It’s now a week till the big day and for many, we may be a bit apprehensive about letting ourselves get excited given what happened last year. So, for anyone still not quite in the festive mood, here is a list of places you could visit over the next week, or between Christmas and new year which will hopefully help you get ding dong merrily on high!

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Beamish Museum, County Durham

Beamish is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but right now it is really special. Most of the houses and the main 1940 town are fully decorated for Christmas in the historic style which will absolutely get you in the mood.

Beamish Museum at Christmas

You need to prebook your timeslot before visiting which you can do on their website here.

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Another incredible place to visit regardless of the season. However, the trees and decorations in there look absolutely INSANE! If I had any time to visit I absolutely would. I imagine it is a perfect place to get excited for the big day.

At Bamburgh, you don’t have to pre-book timeslots or tickets. But, if it is busy they could turn you away if you haven’t already bought your ticket for that day so it is recommended to pre-book.

You can do so on their website.

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

Unfortunately, this is a place I am yet to visit but it is high on my list. Although it is a little expensive to get in, it is something straight from a fairy tale! And their tree is looking absolutely amazing.

Their tickets do usually sell out so if you are wanting to visit I would get in quick and get booked up. Pre-booking is essential so have a look for your tickets now on their website.

Castle Howard Postcode: YO60 7DA

Spanish City, Whitley Bay

A recent discovery of mine is the fairly recently refurbished Spanish City in Whitley Bay. We went through Christmas shopping and it was an ideal spot for some shopping. And they have a huge tree in the centre which looks absolutely amazing.

Spanish City, Whitley Bay

You don’t need to pre-book or anything however you will need a mask on while inside unless exempt. We parked at the car park there and it wasn’t very expensive (I think it was £3 all day) and felt really safe. You could also pay on the card which was a bonus!

Spanish City Postcode: NE26 1BG

Newcastle Christmas Market, Newcastle City Centre

Although it is a lot smaller than it has been in the past, Newcastle’s city centre Christmas market around Monument looks so festive. And what’s Christmas without visiting a market?

While you’re there you could always have a look at Fenwicks Window and see their Shaun the Sheep display, or go ice skating at the open-air ice rink beside the Centre of Life.

Hadrians Tipi, Stack Seaburn

The Tipi at the Stack Seaburn is such a cosy place. Sitting by the fire with a mulled wine or hot chocolate is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. There’s also one at the Stack in Newcastle, but since this is Mackem Life and not Geordie Life, I had to plug the Sunderland one first!

Stack Seaburn

They aren’t taking bookings anymore and are operating on a walk-in basis only.

Alnwick Christmas Light Trail, The Alnwick Gardens

We visited this attraction last year as it was an outside event and technically the 6 of us were able to visit it without breaking the rules. It was a little expensive but it was pretty sweet and ideal if you have little ones.

The Alnwick Christmas Light Trail

You do need to pre-book this one and book a timeslot which you can do so through their website here.

But if you want an honest review and all the details, have a click on my blog from visiting last year.

The Alnwick Gardens Postcode: NE66 1YU

Cragside National Trust, Northumberland

Winter is the only season I haven’t visited Cragside since joining the National Trust last Christmas. The house has all been decorated and it is now reopened after being closed due to damage from Storm Arwen.

Cragside National Trust

You don’t need to pre-book at all with Cragside now so you can just turn up. It is also running on its winter open hours and prices so it is a little cheaper than in the summer. You can check their prices and open times on their website.

Cragside Postcode: NE65 7PX

The Bowes Museum, County Durham

The Bowes Museum is another place I am yet to get to. It looks like an amazing place to visit full of culture which I absolutely love! But this time of the year there is an even more amazing reason to visit, their Christmas decorations! Just look at that tree!

Your tickets must be pre-booked in advance with a timeslot which you can do on their website. It is also a little expensive however I have heard amazing reviews from it.

You could also visit Santa’s grotto, or this weekend (18th and 19th December) there will be a Christmas market on which you can visit too. Information about the tickets for that is also available on their website.

Bowes Musem Postcode: DL12 8NP

Christmas at Gibside, Gateshead

From the photos I’ve seen this does look like a really good event, very similar to the Alnwick Christmas Light Trail. However, it is a lot more expensive. It is £18 for adults which I think is a little steep. Especially for families to be paying! And National Trust members only get their parking for free, they don’t get any kind of discount on their tickets.

You can find out more information about booking and what the ticket price includes on their website. Tickets for the event must be booked in advance and they do predict it will sell out so get in quick.

You can also read my guide to Gibside here on Mackem Life.

Gibside Postcode: NE16 6BG

I hope you have enjoyed this post and found some useful locations to help you get into the Christmas Mood! It is going to be a strange and wary one for us all so don’t forget to keep checking ahead with the venues about their up to date covid information, wear your masks and do your best to stick to the rules!

Stay Safe and Merry Christmas!

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