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  • Writer's pictureKelly

"Exploring History: The Ultimate Guide to Historical Days Out"




We absolutely love visiting historical attractions, the North East has some fantastic options for this. I have had a few messages asking if I know any good places to head for a day out for history lovers. We have decided to put together a list of some of our favourites right here in this guide. Please do let me know if you think I have missed anything that should be in this guide. Click on the PURPLE links to find out more


Castles

The North East has some fantastic Castles to visit. You can find out more in this special Castle guide I did a while ago.


Here are our top picks for castle where you can spend a full day.


Bamburgh Castle is a fantastic option as you can actually spend the full day here exploring the grounds and inside the castle itself followed by a lovely beach walk. Steeped in over 3,000 years worth of history and the real last kingdom of Bebbanburg.




Chillingham Castle is a well know castle in the region for being haunted. Chillingham Castle has been owned by the same bloodline relating back to the Earl Greys in 1246, with various Kings and Queens visiting over the years, Chillingham Castle really does have some stories to tell.




Warkworth Castle is one of my favourites. Although I wouldn't say you could spend the full day here, you could easily spend half a day and then head somewhere else after. It is worth a visit and there's lots to see.




Barnard Castle is another favourite of mine. Growing up I would spend a lot of time here and I still love visiting today. Again I would say you could easily spend a good few hours exploring here. Don't miss the spectacular views!





Alnwick Castle I think it is safe to say Alnwick Castle is one of the North East's favourites. Not only does it have some spectacular history behind it. It is the second largest habited castle in the country. The origins of the castle date back to the Normans and the Percy family have been linked to the castle since the 1300s! It is also known for it's part in the Harry Potter movies!




Head back in time with the Romans with these attractions


Arbeia in my opinion is a fantastic attraction and it is free entry! Once a key supply base to Hadrian's wall you can explore life on the edge of the empire.

There's lots to see and you can easily spend half a day here. Lookout for special events.

Find more things in South Shields to do HERE




Corbridge was once a busy town and the supply base for Romans and civilians who would pick up food and provisions. It remained a vibrant community right up until the end of Roman Britain in the early years of the 5th century.




Chesters Roman fort is the most complete cavalry fort in Britain. Lots to see here including the well preserved bath house and find out how Roman soldiers relaxed. There's also a great museum of Roman finds.




Birdoswald it is recommended that you start here at Birdoswald if you plan to visit Cumbria. You can see the remains of the wall, and you can see the the longest standing part of the wall from here too. Lots of ruins to explore here. Currently excavations are undergoing and you can join a tour if you want too.




Museums

The North East has some of the best museums in my opinion, quite a few are free entry too. Check out my mega museum guide HERE. Read on for my top picks.


Beamish Museum is probably the North East's biggest and most visited attraction. It is fantastic value and there's so much to see and do. Most special events are included in your annual pass and you can spend the full day without seeing everything. You can enjoy time eras from 1820s to 1950s. Top tip - Head into the town first and get in the queue for the sweet shop and bakery before it gets really busy.




Currently it is not in its best shape, but it is so worth visiting. You can enjoy everything from the ship yards, coal mining, two art galleries and the lush Winter gardens. Free entry




North East Land Sea and Air museum is in my opinion so under rated and more people should visit! It has so much to see and is worth the £6 entry fee. You can see loads of Aircraft, trams, buses, cars, military vehicles.




It is such a great museum to visit. It is free entry and even has a pets corner. Lots to see including Catherine Cookson section which is really interesting.




Preston Park is one of the best budget friendly options at just £15 for a family ticket for the year! There is so much to see here, room to room is full of items collected from days gone by there's also a fab Victorian street with shops that you can go into plus the café which serves delicious cakes. I love visiting when the walled garden is in full bloom. You can easily spend most of the day between here, the park and butterfly world ( located in the grounds but is a separate charge)




I love visiting Jarrow Hall, once known as Bedes World. It is a museum that showcasing Northumbria in the 700s complete with fully reconstructed Anglo Saxon huts and lots of farm animals.




National Trust properties

You can read my full guide HERE below is my top picks for a full day out


Cragside is one of the best National Trust properties in the North East. You can spend all day here between the house and grounds. There's lots to see inside of the house and you can go room to room exploring. The grounds are huge with a labyrinth, various walks, quarry, gardens and more. There's also a fab play park here too.




Seaton Delaval Hall is somewhere that we have been visiting for years and we enjoy a visit a few times a year throughout the seasons. It has quite an interesting history. I actually read the full guidebook and then did a bit more research on the history of the Delaval family, History has always been a firm favourite of mine and Seaton Delaval definitely offers that. What a family. They have owned the estate since the time of the Norman conquest. The café here does one of the best Chai lattes I have had.




Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire is my favourite, I absolutely love visiting and it has some special memories for me with the boys and Craig from many years ago. The house is gorgeous but the grounds are just spectacular with a true feel of Mr McGregor. You may also be greeted by a Peacock who will happily display his beautiful plumage.




Wallington is a lush National trust property with some great walks and you can explore inside of the house too. We usually visit a few time a year including Christmas when the house is all decorated.




Cherryburn I know some of you will point out it is not somewhere you can spend a full day, however we recently visited and we did spend a few hours here. We really enjoyed talking to the volunteers and the boys even got a demo of the printing once the staff knew the boys were home educated. We really love Cherryburn and think everyone should visit at least once.




English Heritage Properties

I am a huge English Heritage fan, not only do they have some amazing properties they also sell some of the best jams and preserves! Find out HERE why It is worth purchasing a membership


Our Top Picks

Combine a lovely walk through the gardens and woodland with a walk to the top of the castle! You can also find a sparkling new play area which is fab and a gorgeous regency style country house to wander around in. Lots of history here.




Whitby Abbey is world famous for its Dracula links. It is worth the visit for the view alone. There is a small museum and a pretty large shop too. You couldn't spend a full day here but you are in Whitby so there's lots to do.





Originally built by William the conqueror. We always enjoy a visit to Pickering Castle. It is full of things to look at and you can go and explore inside of the castle. You could also head into the town and have a nosey around in the shops, flea market and our favourite book shop.




More ideas

Eden Camp - Work your way through History in the huts that were once a prisoner of war camp.

Ryhope Pumping Station - Not open all of the time, they usually only open on car show days but its worth having a nose

Tanfield Railway - Hop on board and enjoy a steam train ride


If you would like your family friendly event adding to our guide free of charge, please fill in this FORM 


Check out these other posts

Spring walk ideas (Also nice during Autumn/winter)


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