Some of NewcastleGateshead's popular museums and attractions have begun to reopen bringing with it a whole raft of 'new' things to do! 

With the reopening of doors will come the introduction of new safety measures to ensure the attractions can safely welcome you and still be within government guidelines and maintain social distancing. If you're looking for a change of scene, things to do with your socially distanced friends at the weekend or planning a safe family day out near NewcastleGateshead, you can be reassured by the steps the attractions are making to balance safety and fun! 

As NewcastleGateshead continues to reopen - expect a staggered approach to the return of art galleries, museums and attractions in the region. A number of visitor attractions are ahead of the game and have announced they will reopen throughout July, other venues with predominately indoor facilities are taking a little longer as they work out their logistics, whilst some outdoor venues are open already and proving popular options for a day out. 

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.

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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 

      The Alnwick Garden reopened on 1st July 2020. 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 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 encouraged 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!

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                Indoor Attractions which will reopen in July

                Tynemouth Aquarium

                Reopens 4 July

                Head to the coast from 4 July to see how the residents of Tynemouth Aquarium are doing. The seaside aquarium will reopen to visitors for 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

                Reopens 4 July

                Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum on Hadrian's Wall are two excellent attractions for a family day out near NewcastleGateshead. Both museums will reopen from 4 July will a phased approach. The venues will be open for only four days a week until August. You must pre-book your arrival time and buy tickets in advance.

                Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

                Reopens 6 July

                Historic Bamburgh Castle, overlooking the spectacular Northumberland coastline, will reopen to visitors from Monday 6 July. 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.

                Beamish Museum

                Reopens on 23 July

                Popular for a family day out, Beamish Museum has been a big miss during the last few months, especially with the glorious weather! The award-winning museum has announced that it will reopen on 23 July! All visitors must pre-book their tickets in advance and additional health and safety measures are being put in place to ensure a great and safe visit. More details are due to follow in early July.

                Victoria Tunnel Tours, Ouseburn

                Tours from 24 July

                One of Newcastle's most popular things to do will reopen in July. The Victoria Tunnel which runs beneath the city to its entrance in Ouseburn run regular and fascinating tours. Visitors can now book on to a tour from 24 July. 

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                Which Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums are reopening and when?

                Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums have announced the reopening dates for eight of the ten venues it manages. The museum service has been asking people what safety measures they would like to see in place when they reopen to help them plan and adapt their buildings in readiness for reopening. Surveys have revealed that many people are keen to return to their local museums and galleries and the most important things that visitors want to see in place when they return are social distancing measures, 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 venues introducing ticketed timeslots, but it will still be a fascinating day out! 

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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

                Art Galleries

                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 are being 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: will reopen for food and drink from 6 July but live music is still on hold.
                • STACK Newcastle: will reopen for food and drink from 6 July but live music is still on hold.
                • 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.

                Top tips for enjoying your return to NewcastleGateshead visitor attractions:

                • Please do so safely, respecting a 2 metre distance with people outside your household. If this isn't possible, adopt the 1m+ social distancing requirement.
                • Have consideration for local communities if you're travelling to a park, garden, coast or attraction outside the city.
                • Follow the guidelines in place by the attraction - it's worth familiarising yourself with specific requirements ahead of your visit, especially checking their open hours which may have changed.
                • 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! 

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