Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
8:00 AM 4th February 2021

Home-grown Tourism – The North East

UK travel destinations have not been slow to take advantage of the continuing lockdown, positioning their various resorts and places of interest, to ensure that they are poised to capitalise on people’s needs for a ‘quick break’ as soon as things improve.

If you are looking for some travel inspiration around the North East, then visit, the browse-and-book tool that guides you along the coast and everything it has to offer, from walking routes and heritage sites to places to stay and family attractions.

You can plan a trip, build an itinerary and book directly with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, pubs and accommodation providers including hotels, B&Bs and campsites.

Durham Coast
Durham Coast
“With its dramatic views across the North Sea, inspiring historical and geographical features, this lesser-known stretch of coastline is ideal for escaping the crowds,” said Samantha Richardson, Director National Coastal Tourism Academy which delivers the Discover England-funded ‘England’s Coast’ project.

“Star-gaze under its dark skies, explore the small harbour town of Seaham with its stunning cliff-top views or feast on Pacific oysters and world-famous Craster kippers, this coastline is one of our hidden gems,” she added.

Here are some highlights coming to the region this year, and ways to plan your trip:

Lumiere Light Festival returns to Durham
The UK’s largest light festival, Lumiere, is set to illuminate the city once again for four nights from 18 - 21 November 2021. Each Lumiere festival invites local and international artists to design illuminations which will transform the city’s urban spaces and familiar public buildings.

This year, anyone over 18 in the UK can apply and suggest their dazzling idea for a light-based piece of artwork to be displayed at this magical exhibition.

Find all the details here:

Book with England’s Coast: Stay at nearby five-star Seaham Hall on the Durham Heritage Coast and rest your head in one of the spacious suites
Seaham Hall Hotel
Seaham Hall Hotel
...relax in the award-winning spa and dine on the finest local ingredients in The Dining Room. B&B from £175 per night for two, with use of the spa -

A new coastal hub and café for Crimdon Dene, Hartlepool

An exciting boost for the English coast in 2021, a new community hub and café at Crimdon Dene is set to open in the summer. With much-needed funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and Durham County Council, locals and visitors from further afield will soon be able to enjoy the wide sandy beach and scenic views towards Hartlepool and the Cleveland Hills, along with the colony of little terns which migrate from West Africa to breed each summer. Offering space for volunteers and community groups, the hub will also feature an area for schoolchildren, who will learn all about Crimdon’s unique coastal wildlife.

Book with England’s Coast: Stay at the Crimdon Dene Holiday Park, featuring a great range of family facilities, including a heated indoor pool, outdoor play park and all-weather sports court. From £56 pp per night -

Get outdoors at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland

Clear your mind and enjoy the fresh air and outdoor experience of the Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland, home to northern Europe's largest man-made lake and England's largest forest.

Ideal for nature lovers, water sports enthusiasts, explorers, walkers, cyclists and families, you can stargaze under the darkest night skies in England, visit the Water Birds of Prey centre, take a ferry around the Kielder Water, stretching for 27 miles, or experience the new sculpture -Timelapse, created by artist David Rickard - designed to reflect the passage of time.

Kielder Water & Forest Park is also an ideal base for exploring the rest of Northumberland, Cumbria, Hadrian's Wall Country and the Scottish Borders.

Plan an itinerary in the region with England’s Coast:

Epic live production Kynren returns to Bishop Auckland
The UK’s biggest live action show returns this year and promises a host of attractions and immersive experiences for visitors to enjoy. Kynren – an Epic Tale of England - was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the event is set to return every Saturday from 7 August to 11 September 2021 at a huge site in Bishop Auckland, against the backdrop of Auckland Castle.

This year, Kynren will reveal a special new addition, The Park, which will feature a maze, a horse stunt show with chariot races, jousting and even dragons (!), a mini explorers’ adventure playground, live music on the lake and extra dining experiences. Learn more here.

Book with England’s Coast: Stay at nearby Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel, an ivy-covered Grade II listed country house set in walled grounds with lawns and woodlands, less than a mile away from the East Durham Heritage coast. Rooms from £70 per night -

The North East seafood trail
From traditionally smoked kippers to oyster beds dating back to 1381, Northumberland’s seafood specialties are a must-try. At the north of the county lies Ross, part of the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve, and where the Sutherland family today farm their ‘Lindisfarne’ Pacific Oysters.

This secluded part of the coast has been home to oyster beds since the late 1300s. The world-famous Craster kipper is smoked in Northumberland at L Robson and Sons smokehouse in Craster and, further up the coast in Seahouses, is Swallowfish – another excellent smokehouse which has been in business since 1843.

They use the same methods of smoking their cod, haddock, kippers and salmon as they did back then, and the shop itself is a real delight to visit, with old photos and a smorgasbord of fish and shellfish.

Plan a trip to the seafood coast with England’s Coast:

England’s Coast advises visitors to adhere to the national lockdown and to plan their travels for post-lockdown, when it is safe to do so. Details can be found on the Gov UK website: