NewcastleGateshead's popular museums and attractions have now reopened with great success over the last few months and visitors are enjoying great days out once again across the North East at their favourite places.

With the reopening of attraction doors comes the introduction of new safety measures to ensure the attractions can welcome you back responsibly and still be safely within government guidelines. It is also worth remembering that venues may not be back to full capacity or have reopened all the areas and aspects of the venue that you will be familiar with. Please make sure to check the attraction's website directly so that you can plan your visit and know what to expect before you go.

We will keep you up to date with our guide to which attractions are open and when you can book tickets to venues in NewcastleGateshead.

As you will be aware, NewcastleGateshead and the wider North East are currently in tightened local lockdown restrictions (from Friday 18 September) which means that you can only visit attractions with members of your household or support bubble and attractions which have late-opening will have to close at 10pm. 

Despite the increased restrictions on life in the North East at the minute, you can be reassured by the steps the attractions are making to balance safety and fun so you and your household can continue to enjoy experiencing your favourite attractions responsibly this Autumn.

Top tips for enjoying your return to NewcastleGateshead visitor attractions:

  • Please do so safely, respecting a 2 metre distance with people outside your household. 
  • You need to be with your household or support bubble only and not meet friends from outside your household at a venue. 
  • Households and support bubbles must not exceed 6 people.
  • It is now mandatory to wear a face covering when visiting museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites. Click here for more information on when you need to wear a face mask in Newcastle and Gateshead?
  • Follow the guidelines in place by the attraction and familiarise yourself with specific requirements ahead of your visit, especially checking their open hours which may have changed as well as the specifics around which areas may remain closed.
  • Be prepared to prebook your tickets online before you visit as attractions will be monitoring and limiting their daily visitors to ensure they can reopen safely.
  • It's worth noting that even if you have a membership to the attraction or venue you want to visit, it is highly likely that you will need to pre-book your ticket so that the venue can monitor daily visitor numbers.
  • Expect high demand so make sure to plan ahead and book tickets in advance, especially in the first few weeks after reopening.
  • It's best to avoid busy periods and crunch times like arriving at the opening of the venue - try to stagger your arrival.
  • Expect queues and new ways of getting around the attraction.
  • It's hungry work having a day out, especially with kids, so plan your meals too. Many cafes at venues will be running takeaway options or provide picnic spaces but again, check on the attraction's website before you visit.
  • Consider how you will arrive at your chosen attraction and avoid public transport where possible.
  • Many attractions will have hand sanitiser available throughout their buildings but we know you're also getting used to packing your hand sanitiser along with your keys, face mask and phone! 
  • Have consideration for local communities if you're travelling to a park, garden, coast or attraction outside the city.
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Outdoor Attractions now open

We have been enjoying more outdoor time in recent weeks, and now can revisit some of the popular outdoor attractions and parks and gardens around NewcastleGateshead. Read on for a list of the outdoor attractions which have reopened already as well as the other venues which are starting to reopen near NewcastleGateshead where you can prebook your tickets:

    The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland 

      Visitors need to pre-book their tickets to The Alnwick Garden and Adventure Golf area online. The outdoor attraction has reopened with limited capacity (50% of what it is expected during 'normal' times). The Treehouse at Alnwick remains closed. For full information about how to visit The Alnwick Garden when it reopens and to book tickets - visit their website here.

      National Trust North East 

        National Trust were the first organisation to test the waters and reopen a number of their parks and gardens which include North East venues Gibside National Trust in Gateshead and Wallington in Northumberland. Cragside National Trust (pictured) in Northumberland has now joined the line up and visitors can book a timed slot to visit. Visitors wishing to head to the gardens need to buy tickets in advance online. 

        Online booking for National Trust will renew each Friday for visits the week ahead. You can read the full statement from National Trust here which has important information about how you book your place.

        Please check specific North East National Trust property websites to check for up to date information and specifics around available toilets and onsite facilities. Please note that all National Trust pay-to-enter properties and venues will remain closed.

        WWT Washington Wetland Centre

          The outdoor attraction and nature reserve near Gateshead reopened in mid-June. Visitors who are looking for things to do can head to the outdoor wildlife reserve and enjoy a day wandering in nature.

          Online pre-booking is essential for all members and non-members. Bookings open every Wednesday at 9am for the following week, and you need to book before midnight the day before you’d like to visit. Find out more and book your tickets.

