Whether you’re North East born and bred or are planning a visit to the region, there are plenty of things to do in the North East. Stunning countryside and panoramic coasts sit alongs ide bustling towns and cities , providi ng the perfect balance between action - packed city breaks and relaxing escapes.

With a rich history to explore and so many great places to visit in the North East, read our top 10 things to do for a taster of what you could experience on yo ur next day out in the region.

Alnwick Castle

Combining majestic architecture, historic roots and a whole host of fun events and attractions, there’s plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained at Alnwick Castle.

The medieval castle dates back to the 1300s, providing visitors with more than 700 years of history to explore. From rebellion to revolution, the castle was significant through Northumberland and England’s history, so why not spend an afternoon exploring the castle’s grounds, viewing its lavish interiors or enjoying our many exhibitions?

If you’re visiting the castle with the family, our great events are designed to bring histor y to life. From jester shows and jousts to Have - A - Go archery and medieval crafts, immerse yourself in medieval life and create lasting memories with the family.

Featuring in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the castle has its connections to witchcraft and wizardry too. Take part in our popular broomstick training classes and master flying a broomstick on the very spot where Harry and his classmates learnt.

Book your tickets online and save 10% on the on - the - gate price!

Life Science Centre

For an exciting educational day out for scientists in the making, pay a visit to the Life Science Centre. Located in th e heart of Newcastle — just a short walk from Newcastle Central Train Station — the attraction welcomes visitors to interact with the exhibitions and become a scientist for the day.

Try your hand at real - life experiments, play memory games and conquer optical illusions, or let the little ones play and explore in the Young Explorers’ Zone. Highlights of any visit include the exhilarating 4D Motion Ride, the mesmerising night sky of the planetarium and the regular live theatre shows that will explain, dazzle and amaze.

The centre also hosts regular events, from one - off classes to longer - running exhibitions. Take a look at the special events page to see what’s on when you next visit.

Go Ape Maften Hall

Get the adrenaline pumping with a high - action adventure above the trees. Go Ape’s treetop adventure course can be found at Matfen Hall in Northumberland and is just a short drive from Newcastle.

If you’re looking for days out in the North East, Go Ape is like no other. Take to the trees as you tackle rope swings, speedy zip wires and tricky climbing frames across this 755m course. It’s not for the fainthearted — the course is 30ft high!

Not ready to unleash your inner primate just yet? Enjoy a more relaxing time at the nearby Matfen Hall — how about an indulgent spa day or few rounds of golf?

Visit the Go Ape! website to book your tickets and plan your visit.

Karting North East

Image by Ajale from Pixabay.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the only activity on offer at Karting North East is go karting. However, a range of exciting activities await visitors, making this one of the mos t fun places to go in the North East.

Of course, go karting is available — race your way around the twists and tu rns of the 1,200 metre circuit or 350m junior circuit. Can you show of your skills and beat your friends and family to first place?

If go karting has left you with a need for speed, why not put your driving skills to the test and get behind the wheel of a rallycross buggy? Race against your opponent across the 1,000m outdoor course.

Paintballing is also on offer; take to the WW2 - themed paintba ll facility complete with sandbags, bunkers and obstacles as you battle against the enemy. Archery and tomahawk throwing are also available. Find out more on the official website.

A Trip To The Beach

Image by Nickfrom from Pixabay.

The North East is blessed with a beautiful coastline and some of the best beaches England has to offer. If you’re looking for things to do in the North East, you can’t often go past a trip to the coast.

Whether it’s a wintry walk or a summer day out, you’ re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a beach to visit. For all the fun of the fairground, head to South Shields. Split your time between the sands of Sandhaven beach and the nearby Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, offering family favourite rides and am usement arcades.

If you’ve got the dogs in tow, head to Bamburgh Castle beach. The open sandy stretches are perfect for letting playful pooches stretch out their legs. Another good choice is the mile - long Tynemouth Beach, especially if you’re looking for a more active beach day. Try your hand at surfing — boards are available to hire — before finishing your day with traditional fish and chips.

