Play Hard

Win £2,000 to spend across the North East – High Life North

Bestselling author LJ Ross is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a golden ticket, worth £2000 – providing access to all of the iconic North East attractions featured in her hugely popular DCI Ryan crime series.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 30.06.2021

We’re all looking for ways to make the most of our “staycation Summer” this year. But what better way to do that than be scoring free access to some of the North East’s most legendary attractions?

Bestselling author (and HLN homie) LJ Ross is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a “golden ticket” – worth £2,000 – which will provide access to absolutely loads of iconic North East attractions, all of which have been featured in her hugely popular DCI Ryan crime series.

Whether crumbling castles and historic houses are your thing, or luxury dining experiences and hotels float your boat, The DCI Ryan Explorer Pass is your fast-track to them all. Oh, go on then – throw in some complimentary spending vouchers at leading bookshops, gift shops and pubs for good measure, too. Because LJ is good like that.

Think we’re giving it the big one with just how many attractions we’re talking about? We not messing you around with just one free family pass here. The DCI Ryan Explorer Pass will give you and your family access to the likes of Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden, Victoria Tunnel and Bamburgh Castle; pamper sessions at Walwick Hall Hotel & Spa; star-gazing at Kielder Observatory; dining vouchers for The Potted Lobster in Bamburgh, Colman’s Seafood Temple in South Shields, Dobson & Parnell in Newcastle and Dil & the Bear in Tynemouth; free spends at Forum Books, The Bound and Cogito Books; and even a breakaway at The Cookie Jar in Alnwick. And trust us – that’s not even scratching the surface.

What do you have to do to win all this and more? Simply email us here at HLN to let us know if you’ve previously read a book by LJ Ross by 31 July 2021.

Listen, we’re with you guys – it all just sounds… well, a little too good to be true. But have we ever led you astray yet? As it turns out, LJ decided to set up the competition as a way of helping local businesses get back on their feet following the pandemic, (our love for her grows ever fonder). And it isn’t the first time she’s pulled a stunt like this; a proud Northumberlandian, last year she launched the Read, Write, Walk North East initiative to celebrate the arts, boost literacy, drive tourism and support business in the region. All in a day’s work for LJ.

Read Write Walk North East – with LJ Ross featured writing prizes to inspire storytelling, reading challenges to improve literacy, photography competitions to support the creative arts, literary trails to boost tourism, and community grants of up to £50,000 to help those local businesses most affected by COVID-19.

At a time when the creative arts industries were on their knees, when there was ever-growing pressures on families, and when more and more local businesses faced mounting insecurity, LJ came through for them all – bringing together her many existing philanthropic endeavours into one overriding initiative to help give back to the region she loves so much. We’re not exaggerating about LJ’s multitude of good deeds, by the way – we were surprised ourselves at just how much she did when we chatted with LJ Ross back in December.

An internationally best-selling author, (making her way into The Bookseller’s 150 most influential figures last year, FYI) and a local philanthropist? Our cups overfloweth.

And while the Read Write Walk North East initiative proved hugely popular, it seems now LJ has decided it’s time to take things one step further… and we’re here for it. Let’s face it – £2,000-worth of cultural experiences, days out, breaks away and chances to treat ourselves and our loved ones, all while helping our local business get back on their feet? Sign us up!

To enter our competition and be in with a chance of winning LJ Ross’s golden ticket, visit our competition page, to let us know if you’ve previously read a book by LJ Ross by 31 July 2021. 

To find out more about DCI Ryan and his adventures across the North East, visit LJ Ross’s website.

Enter Now


  1. Five Golden Tickets are being offered, through five different North East publications, and the closing date for entries will be 31st July 2021. Winners will be chosen on that date and will be contacted directly.
  2. If you have not been contacted by 31/08/21, please assume that, on this occasion, your entry has not been successful.
  3. The vouchers and free passes which form part of the DCI Ryan Golden Ticket cannot be exchanged for money, or resold in whole or in part. They are non-exchangeable.
  4. Full and individual Terms & Conditions relating to each partner venue will be sent to the winning entrants, who are advised to read these carefully and make advance bookings as necessary.
  5. Entrants will be added to High Life North’s subscriber list. You can unsubscribe at any time.
  6. Accessibility and other queries as to individual venues can be found via their websites, which are readily available. Any other queries should be forwarded to


£100 dining voucher to spend at The Ship Inn, Holy Island, 1x Free family entry to Lindisfarne Castle, £40 voucher to spend at Pilgrim’s Coffee, Holy Island, 1x Free family meal and £50 worth of drinks to spend at The Crown & Anchor, Holy Island, £120 voucher to spend at Walwick Hall Hotel & Spa, 1x Free family entry to Bamburgh Castle,£150 voucher to spend at The Potted Lobster, Bamburgh £100 voucher to spend at Kielder Observatory1x free guidebook and entry to The Grace Darling Museum, Bamburgh, £90 voucher to spend with Golden Gate Farne Island Tours, Seahouses, 1x Free family entry to Cragside House & Gardens £200 dining voucher to spend at Dobson & Parnell £150 brunch voucher to spend at Black’s Corner, East Boldon, 1x Free family tour of the Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn, £100 dining voucher to spend at Ernest restaurant, Ouseburn, £100 dining voucher to spend at Colman’s Seafood Temple, 1x Free family entry to Chillingham Castle, £50 voucher to spend at Forum Books and The Bound, £50 voucher to spend at Cogito Books, £100 dining voucher to spend at Dil & The Bear, Tynemouth,  £150 voucher to spend at The Cookie Jar, Alnwick,£30 voucher to spend at Dibbley’s, Tynemouth, 1x Free family entry to The Alnwick Garden, 1x Free family entry to Alnwick Castle,£50 dining voucher to spend at Vennel’s Café, Durham £30 dining voucher to spend at Penshaw Farm Shop & Tea Room. 

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