things to do in birtley

Welcome, fellow wanderlust souls! Nestled between Newcastle upon Tyne and Durham City is the quaint town of Birtley. Drenched in rich history, Birtley is an ideal location to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. So let’s dive into the charming avenues of this town, shall we?

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Popular Tourist Attractions in Birtley

Angel of the North

Standing tall on the outskirts of Birtley, the Angel of the North is an awe-inspiring piece of modern art. With wings that are wider than a Boeing 747, it watches over the town like a guardian. When the wind kisses its steel surface, a symphony of whispers speaks stories of history and progression.

Bowes Railway Museum

A hop, skip, and a jump away is the Bowes Railway Museum. It’s like taking a trip down memory lane on a locomotive. Learn about the intriguing history of rail and coal, and soak in the nostalgia. Check out the workshops, or take the whole family on a train ride – toot toot!

St Joseph’s Church

A testament to architectural magnificence, St Joseph’s Church is a beacon of spirituality and peace. Its stained-glass windows are a kaleidoscope of colours that dance with the sun. Take a moment to appreciate the tranquility it offers amidst the cacophony of daily life.

Ravensworth Castle

The remnants of a majestic past, Ravensworth Castle invites you into an era of knights and nobility. Take a leisurely stroll through its grounds, and picture the opulent banquets that would have been hosted here.

Top Things to Do in Birtley

Birtley Golf Club

Fancy a round of golf? The verdant green of Birtley Golf Club welcomes both novices and seasoned players. Perfect your swing and revel in the serenity that only a well-manicured course can provide.

Herrington Country Park

Ah, the great outdoors! A cornucopia of trails, lakes, and nature – Herrington Country Park is an emerald treasure. Strap on your hiking boots, or take a languid picnic by the water.

Thought Foundation

This creative community space is a hodgepodge of art, culture, and innovation. Attend workshops, explore the art gallery, or enjoy a sumptuous meal at the café.

Arch2 Brewery & Bar

What’s a visit to the UK without relishing a pint? Discover the art of brewing at Arch2 Brewery & Bar, and sample their tantalizing selection of craft beers.

Must-See Places in Birtley

Birkheads Secret Gardens

Unwind at the Birkheads Secret Gardens, a labyrinth of greenery that takes you into another realm. It’s a tapestry woven with flowers, herbs, and fairy-tale charm.

Washington Wetland Centre

Bond with nature at the Washington Wetland Centre. With exotic birds and wildlife, it’s an experience that leaves you with an appreciation for the biodiversity of our planet.

Wrekenton Methodist Community Church

Built over a century ago, this church is a timeless beauty. Appreciate the architectural nuances and enjoy the community events hosted here.

Saltwell Park

Saltwell Park is a park-lover’s utopia. With boating lakes, stunning gardens, and the magnificent Saltwell Towers, you’d want to move in!

Things to Do in Birtley for First-Time Visitors

Beamish Museum

An open-air museum where you can live history! From tram rides to historic buildings, Beamish Museum transports you into the pages of a history book.

Low Fell Food Market

Indulge in the local flavors at the Low Fell Food Market. From fresh produce to homemade delicacies, your taste buds will thank you.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

No trip is complete without a visit to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Its modern design against the backdrop of the River Tyne is a sight to behold, especially when lit up at night.

Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre is your playground. From rock climbing to orienteering, your thirst for adventure will surely be quenched.

Things to Do in Birtley for Families

Seven Stories

Introduce your children to the magical world of stories at Seven Stories. With interactive exhibits and a treasure trove of children’s literature, it’s a perfect place for a family day out.

Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

A family picnic by the beach, coupled with a visit to a fascinating lighthouse – sounds like a perfect day, doesn’t it? That’s what awaits you at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas.

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

A museum, a winter garden, a planetarium – it’s three attractions in one at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens!

Alpaca Alpaca At Lea Farm

Ever wanted to walk an alpaca? At Alpaca Alpaca At Lea Farm, not only can you do that, but you also get to feed and interact with these adorable creatures.

Things to Do in Birtley for Couples

Roseberry Topping

Picture this – you and your partner, a picnic, and panoramic views at the top of Roseberry Topping. Sounds like a perfect date, doesn’t it?

The Laing Art Gallery

Immerse yourselves in the world of art at The Laing Art Gallery. Enjoy a quiet, artistic date amidst stunning masterpieces.

Sage Gateshead

Music brings people closer. At Sage Gateshead, enjoy a concert in an acoustically superior venue and make beautiful memories.

The Biscuit Factory

Spend a delightful day exploring the UK’s largest independent contemporary art, craft & design gallery. A must-visit for every art-loving couple.

Things to Do in Birtley on a Budget

Chopwell Woodland Park

Chopwell Woodland Park is an oasis of tranquility. A walk amongst the towering trees is a refreshing, budget-friendly escape.

Bessie Surtees House

Step back in time by visiting this beautiful, historic house for free. It’s a peek into the domestic architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Newcastle City Marina

Soak in the scenic views of the river Tyne. A leisurely stroll here won’t cost a penny and it’s priceless for the soul.

Great North Museum

Explore history, natural science, archaeology, and more at the Great North Museum. Admission is free, and the experience is priceless.

Best Day Trips from Birtley

Durham Cathedral

Just a short drive away, the magnificent Durham Cathedral is an architectural marvel. Explore its stunning interiors and fascinating history.

Northumberland National Park

Nature’s masterpiece, Northumberland National Park, offers an array of outdoor activities. From stargazing to hiking, it’s worth every moment.