          Kielder Forest 

            Some toilets and car park facilities at Kielder Forest, Northumberland are now open - however, if you do choose to visit the Kielder area, please be respectful of the local communities and make every endeavour to avoid potentially busy periods. Please read Kielder’s coronavirus statement here before travelling which has detailed information about car parks, public toilets and pre-booking fishing permits at Kielder Forest.

            English Heritage Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

            Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens reopened on 4 July. Visitors are asked to pre-book tickets online. The English Heritage attraction near Newcastle has only reopened it's stunning grounds and gardens at this time, as well as shop and cafe (for takeaway only). The indoor venues - castle and hall - will remain closed until further notice. Make sure to check their safety information and expectations for your visit before you book your tickets.

            Ouseburn Farm

            The urban farm in the heart of Ouseburn Valley is now open to visitors. All your favourite animals and Ouseburn Farm residents are ready to welcome visitors again. There will be a number of new safety measures in place too - including one-way system, timed and ticketed one-hour visitor slots to minimise crowding and numbers, a hatch for takeaway drinks and snacks. Visitors to Ouseburn Farm must pre-book their visit to the farm. There is a ticket fee of £3.50 per person to help support the charity but children will receive a free activity pack on arrival so there is a lot of fun to be had!

            Pet's Corner in Jesmond Dene

            The popular family-friendly attraction in the heart of Jesmond Dene has reopened with slightly revised open hours of 11am - 2pm each day. Pet's Corner is now open and many of your favourite animal residents are back in their Jesmond homes ready to say hello. 

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                Indoor Attractions in NewcastleGateshead

                Life Science Centre, Newcastle city centre: Good to Go

                Open weekends only 

                Life Science Centre in Newcastle reopened after the coronavirus lockdown with a mega Dino Experience exhibition which includes plenty of LEGO® brick fun! The perfect day out for all the family in Newcastle and Life Science Centre is also Good To Go! All visitors (including members) must pre-book their timed tickets online before they visit Life Science Centre. Tickets will be released in two-week blocks. 

                  Beamish Museum, Gateshead: Good to Go

                  Popular for a family day out, Beamish Museum is an award-winning museum in Gateshead which reopened during the summer. All visitors must pre-book their tickets in advance and additional health and safety measures are being put in place to ensure a great but safe visit. Tickets are now available to book for visits up to two weeks in advance - a new wave of tickets will be released after the first have sold out. It is important for all visitors to pre-book their tickets, even members who can just book their free ticket online and show their pass on arrival. Book your tickets to Beamish Museum here

                  Victoria Tunnel Tours, Ouseburn: Good to Go

                  One of Newcastle's most popular things to do reopened during the summer with limited capacity tours. The Victoria Tunnel, which runs beneath the city to its entrance in Ouseburn, host regular and fascinating tours. Visitors can now book on to a tour but please be aware that these tours are extremely popular so please check and book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

                  Newcastle Castle, Newcastle city centre: Good to Go

                  The city's most historic building and attraction, Newcastle Castle and Keep reopened in late July for weekend only visits (Thursdays - Mondays). The popular city centre attraction has taken great care and attention in making sure visitors and staff will stay safe at the same time as enjoying a day out exploring the landmark and discovering more about the history of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Newcastle Castle is now Good to Go too and taking bookings for visits through their website. Buy Tickets Online or call 0191 230 6300 (calls will be answered between Monday - Friday only).

                  Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

                  Tyne and Wear Archive and Museums venues: Good to Go

                  Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums have now reopened eight of the ten venues it manages. The museums and art galleries have implemented a range of safety measures to ensure you have a fabulous visit and can be confident you will be looked after.  These measures include social distancing as a priority, extra cleaning and fewer people admitted. Start planning your visit to Newcastle and Gateshead's museums and art galleries including a number of the region's most popular free attractions. As you are getting used to, the visitor experience will be different to before Covid-19 with many of the TWAM venues introducing ticketed timeslots, but it will still be a fascinating day out! 

                  The Biscuit Factory, Ouseburn

                  The Biscuit Factory art gallery and cafe on the edge of Ouseburn is open from Wednesdays - Sundays every week, 10am - 5pm. This includes their fabulous art gallery and onsite cafe, The Factory Kitchen.  Take a stroll and while away a few hours in the tranquility of this Ouseburn-based, contemporary art gallery. 

