Friday 18 November 2016

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide

It's November, which in our house means that you're officially allowed to get excited about Christmas. Whilst I'm pretty organised when it comes to Christmas shopping, the one thing I fail at every year is planning festive fun for the diary - I always leave it too late! So this year I've spent hours researching all of the best Christmas activities in the North East to put together a Christmas in the North East Ultimate Guide to help you guys plan some Christmas fun and hopefully remind me to do the same.

All of the links below will take you directly to where you need to be to find out  more information.

Grab yourself a festive mug of hot chocolate, this is going to be a long one!

Christmas Hot Chocolate


Every year I say that we'll visit Beamish at Christmas time, and every year we don't! I'm already too late to get a ticket to one of their famous Christmas Evenings but luckily there's still plenty of other activities happening during the festive season including ice-skating and the post Christmas Twelfth Night Celebrations. Christmas at Beamish sounds truly magical.

The Parlour at Blagdon 

Our beautiful wedding venue, The Parlour at Blagdon have plenty going on this Christmas time including the Christmas Supper Club, and five Christmas Party Nights throughout December. Having danced the evening away at our wedding a few months ago I know only too well that the Parlour throw an amazing party and their food is amazing.

Choose your own Christmas Tree

When I was a child we always had a real Christmas Tree at home, I vividly remember my poor Dad having to frantically chop away at the tree each year in an attempt to get it to fit the house. Nothing beats a real Christmas Tree to decorate your home and Raby Castle in County Durham have freshly cut Nordman Firs and Norway Spruces for sale from 1 December. Why not make a real family event out of it by picking out the tree together, followed by hot chocolate from the tea room and shopping for new Christmas decorations in the Gift Shop.

Hadrian's Tipi

The most talked about pop-up in Newcastle this Christmas has to be Hadrian's Tipi. The oversized tipi outside Central Station offers continental food and mulled wine. Snuggle up on a faux fur rug by the fire pit with your loved ones for a huge dose of festive cheer.

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide Hadrians Tipi

Hot Chocolate at Laneway

Forget the festive cups and support local this Christmas with a festive hot drink from newcomers Laneway. The beautiful coffee shop on High Bridge have Dark, Milk or White Hot Chocolate on the menu. Made with melted chocolate buttons - their drinks are truly indulgent and the perfect festive treat. We will definitely be making a plan to give one a go.

Jesmond Dene House

I love Jesmond Dene House at Christmas time, it is beautiful! There's loads going on this Christmas including Christmas Day Lunch (far better than slaving over a hot stove on Christmas Day I'm sure you'll agree), Christmas Party Nights in the Old Hall and beautiful Festive Afternoon Tea with seasonal live music. If you prefer the simpler things in life curl in front of the fire with a glass of wine and your loved one for a chilled out festive evening.

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide Jesmond Dene House

Christmas by Candlelight at Gibside 

Join the North East Concert Band in the Gibside Chapel on 6 December for an evening of traditional and contemporary festive tunes at their candlelit concert. Tickets are £14.00 and with mulled wine and mince pies served in the interval I can think of no better way to get into the Christmas mood - just  make sure you don't sit near me, I'm an awful singer!

Fat Hippo Festive Feasting 

No one does seasonal menus quite like Fat Hippo who have two Christmas burgers available through December. Sink your teeth into Chuck Berry (beef, pulled turkey thigh, cranberry jelly, sweet cure bacon, sprout slaw topped with camembert fritter and served with chipolata gravy) or the Nutcracker (root veg hash and chestnut and sage stuffing) - so good!

The Paradise Tree at Alnwick Garden

Following the success of last year's A Christmas Tale, Alnwick Garden's interactive light show is back this year with the Paradise Tree.  It's on 16 December - 23 December and tickets are £12 for adults and £7 for children. If it's anything like last year you can expect a fantastic immersive experience involving the most beautiful lights and sounds.

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide Alnwick Garden

The Santa Dash

Running at Christmas?! I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm a little mad right now but for those of you still feeling inspired by the Great North Run sign up to the Santa Dash at Gibside.  The 5k race round the beautiful National Trust parkland at Gibside takes place on 11 December and is a great way to justify those extra mince pies.  Entry costs £10 for adults and £5 for children and there's a prize for the best dressed and fastest santas.

