From the coastline to the countryside, artisan food to outdoor adventures – I’m on a mission to prove that there’s more to the toon than cheap trebles. Sure, there’s no doubt that Newcastle is one of the region’s greatest assets. I just think that there are other places that also deserve attention. That’s why this spring and summer, I’ve made a pledge to visit the often overlooked attractions of the North. I’m doing it guys – I’m making a North East bucket list.
However, with a passion for exploring and an even bigger penchant for high expectations, naturally, I’ve ended up with a relatively long list of ‘must-see attractions.’ I’ve therefore made the executive decision to split up ‘Geordie Land and Beyond’ bucket list up into three separate blog posts:
- Where I’d Like to Wander
- North East Scran Spots I Would Like to Try
- Staycations I Would Like to Book
The plan is to not just tick each ‘point of interest’ off but share each experience on this blog, too. Over the next month, I’ll also reveal where I’d like to eat and sleep in the North-east. So, without much further ado, here is where I plan on wandering over the next couple of months.
North East Bucket List: Where I’d Like to Wander
Complete a Hadrian’s Wall Walk
A short story: Originally, I planned on ticking this off my bucket list by completing the 17.5km walk as a means of raising money for the wonderful charity, Team Kenya. But then I discovered an overseas challenge that has been on my Big Bucket List for almost ten years. That’s right guys, I’ve made the (naive) decision to climb Mount Kenya. Yep, you read that right. The girl who can’t run 1km without stopping, and who has been known to hike in her trusty Stan Smiths, is taking up the challenge in Feb 2020. Although I won’t be booking myself a place until July (as I have a holiday to fund beforehand), it is really happening guys. I, therefore, need to train as much as possible, which is where Hadrian’s Wall comes in. Although it’s a different terrain, I need to practice long distances on dodgy terrain.
Climb Roseberry Topping Hill, North Yorkshire
With less than 9 months until the big Kenya endeavour, I really need to get as much practice as possible. One of my plans is to walk Roseberry Topping Hill – a mere 4900m smaller. I guess I’ll have to go up and down a couple of times, right?
See the Cherry Blossoms at Alnwick Garden
As if only being on season 3 of Game of Thrones isn’t enough of a reason for feeling left out, last week I felt like I was the only Northerner who didn’t visit the cherry blossom trees at Alnwick Garden. The unintended peer pressure has worked too. I am now going to a place I previously had no interest in but my gosh, am I excited!
Naturally, this trip will result in me popping into Barter Books on the way home, too. A must whenever in Alnwick. (See photo).
Visit the Lakes Distillery and On-site Alpaca Farm
Would it really be a ‘Geordie Land and beyond’ bucket list if it didn’t include some form of alcohol? Unfortunately, I’ve ticked off every treble bar in the toon so my eyes are now set on a more sophisticated experience. Although the Lakes Distillery in Cockermouth technically counts as the North West, it’s only a 1hr 40-minute drive from Newcastle’s city centre.
The first part of the plan is to take part in the distillery tour. Here you’ll get a glimpse of how the gin, vodka and whisky are made. Next up is the creme de la creme of the tour: the tasting session. Finally, I plan on visiting their on-site alpaca farm where I get to see my favourite animal up close and personal.
Take a Pottery Class at the Pottery Experience
Although it’s alternative to the rest of my bucket list, it’s one of the attractions I’m most looking forward to. I’m all for supporting local businesses so when I stumbled across this family-run ceramics studio, I let out an internal squeal. I’ve always wanted to try pottery making so I’m incredibly grateful that this is a short drive away. The plan is to persuade a friend to sign up to the ‘taster throwing and a cuppa class’ with me.
Now it’s your turn – what’s on your Spring/ Summer bucket list? If you’re from the North East and need more inspiration, why not check out my other Geordie Land posts?