• Feel Good
  • 25th May 2024
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  • 4 minutes

Free things to do in the North East

Looking for a free day out in the North East?

With the cost of living crisis, even a relaxed weekend at home can end up making a serious dent in our bank account.

Luckily for us, the North East has loads of free things do – here are some of our favourite free activities to give you some inspiration…

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While away the hours in one of the North East’s indie bookshops.

Keel Row Books in Whitley Bay is the longest-standing antique and second-hand bookshop in the region – get lost in the first editions in their new store on Park View in Whitley Bay.

Or head up to the iconic Barter Books in Alnwick – one of the largest second-hand bookshops in Britain. This converted Victorian railway station is filled with charm, you can get lost in pages for hours.

Check out our guide to independent bookshops in the North East to find one near you.

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Whether you’re looking for a secluded bay, a stretch of long sand or an accessible promenade, we’re lucky enough to have the coast right on our doorstep for a free day out.

Head to the pretty village of Alnmouth for a picturesque beach walk which is often pretty quiet and has gorgeous scenery.

Tynemouth and Whitley Bay has it all – from grassy links, stretches of sand, miles of promenade and sheltered bays.

Further south, Crimdon Dene Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach just north of Hartlepool. Perfect for kids, it has lots of rockpools for children to play, and if you’re lucky you can see some seals sunbathing on the shoreline.

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Fancy heading inland instead? We’ve got you. We’ve got a huge selection of walks on our website – from short rambles to longer circular routes.

Kielder Water and Forest Park is home to England’s largest forest – offering a playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The Lakeside Way is a multi-user trail that follows the 26-mile Kielder Water shoreline offering access to the most scenic parts of the lake and spot some of the wildlife (you can hop on and off the trail without having to walk the entire route).

Closer to home, Bolam Lake is a beautiful and peaceful lakeside route in Northumberland which has a lakeside route of around one mile that’s suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Or Guisborough Forest and Walkway in Tees is the Valley gateway to the North York Moors National Park. The sculpture trail is a great relaxing walk that follows a route of chainsaw carvings into the forest.

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For modern art, MIMA in Teesside is an inspirational collection of exhibitions and history designed to connect people through art, and is also the heart of the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University.

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead offers five floors of activities alongside its artwork, including a library, sensory room and archive – as well as incredible views of the Tyne. It currently has a fantastic exhibition running – Open Submission 2024 – showcasing a collection of work from North East artists.

The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle City Centre has free entry to many displays. If you’re looking to meet like-minded people, they run a great session called ‘Meet @ the Laing’. Each month you can head along to explore a different aspect of the art gallery over a cuppa, offering the opportunity to make new friends, socialise and talk about culture.


Ouseburn Farm MORE INFO
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens MORE INFO
The Lit & Phil MORE INFO
Flatts Lane Country Park MORE INFO
Captain Cook Museum MORE INFO
Jesmond Dene MORE INFO
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Laura Kingston
Founder and Editor

Laura is the Founder and Editor of High Life North. She had the idea to set up an exclusively digital women’s magazine after feeling there was a gap in the market in the North East. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and PR, Laura had a very clear…


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