Skip to content
A family walking through woodland at Cragside surrounded by lush greenery with trees and purple flowering bushes in the background
Visitors walking through the woodland at Cragside | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Family-friendly places in the North East

Make new family memories in the North East this summer. From weekend and school holiday adventures, to nature-inspired walks, houses to explore and play areas to let off steam, there's something for everyone come rain or shine at the places we care for.

Top places to visit with the family in the North East

Children running in front of giant letters that read 'Gibside'.
Article
Article

Gibside 

From exploring the nature playscape, to being king or queen of Strawberry Castle play area, there are plenty of ways for kids (and big kids) to stay entertained all day at Gibside.

A family play on and around the large play train in the woods at Wallington.
Article
Article

Wallington 

From a cycling trail and adventure playground to wildlife watching and ‘50 things’ adventures, discover the family activities to keep children entertained at Wallington.

Children playing around the mirror cube at Seaton Delaval Hall Northumberland
Article
Article

Seaton Delaval Hall 

There's lots to enjoy as a family at Seaton Delaval Hall. Whether you're uncovering the stories of the flamboyant Delavals through the collection and creative installations or you're enjoying the take on their love of trickery and theatricality in the gardens or enjoying the Delaval Playdium, there's something for all families to enjoy and discover here. Plan your May half term visit now!

A child doing cartwheels on the stone banks of Nelly's Moss Lakes at Cragside.
Article
Article

Cragside 

Enjoy a jam-packed day with the kids on your visit to Cragside. There is lots to see, do and explore, for a fun-filled day out.

Two children running in the Ormesby Hall garden
Article
Article

Ormesby Hall 

Enjoy a visit with the family to Ormesby Hall, with lots to see and do inside the house and in the garden.

Top suggestions for May half term days out in the North East

A father holds his daughter in his arms as they look at a transparent pot containing a butterfly
Article
Article

Gibside 

Flutter and fly your way around Gibside on a scavenger hunt to find butterflies and moths. Learn about some of our most important pollinators and why we need to look after them.

Close-up of two children looking through a magnifying glass in long grass at Sheffield Park, Sussex
Article
Article

Wallington 

Learn all about Incredible Insects at Wallington, with talks and activities taking place all week long. Join in with moth mornings and butterfly surveys with the ranger team or head indoors to find out more about the bugs that you might find in the house.

Making mud pies at Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire: a child spoons earth and flower petals from a large bowl into a baking tin
Article
Article

Ormesby Hall 

Have a go at pond dipping at Ormesby Hall or join in with garden themed activities including plant pot painting and seed planting. There'll also be play equipment, games and sports to play on the field in front of the hall.

A family in summer clothes plays basketball in the sunshine within the whitewashed stone walls of the Foghorn Field. A child is mid-jump as they throw the orange ball into the net.
Article
Article

Souter Ligthouse & The Leas 

Join rangers at Souter Lighthouse for a seashore safari around the rocky shore to spot sea creatures galore. Find an outlet for spring energy with free sports and games in the Foghorn Field too.

Aerial view of a green hedge maze and café building at Crook Hall Gardens
Place
Place

Crook Hall Gardens 

At Crook Hall Gardens, explore the maze or borrow a pair of binoculars from our wildlife hub to see if you can spot some birds.

Durham

Fully open today
Visitors enjoying a picnic in a summer garden
Place
Place

Washington Old Hall 

Take a wander around the gardens and nuttery at Washington Old Hall to hear birdsong and spot bees, butterflies and other spring wildlife. If the weather's good, don’t forget your picnic.

Washington, Tyne & Wear

Fully open today
A child doing cartwheels on the stone banks of Nelly's Moss Lakes at Cragside.
Article
Article

Family fun at Cragside 

Enjoy a jam-packed day with the kids on your visit to Cragside. There is lots to see, do and explore, for a fun-filled day out.

Young boy rockpooling at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne & Wear

May half term events and activities 

Take a look at all of the family friendly events and activities taking place in the North East during half term.

The North East's little gems for family days out

A family walk down a path with a summer garden to the right and a castle in the distance beyond the garden.
Article
Article

Lindisfarne Castle 

Discover what family-friendly activities are on offer during May half term at Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland, from bird and seal spotting to flying a kite and skimming stones in the sea.

Visitors at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne & Wear
Article
Article

Souter Lighthouse & The Leas 

Find out what family activities you could get involved with on a visit to Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

A wide aerial view over Crook Hall Gardens on a sunny spring day. Trees and shrubs are in full leaf, with colourful flowers in borders between green lawns. The roof of the café can be seen between the gardens and buildings on the edge of the city, with Durham Cathedral just visible in the distance
Place
Place

Crook Hall Gardens 

Characterful gardens on the edge of Durham city, set against the backdrop of a medieval hall.

Durham

Fully open today
A family walking in the grounds at Basildon Park in the winter
Article
Article

Hadrian's Wall & Housesteads Fort 

Walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, visit a Roman Fort complete with some very old toilets, tick off a few ‘50 things’ adventures and go free-range in the great outdoors. Discover family fun at Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Roman Fort.

Things to do when it rains

When it’s raining you have two options: find somewhere indoors to explore or grab your waterproofs and get ‘clarty’. Luckily we have loads of suggestions for both…

Children playing in the den building area
Article
Article

Take cover at Gibside 

Grab your waterproofs and head to the densely packed trees in the West Wood which act as a canopy in light rain for den building. The stables are nearby too for a hot chocolate and a loo break. Don’t forget to visit the second-hand bookshop, café and chapel before heading home.

