North East

Discover castles, houses and open spaces then lose yourself in the dunes of the Northumberland Coast. There's always something to inspire your day out in the North East.

Garden photography

 © Ross Hoddinott

Want to learn how to take great photographs in the garden? We asked natural history and close-up specialist Ross Hoddinott to give us some top tips. Discover how best to photograph insects, butterflies and flowers, learn about backlighting and about taking pictures in bad weather.

Tasty kitchen gardens

Visit the magnificent Orchard House this Spring © Alison Pringle

Visit the magnificent Orchard House this Spring

Growing food to eat or herbs to season a dish is often one of the most satisfying things to do in the garden. If visiting a garden you can compare how your crop is growing, and better still get to sample some of the in-season harvest. Here's a few places in the North East where you can find kitchen gardens or other areas dedicated to edible crops and herbs. 

Wondrous wildflower meadows

Stunning location and breathtaking views © Roger Coulam

Stunning location and breathtaking views

Along with formal parterres and striking landscapes there are gardens in the North East that are wildlife havens. Swathes of long grasses, wildflower meadows and other native plants all encourage insects to make a home and work in the area. This helps to strengthen their population, improve pollination and crops in the gardens and create the perfect habitat to attract rarer species. 

Fantastic formal gardens

Gertrude's garden is a riot of colour on a summer's morning © Catherine Atkinson

Gertrude's garden is a riot of colour on a summer's morning

This part of the country has an abundance of gardens each with their own distinctive style. Coastal gardens, sweeping landscapes and formal parterres are just a selection. Here are a few of the formal elements you can discover in gardens across the North East.

The Big Wild Rumpus 2015

Come to Gibside and join in The Big Wild Rumpus 2015

Come to Gibside and join in The Big Wild Rumpus 2015

On the Saturday 13 June something pretty special is happening at Gibside. We've teamed up with Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, to host a Wild Rumpus. Fans of the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' will know this involves a parade with lots of stomping, shouting and adventures in the woodlands. 

Coastal walks

From the sandy beaches and castles of Northumberland to the clifftops, sea stacks and caves of The Leas in South Tyneside, the coastline we look after offers some great walks.Here are our top seven coastal walks in the North East - there's something for all abilities.

Pack a picnic

Plan the perfect day out and don't forget to pack a picnic. From sandy beaches to woodland glades or flowery meadows, we've got some great suggestions of where you can find a spot to put down your picnic rug and tuck in.

Family fun

There's lots going on for families at the places we look after. From adventure play areas to family trails and nature spotting. Have a look at our suggestions for things to do that we hope will keep your little ones entertained and mum and dad happy.

Active & Outdoors

Do you love spending time outdoors? Whether you want to get into sport or already love cycling, running or walking, check out our downloadable routes, regular events and guided cycle rides.

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

Do you have a mini adventurer in your family? One who likes to scale new heights, explore deep dark pools and find the ugliest bugs around? If that sounds like your little one, they'll love our list of 50 things to do before you're 11¾ - especially in spring.

Spring and summer holidays

Holiday somewhere special this year. Fancy a cottage in Lord Armstrong's garden at Cragside? How about one that's 50 metres from the best preserved Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall? Or overlooking Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island?