UPDATED AS OF December 2022
We love to be out and about with the boys visiting, attractions across the North East and beyond, but let's be honest, it can get costly when you are buying a family ticket for 5 people. We have been doing experience gifts way before it was trendy and we plan on continuing to do this.
Adam is 16 now and lots of attractions class him as an adult, so that is more cost. Some even class Toby who is 14 as an adult.
The North East has some great attractions that offer annual passes and we think they are great value for money.
Please note prices are for a family 5 (That's what we are)
Howick Hall, gardens and Arboretum - We have had an annual pass for Howick for years! It is just a lovely place to have a nice walk and relax. The many flowers throughout the year will have you wanting to go back season after season. Tearooms are fab too. A Family annual pass is now £85.
Opening from early February - November.
Beamish Open Air Museum - Beamish annual passes are fantastic value for money as the attraction is open all year. Lots to do at Beamish and they are adding in a new town which is coming along lovely. For a family of 5 an annual pass is £60.00 the annual pass does not include evening events. Click Here for more info
Preston Park Museum and Grounds -We love visiting Preston Park. Myself and Craig have been visiting here ever since we were kids and now we take our own. I love the Victorian street and the café is fab with delicious cakes! Lots to see in the museum too and the boys always have a great time looking at the old toys on display. With the walled garden, winter garden and woodland walk to enjoy what's not to love? Also has a great play park. Annual family pass is £15 Find out more Here
Wynyard Hall - Another great value annual pass in the North East, entry includes the Rose Garden, Edible garden, Wild garden and the Woodland Walk. Entry to special events are not covered by the annual pass. So much to enjoy here. A family annual pass is £35. Find out more Here
Raby Castle - Raby Castle is absolutely stunning and the annual pass is great value for what you get. Enjoy the walled gardens, Castle, and Deer park. You can also enjoy the fantastic Plotters Play area with the upgraded ticket. An annual Family Pass is £60 Find out more Here This also gets you into High Force Waterfall so it is a bargain in my opinion! Or for £99 you can have yearly admission to Raby, High force and Plotters.
Head of steam Darlington - Ideal for the steam train fans, the boys love visiting Head of Steam. Not the biggest of places but you can kill a few hours here. An annual family pass is £15. Find out more Here
The Alnwick Garden - This is one of my favourites, we managed to get a great deal on our last passes as we renewed during the summer holidays meaning for a family of 5 it only cost £40. However for 2023 passes will be £42 for the year. Always lots to see and do. Pre booking is essential.
WWT Wetland Centres - We love visiting the WWT in Washington, our boys are bird crazy so it is the perfect spot to go bird spotting. It is such great value too. We currently pay for our annual pass by direct debit at just £8 per month. Plus it is a Blue Peter attraction. More info HERE
Jarrow hall - I personally think it is great value and super educational. Jarrow hall is on our list this year as the younger boys will be studying the Anglo Saxons. Tickets for a family of 5 is £26 More info HERE
Sewerby Hall, Gardens & Zoo
I know this one is a bit further but it is worth it. We had a fantastic day there last year and planning on going back. Family of 5 £95 Find out more HERE
Life Science Centre - Now I know this one may seem expensive but honestly it is so worth it. There's so much to do and it is very hands on educational too. Plus you only have to visit a few times to make your money back and if you visit every other month it is absolutely worth it. Family of 5 £125
Another option could be Merlin passes. We bought Merlin passes for 2022 and we didn't use them as much as I though we would have. However we did get our moneys worth visit all of the merlin attractions in Blackpool, Alton Towers and we visited some Sealife centres. There are different passes available, the cheapest starting from £89. They do have monthly options from £9.99. Here for more info
If you are looking to have more days out but on a budget have you thought about an English Heritage or National Trust membership? We have been members of both for many many years and it saves you so much money.
For 2023 we are planning on investing in Historic Houses passes as there's quite a few places on the list that we really want to visit. A family of 5 costs £175 which sounds like a lot but honestly the amount it saves you is totally worth it.
Our Favourite National Trust sites include:
Cragside - House and lots of garden o explore including a fab play park, labyrinth, beautiful lakes and various activities. You can easily spend a full day or several exploring here.
Gibside - Looking for somewhere to get out and go for a walk? Then Gibside is your place. Walled Garden, various trails, playpark and a great bird hide.
Penshaw Monument - In all honesty not much to do here except take in the views. However you could combine it with a visit to Herrington Country Park which has various lakes, woodland walk and a big play area or you could go and explore the Cox Green area.
Souter Lighthouse - The boys love the lighthouse and climbing right to the top. A mini museum with outside space to explore. Sits in a nature reserve. Also has some dramatic views across the sea from the top of the cliff edge.
Our favourite English Heritage sites include:
Belsay Hall and Gardens (also a castle) - A beautiful stately home with large gardens and a woodland walk down to the castle.
Warkworth Castle - The boys love coming to Warkworth and exploring, lots to see and do and you can combine your ticket with a boat ride.
Lindisfarne priory - Situated on the stunning Holy Island, Lindisfarne is steeped in history.
Tynemouth Priory and castle - We really love visiting Tynemouth, it is bigger than it looks and there are so many things to see. Don't miss out on the view across the beach.
Prudhoe Castle - My favourite, for me it is what a proper castle should look like. I think it is beautiful! The grounds and little walk you can go on is always a must for us.
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