Hadrian's Wall

Image by David Mark from Pixabay.

Hadrian’s Wall is a relic of the region’s past, spanning 73 miles from coast to coast. Peppered with historic Roman Forts, the wall is now a popular tourist attraction and a great day out in the North East.

The wall sprawls through some of the region’s most beautiful countryside, making it the perfect destination for walking. The 84 - mile trail stretc hes the walk in its entirety so if you’re a keen walker, you may want to split the trail across a few days and make a holiday out of it. Alternatively, there are shorter trails that walkers of all abilities can enjoy.

There are many roman forts to explore too, with Housesteads Roman Fort & Museum a popular choice, as it’s one of the best - preserved relics of Roman times. Spend your time discovering the past and where 800 Roman soldiers once lived and worked, exploring the remains of the barracks, Commander’s House and hospital. Pay a visit to the museum to discover more Roman artefacts and exhibitions designed to bring the past to life.


Step back in time at Beamish, an open - air museum of life in the North East in the 1820s and 1900s. Make memories the whole family will treasure as you explore the museum’s many authentic attractions.

Pay a visit to the 1900s town to discover traditional bakers rustling up Edwardian recipes, stop by the garage to check out some cla ssic cars, satisfy your sweet tooth at the traditional sweet shop or see how money has changed over the years at the bank. Younger visitors will love visiting the fairground, including shuggy boats and coconut shy.

Hop on the tram and head to the 1940s fa rm, complete with animals and authentic farming machinery, or visit the school house. Experience a school day for yourself — be on your best behaviour to avoid the wrath of the teacher and try your hand at some playground games.

You can purchase your tickets online at Beamish’s official website.

Kielder Observatory

Image by PeterDargatz from Pixabay.

If you’re looking something a little bit different to do in the North East, how about a visit to Kielder Observatory? Located in the beautiful Kielder Forest in Northumberland, you’ll marvel at the dark skies — some of the darkest in Europe, due to very little light pollution.

As a result, visitors can enjoy mesmerising vi ews of the stars and night sky. You can visit the observatory during the day, but only to walk around the surrounding area — you won’t be allowed to go inside. As such, perhaps this North East day out is more of a North East night out!

Visitors are invited into the observatory in the evening and late at night, as this guarantees the best views of the sky. Entry is only allowed for specific events and tickets must be booked in advance. Take a look at the observatory’s events and start planning your visit.

Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art

For places to go in the North East for art lovers, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a perfect choice. Located on Gateshead Quayside, BALTIC is located in a former 1950s flourmill, retaining the original stamping on the North and South walls.

The redevelopment of the building has created six floors and three mezzanines housing modern art, making it the largest dedicated contemporary art institution. Spend an afternoon wandering around the many installations and exhibitions — details of what’s on can be found here — or enjoy outstanding views of the River Tyne, Quayside and nearby Newcastle from the viewing box and external terrace.

For a spot of fine dining, visit Six, BALTIC’s stunning rooftop restaurant. Discover seasonal British cuisine as you enjoy panoramic views.

Intu Metrocentre

There’s plenty of things to do in the North East if you’re looking for a spot of retail therapy. While there are many bustling high streets in the region, a popular choice for many is intu Metrocentre.

The second largest shopping centre in the UK spans an impressive 2,200,000 sq ft and features more than 370 stores, from high - street and designer favourites to independent boutiques.

But there’s more to the centre than just shopping. When you’ve had your retail therapy fix, why not catch a film at the multi - screen cinema, challenge your friends to a game of bowling or enjoy a bite to eat at one of many restaurants? A rece nt redevelopment improved the centre’s leisure options, so why not spend the whole day there?

There you have it — our pick of the top 10 things to do in the North East. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, an appreciator of art, a history lover or a shopaholic, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

Which of our top 10 is your favouri te North East attraction? Are there any others you’d recommend as a great place to visit in the North East?

Start planning your day out in the North East and book your Alnwick Castle tickets online to save 10%!