Days Out

Beaches & Water Play

COVID-19 UPDATE: There have been so many changes for businesses lately it’s hard to keep up! This section will be updated in due course as things return to normal, in the meantime you can use the ideas here as a rough guide or can check our A-Z of Days Out here for more recent info and links. You can also like our Facebook Page here for updates🙂

If you run a relevant activity or business that’s not listed yet (or if you’re a parent with a recommendation) please feel free to get in touch with details.

Basic listings are free, information on upgraded listings (with up to 200 words, social media links & photos) can be found here.

Allensford Country Park

Open access.

Allensford, Castleside, Consett, County Durham, DH8 9BA
Tel: 01207 218219

14 acre park with woodland and riverside walks, picnic areas and children’s adventure playground with a range of equipment. Some areas of stream suitable for paddling. Cafe open daily serving snacks.


Bill Quay Playground

Daylight hours.

Bill Quay Park, Station Road, Gateshead, NE10 0UH
Tel: 0191 433 3000

Large sandpit with pirate ship and slide, plus separate junior play frame and water play with trough and pump.


Carlisle Park

Daylight hours.
Paddling pool open last May weekend to the first weekend in Sep.

Off Castle Square, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1YD
Tel: 01670 623509

Park with formal gardens, woodland and riverside walks and a more challenging walk up Haw Hill, the site of an 11th-century motte and bailey. There’s a skate park, play area and paddling pool.


Causey Arch

Open Access.

Marley Hill, Near Stanley, Co Durham, NE16 5EG

A woodland walk alongside the Tanfield railway track, the world’s oldest railway with steam trains running on selected dates. Cross a disused railway bridge over a woodland gorge and take the steps down to a riverside walk, with some areas suitable for plodging. Causey House Tea Room in car park serving meals and treats.


Cullercoats Beach

Open access.

Cullercoats Bay, North Tyneside, NE30 4BY

A sandy bay enclosed by two piers, with nearby dining options including cafe, takeaway and pub. Moderate coastal walks of around 3-4 miles to Whitley Bay beach or Tynemouth beach.


Druridge Bay Country Park

Beach – Open access
Cafe/shop, April – Sep weekends & holidays: 11am – 4pm

Red Row, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 5BX
Tel: 01670 760968

3.5 miles of beach, plus woodland, grasslands and Ladyburn Lake. Lake permits available for boat sports. Visitors’ Centre with displays on the local area, plus a cafe, shop and young children’s play area. Separate play area for older children.

Water Sports: from £4.

Exhibition Park

Daylight access.

Exhibition Park, Claremont Road, Newcastle, NE2 4PZ
Tel: 0191 232 8520

Park with grassland, woodland and lake, plus crazy golf, skate park, sports courts, water play trough and playground with sandpit and mini diggers. There’s a Military Vehicle Museum, a cafe and Wylam Brewery serving main meals. Behind the brewery is a miniature train track with free rides 11am-3pm first Sunday of each month (April-Sep plus seasonal specials).

Donations welcome for train rides.


Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm
(times may changes seasonally)

Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield, Gateshead, NE16 6BG
Tel: 01207 541820

There’s plenty to explore in this National Trust 18th century landscape garden, with 600 acres of gardens, woodland and countryside, chapel, cafe and two children’s outdoor play areas, with a zip wire,  sandpit and water play trough. Plus regular family events and workshops.

Adults: from £12
Child: from £6
Family: (2 Adults:): from £30
Family: (1 Adult:): from £18

Haltwhistle Swimming & Leisure Centre

Open from mid April – early Sep, times vary, check with organiser.

Greencroft, Haltwhistle, Northumberland. NE49 9DW
Tel: 01434 320 727

Three outdoor heated pools with flume slide, floats and pool toys for toddlers/babies and giant inflatable sessions. Plus adventure play area and picnic area.

Day Ticket: from £7.80
Family: from £15.50 – £24.00

Hamsterley Forest

Daylight hours.
Cafe open daily 9am – 5pm

Redford, Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, DL13 3NL
Tel: 01388 488312

2,000 hectare area with range of woodland and riverside walking/cycling trails, bike hire and play areas. Story character trails with Zog and the Gruffalo sculptures. Viking trail with forts and boats. Some parts of stream suitable for paddling. Optional 2 mile ‘Forest Drive’ with scenic lookouts. Cafe serving snacks and treats.

Haven Point Swimming Pool

Weekdays: 10am – 8pm
Saturday: 9.30am – 5pm
Sunday: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Pier Parade, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2JS
Tel: 0191 424 7800

Indoor swimming pool with large twisty flume slide, family bubble spa and a water play area for younger children with bridges, slides, jet sprays and bubble features. Cafe serving snacks.

Adults: £5.35
Kids (5-17): £3.85
Under 5’s: £1.15
Family: £18.55
Cardholder discount available.

Jesmond Dene

Park: open access
Pet’s Corner, daily: 9am – 4.30pm

Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE7 7DA
Tel: 0191 281 2082

Woodland stretching over three kilometres with streams, waterfalls and a network of paths and bridges. Some parts of the stream are suitable for paddling. There’s a visitors centre, café and outdoor play area with slides and nest swing. Plus ‘Pet’s Corner’ with pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits and birds.

Free, donations welcome.

Longsands Beach & Tynemouth Park

Beach: open access.
Mini-golf, daily: 9am – 4.30/5pm
Inflatables/Scavenger Hunt, weekends/holidays: 10am – 5pm

Grand Parade, Tynemouth, North Tyneside, NE30 4JL
Tel: 0191 258 7593

Beach with around a mile of dunes and cliffs. Tynemouth Park with boating lake, dinosaur themed mini-golf, pirate themed maze & scavenger hunt, and inflatable play areas for toddlers and older children. Cafe serving snacks and takeaway serving fish & chips.

