunning woodland here too. If you need a little fuel for your adventure, treat yourself to lunch at The Tearoom.


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Hancock Gallery

From the outside, it looks like a beautiful Georgian townhouse but once you open the door you’ll be captivated by a wonderful world of art.  Home to evolving exhibitions and specialist collects, Hancock Gallery is filled with contemporary art celebrated by local and artist from around the world.

From original oil paintings to collectable limited editions and sculptures, you’ll find pieces that you’ve never seen before inside these four walls. A day out that we’re sure will give you some inspiration.

Hancock Gallery, 2 Jesmond Road West Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 4PQ

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The Bowes Museum

From the moment you step onto the gorgeous grounds of The Bowes Museum, you’ll be captivated. The stunning 19th-century architecture, framed by landscaped gardens and water features, is impressive enough, but what we love here are the opportunities we get to travel back in time, thanks to the help of the 30,000 treasures found inside at every turn.

All that time-travelling got you working up an appetite? Us too. Treat yourself to a homemade cake or scone, made from locally sourced ingredients at Café Bowes. Of course, we’ve tried them out just for you – after all, a day out isn’t complete without a cheeky slice of cake!

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP

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Bradley Gardens

Times of tranquillity are just what we need after a busy week at work. And at Bradley Gardens, we get just that. This secret garden is a proper hidden gem, just 10 miles from Newcastle. We love a relaxed afternoon tea with the girls here, surrounded by the beautiful backdrop of the 18th century walled garden. Ahhhh, peace and quiet. (We would recommend booking the café/restaurant in advance, though).

After a catch-up with the ladies, why not indulge in some retail therapy? After all, at Bradley Gardens you have luxury fashion, gifts, homeware and garden essentials at your fingertips.

Bradley Gardens, Sled Lane, Wylam, Northumberland NE41 8JH

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The Aviary Gallery

At The Aviary Gallery, we feel like we’re totally escaping from the world and getting lost in art. As soon as you step through the door of this high-end, bespoke gallery, you’ll be greeted by excellence: each work of art a product of its artist’s or photographer’s devotion to creating unique, individual pieces, with powerful narratives.

It’s amazing how one piece of art can make you feel so much emotion and inspiration. So let yourself become absorbed in culture here, explore different views of the world and encourage yourself to open your mind and think about things differently. You never know where it will lead to.

The Aviary Gallery, 14–16 Brentwood Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 3DH

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