Lovely Samantha from North East Family Fun posted on Facebook today that she's going to be without a car for the summer holidays and wanted suggestions of things she could do and places she could go on public transport. Now as someone who's never driven and is quite happy with bus, train, Metro and Uber not having a car has never been an issue for me, I have an assistant for my business but even then, mostly I manage really well! I've been everywhere on the bus and train, no boundaries for this travel blogger so here are 10 great days out by public transport, many of which are dog friendly.
1. Seahouses - if you like a good bus journey then this is the one for you, the X18 from Newcastle winds it's way around the North East Coast through pretty little villages at a gentle pace, it's time to take in your surroundings and maybe have a packed picnic lunch, yes it might take a couple of hours but if you have your music in your ears and it's a lovely day it's one of my most favourite bus journeys and you get to have a day in one of the prettiest coastal villages around, Seahouses is a delight for children and adults alike, there's no finer a 3 mile walk than that from Seahouses to Bamburgh along the beach.
2. Stockton - A slightly shorter bus journey at just under an hour on the X10 gets you to a handsome shopping town with a myriad of independent shops as well as an exceedingly dog friendly town, and if all of that shopping has not tired you out you can wander down to the riverside for a pretty walk in the sunshine.
3. Beamish Museum - Bus number 28, the Waggonway gets you from Newcastle to Beamish in a couple of hours, yes not the quickest but you can have your picnic on the way and you even get a cheaper ticket if you show them your bus ticket upon entry. The best thing about Beamish? Pay once and come as often as you want during the year.
4. Morpeth - on the train as it only takes 15 -20 minutes and if you have a railcard it's cheaper to take a child, I love our railcard! Morpeth is one of my most favourite market towns and in the summer heat Carlisle park is the place to hang out, one of the few parks with an outdoor pool for the kids which is open from late May until September oh and you must check out the myriad of charity shops on offer, I have had the best designer bargains from the charity shops of Morpeth.
5. Tynemouth - on the Metro from Newcastle, takes around half an hour and it's just my favourite place to spend the day in summer, Tynemouth Priory along with enough sandy beaches to keep the kids happy and lots of dog friendly shops and eateries, my favourites Lola Jeans and for shopping Children of the Revolution owned by my fabulous friend Jacqui and her hubby, Looby loves a mooch in Children of the Revolution.
6. Edinburgh - Obviously this one is on the train but if you book in advance you can get some really keenly priced tickets, Edinburgh is of course my favourite second city, the place I try to spend as much time as I can and in the summer it comes alive when the festival is on, if you love the hustle and bustle of a busy city combined with history, culture and awe inspiring beauty this should be the day out you have this summer.
7. Durham - On the train from Newcastle it takes around 15 minutes but it's a city like no other, it's history and culture are it's most important features and it's imposing cathedral has three hundred steps tempting you to climb and see the views, something I've not attempted yet but this summer the goal is mine.
8. Newburn Riverside Country Park, take bus number 22 from Newcastle city centre and ask to get off nearest to the park, then take a walk along the waggon way to Wylam, you can either then get the train back to Newcastle or walk back to Newburn on the other side of the river, it's a 7.5 mile round trip walk but there are great pubs along the way both called The Boathouse. Holly Bobbins and I love this particular walk, it's mainly flat so not too much effort but by the end you will definitely have earned a tasty meal and sparkling beverage.
9. Hexham on the train is another of my favourite jaunts, it takes half an hour and you end up in another pretty market town, one which hosts it's own handsome abbey, a lovely park to entertain the kids, quaint shops and tasty coffee houses, oh and don't forget to take a visit to Hexham Gaol, a great way to fill in a couple of hours, especially if it's a famous British summers rainy day.
10. York on the train takes just under an hour from Newcastle and there are so many museums, attractions, parks and gardens that even the child with the lowest boredom threshold in the north would be entertained. There's just no shortage of things to do and if you've never been before then I'd stay over night because it's just a big bumper fun filled type of city with history at the heart of it, so much learning it'll slip under the skin of your children like osmosis, they'll soak it all up under the guise of having too much fun and you can congratulate yourself on your top parenting skills.
So there you go, it's not such a bad life without a car, in fact I would go so far as to say that every day is an adventure, you get so much thinking time on the bus, I love long journeys for planning my next move and going on public transport is Holly Bobbins favourite thing, in fact I think she loves the bus more than I do!