Half-term adventures in the North East

We're open for family fun this half term and we've got plenty of ideas for family fun and activities around the North East to keep the kids busy.

Visitors walking through a garden in spring

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops and countryside locations are open. Many houses are also open to visit. Advance booking for visits helps us keep everyone safe and socially distanced. At quieter times such as weekdays, booking shouldn't be necessary, but to guarantee entry we recommend booking in advance, especially at weekends and bank holidays.

A family walk through a forest of conifers and purple rhododendron flowers

Go on a sculpture hunt at Cragside this half term and see if you can find the wise owl in the Formal Garden, 'Douglas' hiding in the Pinetum and the wizard guarding the entrance to the Labyrinth. Bring your binoculars for wildlife spotting at Nelly's Moss - look out for frogs and toads on the lakeside and the geese family paddling across the water.

A family cycles at Wallington

Head to Wallington for outdoor adventures this May half term. Explore the estate with a spin around the Dragon Cycle trail – hire a bike or bring your own. Get closer to nature in the new Little Acorns natural play space: run through the willow tunnel, tiptoe across the wooden steps and peep through the viewing screen to watch the birds.

Children playing on a rope bridge at Gibside

Enjoy wild adventures around Gibside this half term. Head to the Stables for a Cloud Spotters quest or stop at the bird hide to see some feathered friends. Take a journey across the Nature Playscape, have a go at den building or tackle the Low Ropes Challenge, then swoosh through the air on the zipline at Strawberry Castle.

A mother and child walking through the gardens at Seaton Delaval Hall

There's plenty to explore at Seaton Delaval Hall this half term. Have a game of hide and seek in the new South East Gardens, exploring the Mirror Cube and Dark Matter Cube, or let off steam in the Delaval Playdium. You can also tick off some '50 things to do before you're 11 3/4' activities with a spot of cloud gazing or den building.

People walking along a path below Lindisfarne Castle

Cross the causeway to Holy Island and explore Lindisfarne Castle. There are two new light and sound installations created by artists Heinrich & Palmer inside, which will help you see the castle in a completely different light! Outside, discover the little garden, play hide and seek in the limekilns or get a big dose of sea air on the headland.

Children sitting at the North Gate of Milecastle 37

Explore the rugged hills and wild landscape of Hadrian’s Wall this May half term. Enjoy family walks as you follow in the footsteps of the Roman soldiers who built the wall nearly 2000 years ago. You can also discover the many stories of Housesteads fort (bookable through English Heritage).

A family runs towards the red and white striped tower of Souter Lighthouse in wintry sunshine

Combine fitness and fun this half term by following the Active Mile self-led exercise trail around the coastal park at Souter Lighthouse. You can also pick up a nature activity sheet to complete as you explore the coast, or climb all 76 steps to the top of the lighthouse - the first in the world designed and built to be lit by electricity.

Visitors having a picnic by the summerhouse

Take a trip to Allen Banks and Staward Gorge and escape the everyday in this land that time forgot. Enjoy long family walks in the ancient woodland gorge full of the sights and sounds of nature. Spend time spotting fish in the river, eat a picnic in the wild and look out for the many feathered friends who call this special woodland home.

Rockpooling on the rugged Northumberland coast

The Northumberland Coast has plenty of space to play and explore. Build sandcastles, race the waves or tick off some '50 things' at one of the beaches we care for at Druridge Bay, Embleton & Newton Links or St Aidans. Or head inland and explore St Cuthbert's Cave or climb a really big hill and get amazing views at Ros Castle.

Children looking for bugs on a fallen tree

Have a wild time at Ormesby Hall this May half term. Help William the Worm and other garden critters find a new home in the family trail around the garden. On Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 May join us on our Wildlife Explorer days, with Kirkleatham Owl Centre, Cleveland Beekeepers Association and others, to learn all about nature.

A family plant seeds in the garden

Half term fun at home  

From the best '50 things' activities to try in your garden or local park, to tasty recipes that are great for the whole family, we've got some brilliant ideas to keep the kids busy and enjoy some family fun at home this half term