Five best scenic drives near Newcastle: Best North East driving routes near Newcastle

With UK lockdown relaxation allowing travellers more freedom to venture out and about in their car, and domestic holidays set to kick off in July, it is the perfect opportunity to explore the natural beauty the country has to offer.


  • The five best scenic drives near London

Newcastle is a vibrant city in the North East of England, but for those who have spent weeks isolating in the city, a little drive with your family may be a welcome mini-break.

Where are some of the most scenic drives near to Newcastle?

Top five scenic drives near Newcastle


Driving time from Newcastle: 59 minutes

In the heart of Northumberland sits the stunning coastal town of Bamburgh.

The town is famous for its castle, coastlines and variety of walking trails.

Bamburgh Castle itself sits on a 180-foot high basalt crag, boasting unmatchable views of the surrounding seaside landscape.

Meanwhile, the coast of the area is home to a vast expanse of nature, sand dunes and grassland giving way to perfect walking routes.

When staycations are back on the cards from July 4, Bamburgh is also home to a number of caravan and campsites, as well as B&Bs and hotels.

Plus, the village itself is home to a number of quaint, locally run retail, food and beverage businesses, which you can visit once they have all been able to safely reopen.

South Shields

Driving time from Newcastle: 22 minutes

For those seeking a short drive and some fresh sea air, South Shields is the perfect short-haul destination.

The eastern coast town sits at the mouth of the River Tyne and is home to sand dunes, rocky coves, beachside eateries and even its own theme park – Ocean Beach Pleasure Park.

Though some local amenities remain closed for now, South Shields still promises a great day filled with walking and a couple of scenic photo opportunities along its shores.

The area is also rich in nature, with one of the UK’s largest seabird colonies taking up residence at Marsden Bay.

South Shield’s dramatic Magnesian Limestone cliffs known as The Leas complete the coastal backdrop.

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Simonside Hills

Driving time for Newcastle: 47 minutes

Simonside Hills, features in Anya Seaton’s novel ‘Devils Water’, is a vast expanse of craggy ridges boasting spectacular views of the surrounding coastline and the Cheviot Hills.

The sloping beacon is covered in swathes of Heather overlooking Rothbury Forest below.

Thanks to the array of terrains in the area, Simonside Hills is teeming with all kinds of wildlife including Curlew, red grouse, wild goats and red squirrels.

If you fancy stretching your legs, Simonside Hills offers a unique and explorative adventure.


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Kielder Water

Driving time from Newcastle: 58 minutes

In just an hour, drivers can be transported from the hustle and bustle of Newcastle city centre to the stunning waters of Kielder.

Kielder Water is the largest artificial lake in the UK, set within the stunning greenery of Kielder Forest.

The area is also home to its own observatory, perfect for stargazing, as well as a number of open-air arts and architecture installations exploring the area’s varied history.

Unsurprisingly, the forest area also attracts a wide variety of wildlife, most notably Ospreys.


Driving time from Newcastle: 40 minutes

Alnwick is a market town in Northumberland surrounding the famous castle of the same name.

The area is famous for its traditional medieval cobbled streets and architecture, sand the village itself is home to an array of unique shops and cosy eateries.

Though they may not have yet fully reopened, once it is safe to do so, this market town is a perfect day out.

In the meantime, the area is also ideal for walks, with Alnwick gardens boasting a stunning horticultural array and even some of the world’s largest treehouses.

Rolling countryside and luscious greenery serve as a countryside backdrop to this historic town, ideal for a long walk with the family.

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