Monday 4 May 2015

My North East Story: North East Family Fun

This month's My North East story comes from North East Family Fun.  Sam is a busy mum of three beautiful children and together with hubby Steve, the blog follows their many adventures in the North East.  North East Family Fun is full of fantastic ideas and detailed reviews of days out for the whole family.  
North East Family Fun is one of my favourite blogs to head to if I need inspiration, it's the perfect "go to" guide to the North East.  They always look like they're having so much fun and I've often joked to Sam that one day I will stow away in their boot to join in the adventures.

North East Family Fun won the Blog of the Year at the North East Blogger Awards 2014.

1.  What is your North East Story

I grew up in Cramlington - a town in South East Northumberland. I have also lived in Dundee (when I went to University) and Wallsend (where hubby is from) but Cramlington is definitely where my heart is. Our home now is our 'forever home' and is probably where we will spend the rest of our life. Cramlington isn't really anything special, in fact most people say it is just full of roundabouts!

I do however love that we have our own cinema and restaurants including Mandarin Bay (an AMAZING Oriental restaurant, Prezzo and the kids love Frankie and Benny's. We also have our own Wetherspoons - John The Clerk which is a favourite spot for me to meet friends for a coffee (free re-fills before 2pm) or a drink in the evening and I LOVE that we have our own M&S Simply food store too.

However all of this is rather materialistic of me!  The main thing I love about living in Cramlington is that I can walk to my mum or brother's house in about five minutes and the children are able to go to a very good school (6th best SAT scores in the whole of Northumberland) plus I am close to all of my friends and can be there in two minutes if they need me.
2. Why do you love living in the North East? 

I love living in the North East as we have the best of everything! Newcastle is home to some fantastic bars and there are always new restaurants popping up (The Fat Hippo and The Sausage Emporium are favourites of ours) so if you are a foodie like myself, you will never run out of new places to try.  

We love a bit of history in our house and the North East offers so much for us to explore - from Hadrian's Wall to Holy island and the stunning Bamburgh Castle - it is fantastic being able to just jump in the car and in under 30 minutes we can be visiting somewhere of great significance and importance.

I personally think the Northumberland Countryside and Coast are some of the best in the world. I love the unspoilt beaches (Druridge Bay is a favourite) and stunning Countryside that surrounds us. We really are very lucky.  

Finally, I love being part of the North East Community - we have a great network of local bloggers (check out our North East Network for Brilliant Bloggers) that I don't think you get anywhere else in the country and I am part of a 'Northumberland mumpreneur group' who meet every month to support each other, listen to guest speakers and exchange ideas. I really cherish these new friendships and it's all because we have one thing in common - the North East.  

3.  Where's your favourite place in the North East to relax?  

I love anywhere by the Coast and instantly feel relaxed when I am by the sea. Tynemouth is a favourite place of ours - I just love the boutique shops, fabulous tapas restaurants and wine bars and of course the beach. I would love to retire there one day. We also love Cresswell in Northumberland. We are really lucky that our in laws have a caravan there that we can use for unlimited FREE holidays in the Summer. There is nothing better than sitting on a secluded beach enjoying an ice cream from Cresswell Ices while the children build sandcastles.  
4. Recommend some yummy food places in the North East  

For Sunday lunch I just love the huge sharing platters from The Fox Hole in Piercebridge where everyone can just dig in or Jesmond Dene House is perfect for special occasions.  

The Running Fox in Felton is my all time favourite cafe - everything is baked on site that morning and the staff give you free bread to feed the ducks outside which is a lovely touch.

I am a sucker for a Country pub - St Marys Inn, Stannington, The Northumberland Arms, Felton and The Three Horse Shoes, Horton are my top three pub recommendations.
My favourite restaurant of last year was Haveli in Ponteland - serving modern Asian food I am pleased to see it is starting to receive the recognition it deserves and has recently been recommended in the Michelin guide. 

5. Describe your perfect day in the North East 

I would begin my day with breakfast at The Tyneside Cafe - we have pretty much tried everywhere in Newcastle for breakfast and here is one of our favourite spots (poached egg and avocado on toast is recommended).

Then we would drive along the Coast to Craster which is my absolute favourite place in the world - it is a place that just has a charm all of its own. We would hike along the rugged coast (dodging sheep along the way) to Dunstanbrough Castle where we would stop and explore before heading back to Craster for a well earned pint at The Jolly Fisherman before popping into the famous smokehouse for some smoked bacon and kippers to take home.

In the afternoon we would drive across to holy island and explore Lindisfarne castle and maybe spot some seals from the castle terrace and then sample some famous Lindisfarne mead before heading home. I love Holy island and always think it has a magical feel to it. To finish off our Coastal adventure we would stop for an evening meal at The Boathouse Blyth which is a little known restaurant serving the freshest seafood with spectacular coastal views.

Make sure you check out North East Family Fun and if you want to get involved with My North East Story drop me an e-mail at  


  1. Steve has just asked if we can take a days holiday and complete my ideal day in the North East - I'm not sure that we could squeeze it all in though!! Thanks for having us :D

    1. Brilliant! That reminds me of a day 3 years ago! We'd planned for Simon to move to London and I was desperately sad about not having a reason to visit the North East and was so worried I'd never see it again so every time I came up I was packing everything into Saturdays to tick everything off my list. We had a mad Saturday doing the entire Newcastle coastline, we walked from St Mary's Lighthouse through to Whitley Bay, on to Tynemouth and then onto North Shields where we got a ferry across to South Shields. We walked for hours and hours, think we did about 7 miles in total that day. I realised pretty soon after that I was being daft and it was clear I should just relocate to Newcastle!

  2. What a beautiful family and you can see why they like the North East so many family adventures Lucy x

  3. Love this! I can't believe I still haven't tried the Running Fox, after your recommendation Sam & seeing Chloe's post recently, I have a day off on Thursday so I think I'll head up there! I love a lot of the other places too, Tynemouth & the Jolly Fisherman at Craster especially :) xx

  4. What great recommendations for places to try. You certainly fit loads in


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