The National Trust has come up with seven great days out to ensure you avoid spending all your Christmas time off indoors.
From star gazing to family days out and great winter walks, here are some suggestions for things to do over the holidays…
1) Star gazing at Housesteads
This part of Hadrian’s Wall is in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park so is the perfect place to admire the night skies this festive season. Did you know that the Romans chose the date of their winter celebration, Saturnalia, by consulting the stars?
If you're quick, you can join the organised session tonight: See the skies as the Romans would have on a star gazing evening at Housesteads from 5pm to 9pm.
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hadrianswall
2) Go for a walk
Heading out for a Boxing Day or New Year's Day walk is a tradition for many families. If you fancy trying a new route this year, you can take inspiration from National Trust rangers who work in the countryside all year round. They’ve suggested their favourite winter walks at places like Hadrian’s Wall, the Northumberland Coast, Wallington and Gibside. You can find the list and download a route at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northeast
3) Boxing Day at Seaton Delaval Hall
Don your festive jumpers and bobble hats and bring the whole family, including the dog, for Boxing Day at Seaton Delaval Hall. They’ll be open from 11am to 3pm welcoming visitors who want to walk off their Christmas dinner, try out their new bike or scooter and meander around the grounds. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/seatondelavalhall
4) Visit a castle
Lindisfarne Castle opens every year on certain days between Christmas and New Year so that you can escape to the tranquillity of Holy Island and enjoy a relaxing post-Christmas day out. After a bracing walk along the coast, warm up inside the Castle and discover a holiday home by the sea like no other. The Castle will be open on Monday 28 December from 10am until 2pm and again on Wednesday 30 December from 10am until 3pm. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lindisfarnecastle
5) Have a tipple outdoors
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a tipple or two so come along to Gibside’s Festive Beer Garden on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 January. Enjoy a breath of fresh air while exploring the Georgian landscape, and from 4pm soak up the atmosphere with a pizza and a pint, or even a glass of mulled wine by a cosy log burner. On Fridays there’ll be extra treats including roasted chestnuts and live music. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside
6) Get your running shoes on
Head along to Gibside and join their weekly parkrun to blast away the Christmas excess with like-minded people. The 5km runs take place at Gibside every Saturday at 9am and whether you’re a beginner or a pro, everyone is welcome to take part in this group run through Gibside’s beautiful landscape. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside
7) Snow shoeing
When the snow falls the team at Hadrian's Wall get out their snow shoes and take you on an adventure across this stunning landscape. Snow shoes allow you to travel great distances with ease so you can appreciate the magical snowy scenery.
But you'll also get to try your hand at building emergency snow shelters, and who could resist a bit of sledging? If there’s enough snow, the first event will take place on Saturday 9 January. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hadrianswall