Had enough sightseeing? Come out to play instead! Newcastle has everything you need for an adventure in the great outdoors. And, if the weather’s being a bit British, there are some fun-packed ways to burn off a few calories indoors instead. And to get your active day off to a great start, our Newcastle hotels are just a short stroll away, so you can save your legs for all that climbing, kayaking, horse-riding and hiking you’ll be doing.
Activities in Newcastle
Sun got its hat on? Head outside for lashings of fresh air and a big dose of fun, with these Newcastle outdoor activities.
Lace up your hiking boots and head to the Rising Sun Country Park, close to our Newcastle (Holystone) hotel. This green oasis boasts 400 acres filled with ponds, woods and grasslands, as well as a farm and countryside centre. The park is a real haven for wildlife, so bird and animal lovers should keep their eyes peeled. There’s also an adventure playground and a permanent orienteering course that will test your map-reading skills to the limit.
Whether you’re lacing up your trainers or cheering someone on, the Great North Run is one of Newcastle's finest outdoor activities. Starting in the centre of Newcastle at around 10.30am, it finishes in South Shields, taking in many of the city’s best sights along the way. Just get there early to find your spot.
Visiting Newcastle in June? It would be a crime to miss The Hoppings - an outdoor activity with a massive helping of Geordie fun. Drawing thousands of thrill-seekers from all over the North East, Europe’s largest travelling funfair is famous for its high-tech, white-knuckle rides. But there are plenty of old favourites too, from bumper cars and helter skelters to hoopla and tombolas.
Fancy a workout in the fresh air alongside stunning views of the river? Jog down to the Newcastle Quayside. With miles of flat paths that are perfect for running, there are also pieces of outdoor gym equipment scattered along the banks of the Tyne to give you a really good full-body workout.
If the weather’s fine, it’s time to hit the beach, Geordie style. Just a 30-minute Metro ride away from central Newcastle, Whitley Bay is a golden-sand, Blue-Flag beach, stretching from Whitley Bay North towards St Mary's Lighthouse with sparkling clean (if chilly) seas to take a dip in. This lovely seaside town is also very popular with ramblers and the walk to Tynemouth is particularly pleasant - it should take around 45 minutes.
From horse riding and golf to indoor climbing in a former church, it’s amazing what you can get up to indoors in Newcastle.
Head back from your Newcastle break having learnt a new skill, by taking a horse-riding lesson at the Stepney Bank Stables. This indoor equestrian centre in the Ouseburn Valley is perfect for experienced riders and total beginners, and you can either pay for a private lesson or join a group one. And, if you’re staying at the Premier Inn City Centre Millennium Bridge hotel, you’re in luck - the stables are just a seven-minute walk away.
Prefer to watch horses rather than getting on one yourself? A day (or evening) at the races should be just the ticket. Get dressed up in your finery and head to High Gosforth Park to find Newcastle Racecourse, one of the most popular flat tracks in the UK. With 30 horse racing fixtures throughout the year, you can watch from the comfort of one of the indoor lounges, drink in hand.
It’s golf, Jim, but not as we know it. For a round with a difference, head to Mr Mulligan’s Space Golf on Newgate Street in the city centre. With challenging holes to test your putting skills, neon lights and a theme that’s out of this world, it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. Open until midnight it also boasts a cool bar and restaurant - and they’ll even bring drinks over to you while you play.
A short hop from the city centre and just a walk from the Byker Metro station is the Newcastle Climbing Centre - and it’s one of the best indoor climbing venues in the UK. What makes it so special? The building, for starters! The listed former church of St Marks provides a spectacular backdrop to all the climbing and bouldering that goes in within. Its high ceilings allow for climbs of 15 metres - and there’s a beautiful mezzanine viewing area where you can watch all the action, too.
Flat and compact, Newcastle is a fabulous walking city with plenty to see as you stroll. But to really get the most of your walks, why not join a guided tour?
Newcastle City Guides offers a programme of over 40 different heritage walks, covering the city centre as well as the suburbs. With knowledgeable guides, you’ll find out all about the history and culture of the places you see. They’re usually held on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings from April until October and cost around £5 per adult.
If it’s too rainy for a walk outside, what about a walk underneath the city? Built in 1842 to transport coal, the Victoria Tunnel runs from the Town Moor to the Tyne. Take a tour of the underground to discover how this wagonway worked and find out how the tunnel was used as an air-raid shelter during the war.
Did you know you that the city has its very own walk of fame? Head down to the Newcastle Quayside where you can find Geordie stars immortalised on the paving stones as you stroll. Can you find Ant and Dec or Alan Shearer? Whoever you discover, make sure you look up from time to time to admire the views of the Tyne.
With picturesque cycling routes and rides suitable for all the family, Newcastle is a great place to take to two wheels.
No bike? No problem. Head to The Cycle Hub on the Newcastle Quayside where you can hire a top-of-the-range set of wheels, along with helmets and locks, for around £25 per day. The Hub makes an excellent traffic-free starting and finish point for your rides - and you can refuel with coffee and cake in the cafe when you give the bike back.
Once you’re all kitted out, feel the wind in your hair as you cycle along the Tyne. With its flat paths and dedicated cycle routes, it’s perfect for novices - and if you’re feeling energetic, you can even cycle all the way from the city centre to the pretty coastal towns of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay. Or take a leisurely ride along the Ouseburn Valley, through Heaton Park and Jesmond Dene.