GNM Good Friday

Easter weekend will signal the first in a string of bank holiday weekends and we don't know about you, but we are ready for it! 

Sunshine and lighter evenings have returned with the spring and NewcastleGateshead is ready to relax with a well-earned four-day weekend this Easter. Good Friday falls on Friday 15 April this year so we're hopefully for a little warmth in that sunshine too.

For many people, Good Friday is a day for fish suppers and family time, perhaps a trip to the coast or a bracing stroll. It is also a great time to catch up with friends in a beer garden as you get ready for a long weekend of lie ins. 

It's sometimes hard to know what is open on Good Friday in Newcastle so let us give you our rundown of what you can do to kick start your bank holiday weekend this Easter with Good Friday activities in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Grab Fish and Chips at the coast

For some people, it is a tradition to eat fish on Good Friday - and we can get onboard with that. Whatever the weather, a greasy wrapper of fish and chips at the coast is a classic British pastime and what better way to spend you Good Friday than along the stunning North East coastline. Take a walk from Tynemouth along the seafront to Whitley Bay and breathe in the fresh air. You have plenty of choice for the best fish and chips too from Longsands Fish Kitchen on Main Street in Tynemouth to the more pricey but highly-acclaimed Riley's Fish Shack on the beach at King Edwards Bay, to sit-in restaurant The View with (unsurprisingly) all the views of the North Sea and Longsands beach. Stop off at a glut of colourful cafes at Cullercoats where you'll find Bill's Fish Bar or keep walking towards Whitley Bay for a tasty chippy tea at Fishermans Bay or the cream of the crop at award-winning chip shop Trenchers at Spanish City.

Experience Fishy Friday at Salt Market Social, North Shields

Sticking with a fishy theme, Salt Market Social invite you to drop in on Good Friday 15 April from midday until 11pm and eat, catch up with friends and have a jolly good time! Nestled on the North Shields Fish Quay, Salt Market Social is well placed to provide the best in fish dishes so experience the freshest grilled fish straight from the day's catch or sample some of the spicier fair from Lobo Rojos who have a range of fish tacos. There will be DJs and live music to keep you entertained all evening too. 

Visit Newcastle Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral is a spectacular building with a 900-year history and significance. A tranquil and beautiful space since the 14th century, wander around the lofty cathedral and admire the Grade 1 listed architecture. If you find yourself around in the afternoon, take in the 2pm service on Good Friday or drop in as a family on Saturday 16 April to enjoy family activities and an Easter egg hunt. If you are really keen, join fellow early birds on Easter Sunday for a 5.30am rooftop service. 

Neighbouring historical attraction Newcastle Castle will also be open on Good Friday (admission 10am - 3.30pm) and then will host a Easter Folklore talk on Good Friday at 5pm. Explore the origins and folklore behind Easter's links with eggs, bunnies, and bonnets.

Take on the Battle of the Burger at Wylam Brewery

A firm favourite in the Newcastle event calendar, Wylam Brewery at Palace of Arts in Exhibition Park reinstate their Battle of the Burger extravaganza to herald the start of the bank holiday weekend. Head to Newcastle's Exhibition Park on Good Friday 15 April from 12noon with an empty stomach ready to sample the best in burgers from local traders who are competing to be crowned the best in the business. A perfect spot for catching some sunshine and sipping a top selection of craft beer too. 

Win big at Newcastle Racecourse

There is a whopping £1million prize pot available at this year's Good Friday race day at Newcastle Racecourse. If that feels like the way to start your bank holiday weekend then head down to track to cheer on your favourite filly at the All Weather Championships Final and Family Funday. There will be thrilling horse races, a mini golf course to have a go on, a funfair and even a visit from Paw Patrol favourites!

Enjoy a family day out

There are lots of Easter family activities to do on Good Friday. Attractions that are open on Good Friday include Northumberland's Alnwick Garden (which was a triple award-winner at the recent North East England Tourism Awards!) and has an Around the World in 80 Days-inspired trail to help you explore the attraction. April is a great time to make a visit to Alnwick Garden as the blossom starts to bloom across its spectacular Cherry Blossom Garden.

Alnwick Castle recently reopened for its spring and summer season, and has a special Bird of Prey Display event for families this Easter. The historic castle will be open on Good Friday with admission from 10am - 3.45pm. 

Beamish Museum have a range of Easter activities (book entry in advance - limited availability and morning only) while Life Science Centre (open 10am - 2pm) have their usual excellent exhibitions as well as a chance to weave a nest to keep your Easter eggs safe! Great North Museum will also all be open on Good Friday (10am - 5pm) with plenty going on for families to enjoy in their free museum.

Get a hot cross bun

Before you overindulge in Easter eggs (treat yourself to luxury, handcrafted eggs from Studio 28 Patisserie) - why not start the weekend with a freshly baked hot cross bun? Newcastle is well-catered for when it comes to excellent artisan bakeries so you will not have to look far for a fresh hot cross bun on Good Friday. Whether you plan ahead or try your luck on Good Friday, make sure you get up early to grab an Easter treat. Northern Rye on the edge of Ouseburn River on the way to Newcastle Quayside, Pink Lane Bakery in Newcastle city centre and Gosforth, and FAB Bakery in Fenham have all teased their social media followers with the promise of spicy hot cross buns. 

Visit Fenwick at 140

A day of retail therapy is on the cards this Good Friday. Fenwick Newcastle will keep you and your little ones busy for hours. Browse the department store and enjoy a spot of luxury shopping before heading to Level One to discover the history of the 140-year-old institution in the brand-new, small exhibition which celebrates their anniversary, heritage and forward-thinking approach to women's fashion. Make sure to buy your last minute Easter eggs from the Fenwick Food Hall and don't miss a range of family activities taking place on Good Friday. Head up to Fenwick's toy department on the top floor to go on a Lego Bunny Hunt or families can get hands on with a baking masterclass and afternoon tea at 3.30pm on Good Friday 15 April. Find out more about Fenwick's Easter activities here.

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