White sand beach, blue ocean and added greenery


Get behind the (pottery) wheel…

Pottery class

A soothing pottery class could be just the ticket for stressed-out creatives on the lookout for a new hobby this year. The team at Muddy Fingers Pottery, in Jarrow, is a go-to spot for relaxed classes, guided by experienced and passionate potters. Time to get your hands dirty!



Get starry-eyed…

Starry sky

Go on an astronomical adventure at Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory. Nestled in the twinkly depths of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, it offers stargazers a range of mind-blowing talks, activities and courses, centred around the wonders of our universe. Telescopes, blankets and mugs of hot chocolate included.



Do go chasing waterfalls…


We’re lucky enough to have one of England’s most spectacular waterfalls on our doorstep – so why not take advantage? A gentle woodland walk in the heart of the Durham Dales will lead you to High Force, which is said to date back more than 300 million years. A beautiful, bubbling sight all year round, but there’s nothing quite like tucking in to a summer picnic while taking in the views.



Turn up the heat…

Yoga class

We all know how good traditional yoga is for us, but this new year, why not experience the benefits of Hotpod Yoga? Grab your mat and sweat it out in a 20-person inflatable ‘pod’, which is heated to a whopping 27 degrees to supercharge your practice and make stretching easier. Give it a go in Jesmond and Whitley Bay – it’s surprisingly relaxing!



Soar the skies…

Sky dive

Release your inner daredevil and give skydiving a go with the guys at Skydive Academy, Durham. Based at Peterlee Parachute Centre, the experts offer a range of thrilling experiences, including tandem skydives from up to 15,000 feet, alongside static line parachute jumps and one-to-one courses for beginners.



Lend a helping hand…

Sheep on a farm

Do some good at Ouseburn Farm, Newcastle. The registered charity, which runs a working farmyard and visitor centre in the heart of Ouseburn Valley, is always on the look-out for volunteers to work in various areas of the farm, including livestock, horticulture, arts and crafts, photography and the support of adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.



Sip away…

Two glasses of wine being poured in the sun

Embark on your very own wine-tasting journey, guided by the vino experts at Wine Unearthed. Held at 21, Newcastle, each experience gives everyone, from novices to budding wine connoisseurs, the chance to taste and learn all about the world’s best bottles. All topped off with an expertly-paired feast.



Enjoy a cute stroll…

A mother alpaca and baby alpaca

Ever taken an alpaca for a walk? No? Then what are you waiting for? Head to Barnacre Alpacas in Northumberland for a special ‘walk and talk’ wander with members of their fuzzy herd. Meet them, feed them, stroll with them and fall in love with them. Feel-good vibes guaranteed.



Take to the waves…

A woman walking in the sea with her surf board

Head to the coast and get fit the fun way with the guys at Tynemouth Surf Co. The wetsuit-wearing pros offer surfing lessons for all ages and all abilities on the shores of Longsands beach – an award-winning stretch of sand that stages national surfing championships.



Say yes to a staycation…

A cosy cottage on a bright summers day

You don’t have to go far to have a holiday to remember. Why not grab some pals and escape to The Barn and the Cowshed in Slaggyford, Northumberland, for a long weekend? The barn-like pad is blessed with lofty beamed ceilings, exposed stone walls and plush furnishings, nestled in 1,000 acres of rolling countryside.



Go grand…

A view of the gardens and Grantley Hall

Treat a loved one to a drop-dead-gorgeous stay at Grantley Hall. Marvel at the meandering river that flanks the regal property, get lost in the beautiful parkland, enjoy a bit of switch-off time in the spa and get a taste of the Dales in Shaun Rankin’s restaurant. A proper, posh Yorkshire getaway!



Take a woodland adventure…

Take little ones on a whimsical woodland adventure at Rockliffe Hall’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired Mischmasch gardens. A ‘wonderland of curiosities’ sits in the grounds of Rockliffe – creating an enchanting space for small people to explore. Visit the five-star resort this year and let little ones loose at Mischmasch.



Say yes chef…

Be a guest in your own home with La Belle Assiette. A ‘sit back and let it all be done for you’ service, inviting a chef to take over your kitchen, hosting the perfect dinner party. A local chef with prepare, cook, serve and clear away as if by magic. Restaurant-style dining in your own home. What’s not to love?



Wanderlust awaits…

Lilac and white suitcase

Get set for a decade of discovery with Globe-Trotter’s swish St. Moritz collection. We’re in love with this luxe lilac old-school suitcase. Inspired by the snow-capped peaks at sunrise, it’s the perfect kit bag for snowy getaways and sunshine breaks.



Dine in style…

A beautifully presented dining table at The Bay Horse

Looking for somewhere to host a special celebration in 2020? As far as private dining goes, The Bay Horse in Hurworth has you covered with two recently-refurbished rooms. Cosy, candlelit spaces with plush, Pinterest-worthy interior design.



Get sketchy…

Colourful sketch books

Unleash your inner artist this year. Here in the North East, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most spectacular countryside, quaint coastal towns and cool, city centre scenes. Bag yourself a marble-effect leather sketchbook from RE in Corbridge, pick up a pack of pencils and document your days out.



Enjoy beach hut bliss…

Colourful beach huts

Summer may seem like a distant memory, but it’s not all that far away. Plan ahead for sun-soaked days on the Saltburn coastline – complete with a colourful little beach hut as your base. These canine-friendly coastal gems are perfect for family fun in the sun.



See it, do it, frame it…

Hanging frames

Keep your cameras on standby this year, capturing all the fun stuff you do along the way. We’re big fans of Lillian Daph’s NKUKU hanging garland frames – perfect for those memory-making photographs.



Check in for paradise…

Pack up, leave your worries at home and check in for a week of pure paradise on Tresco Island. Less than 30 miles off the Cornish Coast, go here for white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and time away from the hubbub of day-to-day life. Dreamy!