Visitors sitting on the sofas and laughing in the Drawing Room at Wallington, Northumberland; the walls are richly decorated with intricate plaster mouldings
Article
Article

Indoors and out at Wallington 

Rain doesn’t stop play at Wallington. Outdoors all you need are your waterproofs and a sense of adventure. In the house discover the kitchen, meet the teeny tiny residents of the Dolls Houses and see hundreds of toy soldiers lined up for action. Take a seat in the children’s book nook and get lost in an adventure of the fictional kind.

Visitors playing with an interactive board game in the Drawing Room at Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
Article
Article

So much to do at Seaton Delaval Hall 

Discover the giant mirror ball at Seaton Delaval Hall and explore the basement. Delve into the stories of the Hall’s history with a (funny) giant game of Seaton Delaval Hall. Discover the upside-down room and put on a show on stage in the Old Kitchen.

A woman and child looking out through the window of the Lantern Room at the top of Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear
Article
Article

Souter - the first Lighthouse to be lit by electricity 

Visit Souter Lighthouse, the first in the world to be powered by electricity. Discover how lighthouse keepers lived and how they helped to keep ships safe at sea. Get hands on with interactive activities and climb 76 steps to the top of the tower, where you’ll find Souter’s huge, powerful lamp and views stretching for miles.

An adult and group of children examine an artefact inside the house at Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire
Article
Article

Put on a show at Ormesby Hall 

Get dressed up in one of the many outfits and take to the stage at Ormesby Hall to put on your own play. Discover the model railways and get hands on with the children’s interactive railway, or simply relax in the second-hand book shop and read a story together as a family.

View of the Ship Room with a curved roof, large fireplace and red carpet at Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland
Article
Article

Explore Lindisfarne Castle 

Explore the nooks and crannies of Lindisfarne Castle. Find the hidden fish in each room, listen to the wind roaring in the chimneys and see the wind indicator in action. Each cosy and intimate room tells the story of the people who lived and holidayed at the Castle, and in the Upper Gallery, you can listen to a special sound installation inspired by nature.

Play areas in the North East

There’s nothing quite like playing outdoors. Swooshing down slides, clambering over logs and letting your imagination run wild. It’s no wonder that play areas are an essential part of many family days out. Here are some top places to play in the North East.

Swinging at the play area
Article
Article

Be king or queen of the castle at Gibside 

There are plenty of ways to play at Gibside. Conquer the fortress climbing frame and zoom along the zip wire at Strawberry Castle play area, crawl along log bridges and clamber over tree trunks at the Nature Playscape or test your nerve on the Low Ropes challenge, an obstacle course made of rope.

Family enjoying the adventure play area at Wallington in autumn
Article
Article

Let off steam in the four play areas at Wallington 

Climb, swing and fly through the air on the zip wire in the adventure play area, defend your territory in the wooden play fort, take a journey on the huge play train and get closer to nature exploring the log stepping stones and willow tunnels in the Little Acorns nature play space, perfect for little adventurers.

Children on the climbing frame in the play area in Northumberland's Seaton Delaval Hall
Article
Article

Get creative in the Delaval Playdium play area 

Inspired by the Delavals’ love of theatricality, this special play area incorporates a centrepiece stage, hidden sound effects, and blackboard scenery allowing you to put on your own show, as well as swings, a scramble net, slide, wobbly bridge and a rope walk to enjoy.

A girl in a grey top swooping down a tunnel slide head-first at Cragside. She has reach the bottom and is laughing.
Article
Article

Discover the adventure playground at Cragside 

Head to Crozier car park to swoop, slide, climb and glide at the adventure play area. The kids can test their balancing skills on the log mountain, climb to dizzying heights on the witch's hat and slide down the tunnels. There are picnic benches, toilets and a refreshment kiosk nearby.

Children in the natural play area at Ormesby Hall, North Yorkshire
Article
Article

Go wild in the natural play area at Ormesby Hall 

Head to the bottom of the garden at Ormesby Hall and let the kids go wild in the natural play area. They can perform on the Willow Stage and challenge themselves on the rope walk, log stepping stones and balance see-saw.

Family adventures further afield

Discover more family days out in the North of England with plenty of places to play, explore, and create memories.

Man carrying a child on his shoulders at Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire

Family-friendly places in Yorkshire 

Plan an adventure in Yorkshire this spring, with play areas, activities for kids, wildlife to spot and plenty of things to do when it rains. Bring the whole family to make memories during your time together.

Family kayaking on Windermere at Fell Foot, Lake District, Cumbria

Family-friendly places in the Lake District 

Plan your next family day out in the Lake District – seek out natural play areas, scramble over rocks and spot wildlife on your way. As the days lengthen and the weather gets warmer, spring provides a great opportunity to make the most of your membership, explore the new season and visit somewhere new.

Two children running across lawn in front of brick and timber house

Family-friendly places in Liverpool and Lancashire 

Plan your family day out in Liverpool and Lancashire. From the beauty of the great outdoors and amazing histories to play areas, balance bikes and even a maze, there's something for the whole family to enjoy rain or shine.

A child with curly blonde hair wearing green sunglasses lying on a picnic blanket.

Family-friendly places in Cheshire and Greater Manchester 

Plan your a family day out in Cheshire and Greater Manchester. We've got play areas, activities for kids, wildlife to spot and plenty of things to do when it rains.

Lindisfarne Castle seen from the sea, with the remains of wooden posts rising from the sea visible

Discover more in the North East

Characterful houses and gardens, atmospheric woodland and rugged coastlines plus a UNESCO World Heritage site.