                  BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quayside: Good to Go

                  BALTIC on Gateshead Quayside has reopened its gallery spaces and floor-level cafe with a few changes to the popular art gallery. These changes, including pre-booked free tickets, are in place so that you can enjoy BALTIC safely in a relaxed atmosphere and in the first stages of reopening, visitors will only be able to access their Ground Floor gallery and explore the Abel Rodríguez exhibition, as well as BALTIC Shop and BALTIC Kitchen. Tickets are now available to book online.

                  Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Ouseburn: Good to Go

                  Seven Stories in Ouseburn has reopened its independent bookshop and cafe (Thursday - Sunday) to serve you tasty cakes and coffee while you enjoy browsing some of the best children's books, literary gifts and best sellers. The popular, family-friendly museum is based in an old and unique building so will not be able to reopen its exhibitions just yet. However, pop in for a selfie with the Tiger Who Came to Tea and say hello to the friendly staff who are waiting to welcome you back.

                  Lane 7, Newcastle city centre

                  Tickets can now be booked online at Lane7 so you and your household or support bubble can catch up on a night out in Newcastle city centre taking on a competitive game of bowling! Lane7 will close at 10pm. 

                  Mr Mulligan's Space Golf, Newcastle

                   Mr Mulligan's Space Golf in Newcastle city centre is a brilliant crazy golf venue. There are some new safety measures in place so have a look at Mr Mulligan's full reopening statement and make sure you book your tickets online and in advance. The venue will close at 10pm. 

                  The Escape Key, Newcastle

                  If you're looking for things to do with your household or bubble friends then try and escape a panic room at Newcastle's independent and innovative The Escape Key. Book now and be reassured of the new safety measures they have in place.

                  Tynemouth aquarium

                  Indoor Attractions at the coast and in Northumberland

                  Tynemouth Aquarium: Good to Go

                  Head to the coast to see how the residents of Tynemouth Aquarium are doing. The seaside aquarium is open to visitors 5-days a week (closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the time being). You can read the Tynemouth Aquarium Covid-19 Customer Chart to find out more about what is expected on your visit. If you pre-book your tickets online, visitors will receive a 10% discount on admission.

                  Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall: Good to Go

                  Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland are two excellent attractions for a family day out near NewcastleGateshead. Both museums are open to household groups of up to 6 people. You must pre-book your arrival time and buy tickets in advance.

                  Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland: Good to Go

                  Historic Bamburgh Castle, overlooking the spectacular Northumberland coastline, reopened to visitors in July and is open seven days a week. It is strongly recommended that you pre-book your tickets in advance. Although visitors who walk-up will be admitted if there is capacity, those who have pre-booked will have fast-track entry. You can find out more by reading Bamburgh Castle's FAQs here.

                  Alnwick Castle: Good to Go

                  The grounds only at Alnwick Castle have reopened with timed tickets now available to book online. The popular Northumberland historic castle is Good to Go and to further reassure visitors or answer any questions to help you plan your visit, Alnwick Castle invite you to get in touch with them via their website live chat from 9:30am to 4:30pm daily.

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                  Attractions that remain closed in NewcastleGateshead

                  The following major attractions, museums and theatres in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East are still closed but with the hope of reopening soon. They are busy working out the logistics to ensure both visitors and staff can remain safe, and enjoy returning to experience their venue. Please find links to their websites for full, up-to-date information:

                  Attractions and Museums

                  Theatres & Music Venues

                  • Theatre Royal: closed until 24 November 2020.
                  • Tyne Theatre and Opera House: working to reschedule and refund performances. Remains closed.
                  • Northern Stage: closed until further notice.
                  • Live Theatre: closed until further notice.
                  • Sunderland Empire: closed until further notice.
                  • Tyneside Cinema: closed until further notice.
                  • Utilita Arena: performances and concerts have been postponed with up-to-date rescheduled dates published on the arena website. Remains closed.
                  • Sage Gateshead: closed until further notice and working to reschedule performances, they will be in touch with customers who have tickets in due course.
                  • The Cluny: reopened to serve food and drink from 6 July but live music is still on hold.
                  • STACK Newcastle: reopened to serve food and drink from 6 July and now offering live open mic sessions. 
                  • O2 Newcastle City Hall: remains closed and all events have been postponed, rescheduled or cancelled.

                  Entertainment Venues 

                  Many attractions are offering virtual tours and running online events and virtual theatre performances during the period of closure, and you can stay up to date with the digital experiences on offer via the venue's social media channels.

                  We will be monitoring government guidance and will share any new information about access to NewcastleGateshead's venues when this is available, so please check back at a later date.

                  NewcastleGateshead's attractions look forward to welcoming you back when it's safe to do so.

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