With a car park right on the the beach, this almost felt like cheating. The village and its brightly coloured houses and the boats in the estuary are great for a walk around too.
There’s over 100 acres of woodland, meadow and riverside to explore in Plessey Woods. No signs of otters or kingfishers on this trip, but plenty of good sticks and water to poke…
I love Woodhorn, I really do. A fascinating and fun trip through mining history, banner displays, the Pitman Painters exhibition, arts and crafts and even a ride on a miniature railway to a feed ducks on a lake, it’s a great day out with the kids…. and apart from the parking it’s free! My kids love walking through the Coal Town – and never seem to tire of opening and closing the door to the outside loo (you’ll see why…) They love the noises and sounds and the interactive nature of the museum that brings it alive. And if that wasn’t enough they have touring exhibitions too like the brilliant Retronaut photographs dubbed “Victorian selfies” and the recently arrived Brick Planet lego display.
From leaping lemurs to secret doors… make sure you don’t just say hello to the animals and take a walk around the beautiful Zoological Gardens too… Think we even found the Magic Faraway Tree
Despite being dragged out into the great outdoors in all weathers since they were just a few weeks old, mention the word “walk” to my kids and the response is something like eurrrrghhhh.
Once they are out of course they love it – so I just have to find other words to lure them to my chosen destination such as tree-climbing, river-paddling, stick-poking or duck-feeding so they forget about the walking element… or as a last resort mention of a picnic or ice cream usually works.
So it was armed with bagfuls of bread that we headed to the highly recommended Northumberland Arms in Felton for Sunday lunch followed by a trip to feed the ducks.
As it was the other half’s birthday, I was hoping for a meal that was a little bit special and from the moment we walked in and sat on our table with a sofa by the wood-burning stove, it definitely felt like a bit of a treat. The pub is a top class venue, stylishly decorated and welcoming to families. The food came quickly, beautifully presented and well worthy of its fine reputation.
A perfect Sunday lunch for me is always followed by a gentle stroll and Felton really is the idyllic village that the pub’s website claims. It was a misty February day but the view down the river Coquet was stunning. We turned right out of the pub and walked along the river bank a short way, and sure enough tracked down some hungry ducks, before returning and passing over the bridge and finding a second gathering on the other side equally as peckish.
I was just beginning to feel that I’d burned off a few mouthfuls of yorkshire pud- when I then found myself at the Running Fox bakery and ended up returning to the car with two huge slices of cake and a loaf of artisan bread…. oops.
And so having enjoyed a delicious meal, a nice pint, a walk (duck-feeding) and no meltdowns my mission was complete. A lovely family day out.
With a teacher training day tomorrow, it’s feeling like half term already…. be great to hear what everyone’s got planned. Here’s a few things on my wish-list:
The new Brick Planet exhibition at Woodhorn plus a whizz round the wonderful (free) museum and a ride on the mini railway. Woodhorn Museum
Afternoon tea at The Running Fox at Felton and a walk by the river. Heard great things about this place! Running Fox
My kids love exploring Belsay Hall and walking through the quarry to the castle. Belsay Hall
Laing Art Gallery: Free inspiration and one of my favourite cafes. My four year old loves walking round choosing her favourite paintings. There’s a children’s room too. Laing Art Gallery
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens: Whilst I love seeing the leaping Lemurs, don’t forget about the vast gardens too, beautiful to walk through. Kirkley Hall
Plessey Woods: Free muddy fun galore. Plessey Woods
Beamish: About time I took my kids to see the North’s number one visitor attraction and Francis Street where their great-gran was born Beamish
Walk on the beach and shell collecting at Cresswell and a hot chocolate in The Drift Cafe