Christmas Markets

There are plenty of Christmas Markets happening around the North East this year, far too many for me to mention so check out this really handy guide from North East Family Fun for a huge list of Christmas Markets in the North East. Why not work your way round a few? You can never eat too many giant hot dogs right?!

Fenwicks at Christmas

I love Fenwicks at Christmas and it plays a huge part in my festive celebrations every year. Create your own Christmas Hamper in the Food Hall, visit the famous window display and head up to the Christmas Department for loads of gift inspiration. Once your legs feel tired treat yourself to a huge slab of cake at the Beatrix Potter Mrs Tiggy-Winkle's pop-up cafe.

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide Fenwicks

Christmas by Twilight at Wallington

National Trust always have the best activities over Christmas and there's plenty to choose from at Wallington Hall. Christmas by Twilight gives you the opportunity to visit Wallington after dark to see the house lit by candlelight and decorated for Christmas as well as enjoy festive music in the Central Hall and do some festive crafting.

Christmas Elizabethan Banquet at Lumley Castle

There is so much happening at Lumley Castle this Christmas including festive afternoon tea, party nights, breakfast santa and, my personal favourite, the Christmas Elizabethan Banquet. Taking place over 8 dates in December the Christmas Elizabethan Banquet is the perfect night out with a twist. Tickets cost from £29 per person and include a four course meal, goblets of mead and wine as well as brilliant live entertainment. Simon and I had our first experience of the Lumley Castle Banquets a few months ago and it was the most fun night out we've had this year!

The Botanist Roof Terrace

Enjoy some apres ski without leaving Newcastle with the Botanist's Winter Wonderland roof terrace. Snuggle up under cosy blankets with your other half or gossip with mates over steaming hot cups of spiced cider at Newcastle's prettiest bar. The roof terrace has been transformed with beautiful fairy lights and a festive menu to beat all others. 

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide Botanist Roof Terrace

Christmas at the South Causey Inn

There's plenty happening at the South Causey this Christmas including Christmas Markets, Santa Sundays, a Christmas Choir Night and a Tarzan and Jane themed Tarzan Night Ladies Night.  In fact there's so much happening you could pretty much move into the South Causey Inn for the whole of December to fulfil all of your Christmas needs.

Party Nights at Gusto

Party Nights at Gusto are always a great night and this Christmas you can choose from George Michael, Andy Usher or a swing night with Glen R. For £35 per person you can enjoy a 3 course Christmas meal and live entertainment from the comfort of the most beautiful restaurant on the Quayside. 

Festive Fizz Trail

Last Christmas I put together this Festive Fizz Trail and I can't wait to retrace my steps this year. If you love bubbles as much as me then follow my guide to the best night festive night out in Newcastle's classiest bars. You can never have too much Prosecco in December!

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide

Bucks Fizz Brunch at the Biscuit Factory

Visiting the Factory Kitchen for Supper Club was one of the highlights of our year so the idea of a Christmas Eve Bucks Fizz Brunch sounds like heaven. For £9.50 per person you can enjoy poached eggs or brioche french toast served with a glass of bucks fizz and some yuletide music. For any last minute gift purchases there are some great ideas in the Biscuit Factory gifts shop.

Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Garage Spa

For a truly relaxing Christmas indulge in the Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Garage Spa. From £49.00 per person you can enjoy full use of the spa facilities for 4 hours followed by a mini facial or express manicure before heading to the Morritt Hotel next door for Festive afternoon tea.

Christmas in the North East - The Ultimate Guide The Garage Spa

I really hope that my Ultimate Guide to Christmas in the North East has given you some inspiration for this year's festivities.

Let me know what you're planning to book!


  1. What a fabulous guide, full of brilliant ideas, it's definitely got me excited for Christmas in the North East. I'm planning a similar post myself but you've thought of loads of things that hadn't even crossed my mind. Hope you get to do lots of the lovely things on this list x

  2. I want to do it alllllll! I am so excited for our first real tree this year.

  3. Wow so many amazing things to do in the North East! I love love love the look of the spa at the bottom too!! Alice xx

  4. Wow! What a fantastic guide! I want to do it all too! x


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