5 Family-friendly hikes in England's North East
With famously friendly locals, an instantly recognisable accent and stunning scenery to boot, the North East of England is the ideal place to visit on your next family staycation. So, if you’re on the hunt for family-friendly things to do in Newcastle and the surrounding area, it’s time to dust off those walking shoes and enjoy an amazing day soaking up the region’s natural beauty.
To help you on your journey, we’ve whittled a long list of our favourite hikes down to just 5. We’ll be taking you through each one too, so you can plan a family day out to remember!
1. Bamburgh Castle
With breath-taking views, crisp sea air and quaint villages, the Northumberland coast is a stunning setting to take a stroll along. While practically the entire North East coast is walkable, we’d highly recommend the coastal walk to Bamburgh Castle, a 6th-century building steeped in history, and perfectly placed to offer views of the coast. While the full walk is 8.5 miles, families can start a little closer to the castle so those little ones can keep up. After you’ve taken in the scenery, head inside to explore the ancient halls and rooms - and keep your eyes peeled for one of the family-friendly events they host to make the most of your trip.
2. Holy Island and Lindisfarne
Visible from Bamburgh, Holy Island is another picturesque Northumbrian place to take the family. An island steeped in history and lore, this small stretch of land is home to the ruins of St Cuthbert’s monastery and the 16th-century Lindisfarne Castle. For history buffs, it also happens to be one of the first places the Vikings landed when they sailed across the North Sea!
A scenic walk with plenty of sights, expect stunning views over to the Farne Islands and Bamburgh Castle - and with the quaint community at Holy Island Village home to a few small shops and a museum, there’s plenty to do while you’re there. While getting to the island is relatively easy, make sure you check the tidal times in advance as the island is only accessible when the tide is down across the Lindisfarne Causeway.
Further inland, Cragside is a National Trust owned property nestled in rural Northumberland, close to the local town of Rothbury. With over 1000 acres to explore and 40 miles of footpaths, the huge estate at Cragside Hall is an ideal place to spend a sunny day or two. The first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, Cragside House was home to Lord Armstrong, a prolific inventor and the very first scientist to enter the House of Lords in the 19th century. The house itself can take over an hour to walk around, with guides available to provide more in-depth knowledge and an eye-opening tour around the dozens of rooms open to the public.
The grounds are a haven for an abundance of wildlife too. From swallows and woodpeckers to squirrels and badgers. Keep an eye out and you might just stumble across one of Cragside’s elusive inhabitants on your trip!
4. Hadrian’s Wall
An iconic site which appeals to both locals and tourists, Hadrian’s Wall spans nearly 80 miles from coast to coast and has UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Built by the Romans, who resided here nearly 2000 years ago, this huge wall was originally designed to keep Scottish raiders at bay - but now offers a stunning route to walk along, particularly when the sun is shining.
The appropriately named Tyneside town of Wallsend is an ideal place to begin your journey along the wall, with one of its biggest ancient Roman forts – Segedunum – open for family-friendly visits to enjoy before you begin your journey.
5. Whitley Bay to Tynemouth
Taking in another stretch of the gorgeous North East coastline, the path from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth is easily accessible from Newcastle via public or private transport, and has plenty of places to stop en-route for an ice cream or drink along the way. Whether you climb the steps at St. Mary’s Lighthouse or start your journey closer to Tynemouth, this sea-strapped path offers beautiful beaches, cosy cafés and even an arcade at the Whitley Bay end - making it perfect for families looking for a fun day out.
Once you’ve arrived in Tynemouth, tuck into some of the nation's best fish and chips at Longsands Fish Kitchen, or head down onto King Edward’s Bay to take in the amazing views and unrivalled food at Riley’s Fish Shack.