Top 10 places to visit in the North East
The North East is a hive of activity and is widely known for it’s breathtaking scenery, fascinating history, delicious food, and wild nightlife. It’s also known for its museums, theatres, breweries, and markets.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite places to visit in the north east!
Number 10 : Locomotion (Shildon Railway Museum)
Explore Shildon’s pioneering railway history, encounter impressive locomotives and futuristic experimental engines, see inside replicas of royal carriages and visit the museum shop. Locomotion is great for any railway enthusiast or anyone for that matter! There is so much to see there’s bound to be something to capture your interest. Locomotion is also wheelchair accessible aside from certain parts of the outdoor paths. They also offer accessible parking. Doors and access points at locomotion are marked in brail and the venue is accessible for guide dogs. Toilets are also accessible and offer baby changing facilities. Locomotion is also part of the ‘Sunflower’ scheme and offers their support to those with hidden disabilities. More information can be found on their accessibility pages here.
Number 9: Tynemouth Aquarium
Meet species from all over the world, including the tropical waters of the Caribbean and the UK’s native shores. Meet several underwater creatures from Tynemouth’s collection including: Seals, sharks, tropical fish and more! Tynemouth also has a Seal Hospital where they work with Marine Life Rescue and the RSPCA to rehabilitate seals. Tynemouth is easily accessible for wheelchair users. The attraction is a very short walk or wheel away from both car parks, and the area is smoothly paved which makes for easy access. Automatic doors for entrance and wide pathways throughout the aquarium with level access. Tanks and enclosures are at low levels for accessible viewing. Cafe and shop are all on the ground floor. More information about accessibility can be found here.
Number 8: Hadrian’s Wall
Sitting at a staggering 73 miles, Hadrian’s wall was built to help guard the Roman empire, today you can discover the remains of forts and towns that used to stand there and see rare artefacts from Roman Britain. You can visit the ‘English Heritage’ website to help plan your visit at one of the many sights. Some facilities include food drink and picnic areas, gift shop, museums, exhibitions and gardens. Hadrian’s wall is also very inclusive providing disabled toilets and baby changing, access to guide dogs, audio tours, outside areas to run around and disabled parking. More information can be found on their accessibility pages here
Number 7: Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden
Discover the story of Sunderland, its people, its industries, acclaimed art exhibitions and tropical Winter Gardens– all under one roof. With a collection dating back to 1846, Sunderland’s fascinating history is explored across four floors, with spaces dedicated to shipbuilding, coal mining, glass making and pottery, as well as many other aspects of the city’s past. Sunderland Winter gardens are also wheelchair accessible and have wheelchairs available for hire. Unisex toilets can be found on each floor along with accessible toilet for wheelchair access and baby changing. Some, not all, of the galleries have audio guide points. Sunderland Winter Gardens also has lifts that take you to each floor. To find out more about accessibility click here.
Number 6: The Great North Museum (Hancock Museum)
See everything here at this fantastic museum from dinosaurs, to animals and even mummies! The Great North Museum (formerly known as the Hancock Museum) has an impressive range of exhibits such as: Living Planet, Hadrian’s wall, Fossil Stories, Ancient Egyptians and World Cultures. The Great North Museum: Hancock was purpose built in Newcastle as a natural history museum in 1884 to house the growing collections of the Natural History Society of Northumbria. The museum is also very accessible, it has ramps up to the front entrance and blue badge access parking. The museum has wheelchair and pushchair access. Great North Museum also has a hearing loop and audio points on the displays. The museum is also autism friendly and offers: Ear defenders in all sizes, magnifying sheets, torches, coloured overlay reading rulers and sensory bags. Click here for more information on accessibility.
Number 5: Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle is a beautiful gothic style castle that has been in the Percy family for over 700 years as well as being a film location for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. At Alnwick Castle you can see several interesting artefacts such as swords and armour, you can also see the wizard who will teach you how to make potions or see the dragon, you can even get broomstick training or have a go at archery! You could also take a tour inside the castle and see some of the Percy’s home. The sight has partial access and you can hire motorised scooters. Accessible parking is also available as well as access to guide dogs. More information can be found on their accessibility pages here.
Number 4: Newcastle Quayside
Newcastle Quayside is a lively and bustling stretch along the River Tyne, home to the famous Millenium Bridge. This area is definitely a hot spot complete with bars, restaurants and clubs! You can also catch the Quayside market on Sundays. On the opposite side of the river you can find the beautiful Sage Gateshead concert venue and the Baltic, an interesting modern art gallery. There is disabled parking near the quayside and much of it is flat. You can find out more on their accessibility pages here.
Number 3: The Life Science Centre
The Life Science Centre has welcomed over 300,000 visitors in the past two decades, all kinds of visitors as the Life Centre is perfect for anyone interested in science including children, families, adults and school groups.
The Life Centre always has a fantastic selection of events, exhibitions and fun exhibits. There’s also a great ice ring that sits outside of the Life Centre during the winter which makes for a lovely day out. The centre is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs, admission for carers is free, toilets have disabled access, including a ceiling track hoist and a drop down plinth and there is accessible parking available. A hearing loop is available. Guide dogs are welcome however, a sighted assistant is needed for your visit and parts of the centre have low lighting. The Life Centre is also autism friendly offering ear defenders, sensory bags and a visual story to read ahead of your visit. For more information check out their accessibility pages here.
Number 2: Hamsterley Forest
Hamsterley Forest is the largest forest in County Durham covering over 2,000 hectares. There is so much to do at Hamsterley such as: star gazing, adventure play, mountain biking and many different themed discovery trails. You’re also free to just wander through the trails and explore the forest. There’s also a cafe on site available for dine in and takeaway, offering home made cakes, sandwiches and pasties and even an ice cream kiosk! Most of the main entrance and lower levels of the forest are wheelchair and pushchair accessible and staff have been given disability awareness training. To find out more about Hamsterly’s accessibility click here.
Number 1: Beamish Living Museum
Beamish is a stunning open air living museum that provides a look into life during early 20th century Northern England. Walking into Beamish is like stepping out of a time machine. There’s so many unbelievable things to do here such as: ride a tram, see inside the houses, watch a demonstration, see what school used to be like or grab some traditional style fish and chips! They also have events on year round, most famously their Christmas and Halloween events. Some of the ground at Beamish is uneven, with slopes of varying gradients, however accessible slopes are available along with a wheelchair accessible vehicle, wheelchair hire and accessible parking and toilets. It is strongly advised you bring a companion with you who is able to help you get around the museum, this person will be granted free entry. Guide dogs are welcome. To find out more check out their accessibility pages here.
Where will you visit?
As you can see the North East of England is an amazing part of the world with so much to see and do. Complete with museums, wildlife, history and a fantastic night life too! So what will you decide to do? Will you take a walk along Hadrian’s Wall? Or maybe you’ll take a ride on a tram at Beamish Museum, maybe after you can get a drink at the Quayside! The choice is yours, but whatever you do please feel free to leave us a comment down below, we’d love to hear what you get up to!
I’d like to thank the following list for all images used in this blog post: Foto-Rabe, NickTrumble, Alexas_Fotos, Pia, Fietzfotos, Stuart352, Pixabay and the wonderful staff at The Life Science Centre.