Pedalos/Golf/Inflatables/Scavenger hunt: from £3

Plessey Woods

Daylight hours.

Shields Road, Hartford Bridge, Bedlington, Northumberland, NE22 6AN
Tel: 01670 824793

100 acres of woodland, meadows and riverside with picnic areas and walking/cycling trails, including an art trail with fun sculptures and fairy doors. A new play park opened in Spring 2019 with traditional wooden equipment. Parts of the stream are suitable for paddling. Visitor centre with cafe open at weekends.


Richardson Dees Park

Daily 6.30am – 6.30pm
Café, daily: 10.30am – 4pm
Opening may vary seasonally, check with organiser.

North Road, Wallsend, North Tyneside, NE28 8RH
Tel: 0191 643 7897

Victorian park with formal gardens, lake and woodland walks, sports courts, skate park and playground with swings, slides and toddler playframe. Plus a water play feature with trough and pump. Cafe serving snacks and treats.


Ridley Park

Park: open access
Water Play Area: daily 12 – 6pm*
*from Spring Bank holiday weekend (end May) to end of Sep, weather dependent.

Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 3EB
Tel: 07549 501 112

Park with formal gardens, wildflowers and woodland. Including sports courts, water splash pad play, and play area for all ages with sandpit and water trough play feature. Cafe serving snacks and treats.


Rising Sun Country Park

Open access.

Cafe opening:
Weekdays 9am – 3.30pm (4.30pm during holidays)
Saturdays 9am – 3.30pm
Sundays 10.30am – 3.30pm

Rising Sun Countryside Centre, Whitley Road, Benton, North Tyneside, NE12 9SS
Tel: 0191 643 2241

162 hectares of woodlands, grasslands, farmland and nature reserve with ponds. Walking and cycling trails, play area and a hillside water play feature with shallow stream, mini waterfalls and pebble mosaics. Cafe with terrace.


Riverside Park Chester-le-Street

Garden/playground: open access.
Cafe: daily April-Sep, weekends Oct-March.

Splash pad
May half term, daily: 10am – 6pm
June, Friday – Monday – 10am – 6pm
July – Aug, daily: 10am-6pm

Riverside South Sports Pavilion, Chester-le-Street, Durham, DH3 3SJ
Tel: 0191 389 0986

Park with acres of gardens and easy riverside walk with ducks and swans. Large well-equipped playground, including castle-themed play frame and static wooden train. Splash pad with lots of fountains and water guns. Kiosk selling drinks and snacks.


Roker Beach & Park

Daylight hours.

Roker Park Road, Sunderland, SR6 9NB
Tel: 0191 520 5550

Miles of sandy beach with wide promenade and restored pier, with various cafes and restaurants at Pier Point. Easy seafront walk to Seaburn beach and beyond. Nearby is Roker Park, with formal gardens, lake, sports courts, two play areas and a miniature train ride.


South Shields Beach & Pleasure Park

Open access
Rides open daily from 11am til late, times/rides weather permitting.

Sea Road, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 2LD
Tel: 0191 456 1617

Miles of sandy beaches, dunes, cliffs and a restored pier, with various seafront restaurants and cafes. Pirate themed mini-golf plus Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, with 40+ fairground rides. Around 2.5 mile coastal walk to Marsden beach, with striking rock formations.

Rides: from £10 for 25 tickets.

St Marys Lighthouse & Island

Open daily, tides permitting.

Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, NE26 4RS
Tel: 0191 200 8650

St Mary’s Island is reached by a short causeway covered by tides twice a day, with exhibits on the lighthouse’s history and surrounding Nature Reserve, including cliffs, grassland, beaches and rock pools. Brave the 137 steps to enjoy spectacular views from the top.

Adult: £3.30
Child: £1.70
Family: £7.70

Stanhope Pool

Open late May – early Sep.
Times vary, contact organiser for information or check Stanhope Open Air Swimming Pool Facebook page.

Castle Park, Stanhope, Durham, DL13 2LU
Tel: 01388 528 466

Heated open air swimming pool, with main pool and smaller toddler pool, sauna (booking required) and soft play area. Picnic tables and cafe serving snacks and treats.

From £3
Family from £12.00
(prices vary seasonally)

The Alnwick Garden

Feb – March, daily: 10am – 4pm
April – early Nov daily: 10am – 6pm
Summer holidays: 10am – 8pm

Greenwell Road, Alnwick , Northumberland, NE66 1YU
Tel: 01665 511350

Formal gardens and woodland walk, with adventure golf, labyrinth and tree house restaurant with treetop walkways (buggy accessible). Various water features including splash areas for kids play. Regular performances and family workshops. Two cafes and a restaurant serving snacks and main meals.

£4.50 – £12
0-4 Years – Free
Family: from £30

Waves Swimming Pool

Public swim times vary, check with organiser.

The Links, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, NE26 1TQ
Tel: 0191 643 2600

Swimming pool with wave machine and flume slides, and children’s play pool featuring pirate ship with small slides. Compact two-tiered soft play, gym, spa and coffee shop serving snacks and treats. Also after school and school holiday activities offered.

Adult: £1.80 – £6.50
Child: 70p – £4.40
Family: £9.30 – £21.70
Cardholder discounts

Whitley Bay South Beach & Water Park

Open access.

Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, NE26 4RS
Tel: 0191 2008535

A long sand and rock beach, with a tearoom, pancake house and restaurant within the seafront Spanish City dome, which hosts an annual fun fair in late August. Nearby is Whitley Bay Water Park playground & sports area, with sand pit and water splash pad, including a variety of spray features and a paddling pool.