Alnwick Castle

Famous as the Hogwarts from Harry Potter, Alnwick Castle promises a day full of fun, history, and magic.

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

A serene getaway, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is steeped in history. Discover the enchanting beauty of this spiritual place.

Hidden Gems in Birtley

Shibdon Pond

Birdwatchers, rejoice! Shibdon Pond is a hidden gem, teeming with birdlife. A quiet spot to appreciate nature’s wonders.

Birtley Greenway

This charming trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride. A tranquil retreat right in the heart of Birtley.

Birtley Brickworks

The remnants of Birtley Brickworks is a slice of industrial history. A photogenic spot that’s usually overlooked by tourists.

Barley Mow Park

A peaceful park away from the crowd, Barley Mow Park is an ideal place for a quiet picnic or a relaxing walk.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Places in Birtley


Experience the grandeur of the Georgian age at Gibside. Hike through the estate or unwind with a picnic amidst stunning landscapes.

Lamesley Meadows

At Lamesley Meadows, discover the beauty of English countryside. From vibrant wildflowers to diverse bird species, it’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Path Head Water Mill

Tucked away from the main road, this fully operational water mill offers an insight into our industrial heritage. A great spot for a tranquil walk.

Staiths South Bank

This award-winning residential area is an architectural delight. Enjoy a stroll along the river and relish the view from the Dunston Staiths.

Best Places to Eat in Birtley

Masala Enclave

Experience the rich, aromatic flavors of Indian cuisine at Masala Enclave. A gastronomical journey that’s a delight for the senses.

Thai Orchid

Authentic Thai flavors come alive at Thai Orchid. Their delicious curries are a love letter to your palate.

Longhorns Barbecue Smokehouse

Sink your teeth into the succulent, smoky goodness at Longhorns Barbecue Smokehouse. It’s a meat-lover’s paradise!

The Italian Farmhouse

Enjoy a slice of Italy at The Italian Farmhouse. Their wood-fired pizzas and delectable pasta dishes are bellissimo!

Must-See Sporting Teams in Birtley

Birtley Town FC

Catch a local football match at the Birtley Town FC. The energetic atmosphere and the community spirit are infectious.

Birtley Swimming Club

Experience the excitement of a swimming competition at the Birtley Swimming Club. The club has nurtured numerous champions, making it a must-visit for sports enthusiasts.

Birtley Boxing Club

Watch a thrilling boxing match at Birtley Boxing Club. Renowned for producing international boxers, it offers an exhilarating sporting experience.

Gateshead Fell Cricket Club

A short drive away, Gateshead Fell Cricket Club offers the quintessential English cricket experience. Whether you’re a fan or not, the match will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Night-Life in Birtley

The Three Tuns

Step into the warmth of The Three Tuns. With its cosy ambiance, selection of drinks, and friendly service, it’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

The Barley Mow Inn

Experience the quintessential British pub culture at The Barley Mow Inn. A pint of ale, lively conversation, and perhaps a game of darts – sounds like a good night!

The Bowes Incline Hotel

For a quiet drink or a hearty meal, head to The Bowes Incline Hotel. Their Sunday roast is the talk of the town!

The Grey Horse

A traditional local pub, The Grey Horse offers a selection of cask ales and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Here’s to a fun-filled evening!

In conclusion, Birtley, with its delightful mix of history, art, nature, and gastronomy, is an unsung hero of the North East of England. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a nature enthusiast, or simply a traveler seeking new experiences, Birtley offers a plethora of attractions. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and set out for an unforgettable journey to Birtley. It’s high time this gem got the recognition it deserves! So, until next time, safe travels, folks!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to reach Birtley?

Birtley is easily accessible by road and rail. If you’re driving, it lies just off the A1 motorway. The nearest train station is in Chester-le-Street, a few miles away.

What’s the best time to visit Birtley?

The best time to visit Birtley is during the summer months (June – August) when the weather is mild and pleasant. The winter can be quite cold, but it offers a different kind of beauty.

Is Birtley safe for tourists?

Yes, Birtley is generally safe for tourists. Like any other place, it is always advisable to take normal precautions, especially when venturing out at night.

Can I visit Birtley on a budget?

Absolutely! Birtley offers a variety of experiences that won’t break the bank. From free attractions like Bessie Surtees House to budget-friendly activities at Chopwell Woodland Park, there’s something for everyone.

Are there family-friendly activities in Birtley?

Yes, Birtley is perfect for families. Attractions like the Seven Stories and the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens cater to all age groups.

What cuisine is Birtley known for?

Birtley has a diverse food scene. From traditional British fare to Indian and Thai cuisines, you’ll find a variety of flavors to tantalize your palate.

What are some hidden gems in Birtley?

Hidden gems in Birtley include Shibdon Pond, Birtley Greenway, Birtley Brickworks, and Barley Mow Park. These lesser-known spots offer a unique, off-the-beaten-path experience.

Are there sports teams I can watch in Birtley?

Yes, Birtley is home to several sports teams. You can catch a match at Birtley Town FC, Birtley Swimming Club, Birtley Boxing Club, or Gateshead Fell Cricket Club.

What’s the nightlife like in Birtley?

Birtley’s nightlife offers a cosy, community-driven experience. You can enjoy a drink at local pubs like The Three Tuns or The Barley Mow Inn, or have a meal at The Bowes Incline Hotel.

What’s the best way to get around Birtley?

Birtley is a small town and can easily be explored on foot. For longer distances, there are local bus services and taxis available.

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