Autumn in the North East

The nights may be drawing in and summer gone but for Lucy and I, Autumn is always our most favourite season. It delivers so many gifts from the glorious Autumn colours, to misty mornings and long walks in the fresh air with the crunch of leaves underfoot. And of course, we were married in the month of October. In the North East we do Autumn wonderfully and there is such an array of things to enjoy for all ages. Photo credit: Autumn in Northumberland.

Here is just a taste of what you can enjoy:

1. So let us begin by wrapping a scarf about our necks and getting outdoors and heading to the wonderful Hauxley Nature Reserve just south of Amble. On the morning of Saturday 6th October why not take the chance to improve your identification of Autumn birds as you taken round the reserve by their experts. Make sure to wear suitable clothing and footwear. If you have a pair of binoculars feel free to bring along, as well as notebook and pen. Telescopes and guidebooks are provided. 

10:00am - 12:00pm with £5 registration

Photo credit:

2. Autumn always inspires us to read more and cosy up by the fire with a good book. What could be more perfect then than Durham’s annual book festival. Held from the 6th - 14th October the festival takes place in an array of wonderful venues around the city including Durham’s Town Hall, spectacular Cathedral and the Gala Theatre. From poets to politicians, comedians to cows, there is literally something for everyone. So let yourself be inspired by a host of writers, artists and thinkers.

Photo Credit:

3. We love an Autumn fair and there are so many to choose from across the North East. So why not make a day of it and head up to Spittal in North Northumberland. They are hosting their annual Autumn fair on Saturday 14th October at St Paul’s Church Hall. All the fabulous stalls, raffle and tombola you would expect at such an occasion. As well as teas, coffee and refreshments. 

11:00am - 3:00pm

Photo Credit:

4. Lets get back outside. Autumn is the season for foraging so let’s go off on one. Sunday 14th October offers the opportunity to learn about wild food and what is edible, poisonous and what feasts you can prepare with your foraged bounty. For this foraging trip that takes place at Harehope Quarry just outside the beautiful Weardale village of Frosterley. You will forage for fruits, roots, nuts and wild mushrooms and indulge in a spot of all important tasting. 

Session runs 1:30 - 3:30pm  for more info:

Photo Credit:

5. Autumn certainly inspires us to be that bit more creative and here is something with a great twist. On the 20th and 27th October the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead are hosting the wonderfully sounding “Paint and Sip Party” which entail:

“Create your own masterpiece whilst socialising and painting, all the whole guided by our expert artists in a fun and casual environment”.

Drinks, snacks and music, plus all materials and equipment are provided. In under two hours you will have your own masterpiece to take home and keep forever.

Count us in we say! 

2:30 - 4:30pm £9.95 per class

Photo Credit:

6.Of course October brings us Halloween! And the ever popular fabulous folk from the Little Cat Theatre Company once again bring their Scary Tales to life at Tynemouth Priory and Castle. Paul can voice from last years event that this is certainly not for the faint hearted and lives up to its name in fabulous fashion. 

This year Scary Tales runs from 26th October through to Halloween itself on the 31st. 

“For centuries the castle and priory have been threatened with attack. The spirits will NOT allow their scared place to be taken. One of their number can change form to protect them all. Visitors will NEVER have needed to be this brave”.

Tours 6:00pm, 7:30pm and 9:00pm and last approximately one hour. Over 8’s only and not suitable for people of a nervous disposition.

Photo Credit:

7. If you still have the desire to be scared then another fabulous North East location, Ouseburn’s Victoria Tunnel has a terrifying treat. Join them on Saturday 27th October for “ Terror in the Tunnel”. This is now their second year of hosting a Halloween event and in 2017 “232 souls ventured into almost complete darkness that night , unaware of the the terrifying events that were to unfold”.

What hidden terrors lie await in 2018?????????

Tour slots are selling fast so hurry to book at

Photo Credit:

8. Halloween is just one of the many customs of Autumn but if you would like to find out more of the customs of the seasons, on Thursday 1st November at Headlam Hall Hotel, 10 miles from Shildon, they are holding "The Imagery of an Autumn Festival”. Gail Nina Anderson who is a freelance art historian will give an illustrated talk looking at “the seasonal celebrations from high art to commercial merchandising, local customs and delightful village postcards in a journey to explore the spooky atmosphere that heralds the coming of winter and the many ways we challenge, embrace and picture it”. 

£40 (includes coffee on arrival, two course lunch with a glass of wine).

Photo Credit:

9. Autumn certainly seems a celebration so let’s have a party. At Kielder Camping and Caravan site they host “The People’s Star Party” over the 2nd and 3rd of November. As clocks have gone back and the days shorter here in Northumberland's dark sky territory you will looking to the stars. 

Over two nights stargazers of all abilities are invited to experience (weather permitting) Kielder’s starry skies. Viewing the stars over both nights, free talks and solar observing. Telescopes and expert guidance are provided. You are advised to use red lights rather than white torches to maintain the night vision. 

For more information and to book places visit

Photo Credit:

10. And lastly - go out and enjoy Autumn. Embrace it, touch it, smell it. Go out into the countryside or your local park and just enjoy the beautiful colours, play conkers, crunch through the fallen leaves, collect some to take home and press in a scrapbook as a happy memory of a lovely Autumn walk. It’s a wonderful season and so many places in the North East to enjoy it. Get out there before it’s gone for another year x.

Photo Credit: