I am proud to be a Northern Lass, and our local area has so many wonderful places to explore and some great events going on throughout the summer months. Here, I have collated what I think to be some of the best outdoor events in the North East this summer. From festivals, to outdoor theatre, whether you are looking for a day out for the whole family, or a day out with friends our region has some amazing events going on this summer!
A perfect addition to an outdoor event this summer is an Afternoon Tea from Sweet Art Cakes. All homemade, with quality ingredients, all you need to do is add the Prosecco.
Enjoy freshly prepared dainty finger sandwiches, mini quiche; alongside plenty of sweet treats including scone with jam and clotted cream, cupcakes from my own pudding inspired range and macarons.
All will come to you packed beautifully in picnic baskets, complete with cool packs to ensure that your treats stay cool.
Find the full menu selections at the bottom of this blog post.
PRIDE – 19th – 21st July 2019
ONE OF the UK’s leading LGBT+ festivals returns to the North East this summer, with its most ambitious event to date.
Organisers of the Northern Pride Festival, formerly known as Newcastle Pride, have revealed that this year’s weekend event will be spread across two locations for the very first time.
The Town Moor will be home to the Festival Arena, which will host the big name acts still to be announced on the main stage, as well as the fun fair and platinum bar and garden.
And across the moor, Exhibition Park will house the Community Village, which includes the Family and Youth Zone, Health and Wellbeing Zone and the Rainbow Village, with more still to be added.
The change in site location aims to accommodate the growing festival, which was attended by more than 78,000 visitors last year – with 20,000 marching in the parade – and which has been selected as the host for UK Pride in 2020.
The festival is free to attend but Platinum Passes, which have replaced last year’s VIP and Golden Circle tickets – are on sale at www.northern-pride.com/tickets for those who want to secure a prime viewing spot and access to a private bar, marquee and posh toilets.
SIRF – Stockton International Riverside Festival – 1st – 4th August
The Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) is an annual free outdoor arts and street theatre festival in Stockton-on-Tees. In 2017 the festival celebrated its 30th year, helping to cement its position as one of the world’s oldest and best international outdoor art festivals.
Taking place over 4 days in early August, it attracts international artists performing to thousands of spectators each year. It showcases outstanding international street theatre, dance, circus and music acts with a packed programme of shows for all the family.
SIRF is a mainly free festival, although some shows are ticketed and pre booking is recommended.
Theatre in the Park: David Walliams Gangsta Granny or Quentin Blakes Mister Magnolia – 15th and 16th August
Head down to Preston Park this summer for an outdoor theatre festival in the Bandstand Garden.
Folksy Theatre presents Quentin Blakes Mister Magnolia with bold characters, live music, puppetry and audience interaction
Heartbreak Productions presents David Walliams, Gangsta Granny.
Heartbreak Productions invites you to share in this exciting escapade, a David Walliams’ best seller adapted for the outdoor stage. Join us, Ben, and his Gangsta Granny on their grandest adventure full of forbidden fun. It could be very hungry work so come prepared with picnics and appropriate outdoor gear.
Tickets must be pre-booked online.
Adult £16 | Concession £11 | Family (2A+2C) £46
Festival of Thrift – 14th and 15th September
Festival of Thrift – 14th and 15th September
The first Festival took place in 2013 at Lingfield Point in Darlington, making a big impact regionally and nationally, with 27,000 visitors, 17,000 more than expected.
We have won a multitude of awards since starting out, including Best Event Teesside (in 2015 and 2017), Gold as North East Tourism Event of the Year and the Observer Ethical Awards for Arts and Culture, recognising the fact that artists are embedded in the programme as agents for social change.
The Festival’s ethos:
Build a unique and distinctive, fun, sustainable national event which draws positive media attention to our partners, Tees Valley and the North East.
Celebrate the heritage and contribute to the future prosperity of Tees Valley and its industry.
Ensure wider economic benefit through encouraging extended visitor spend on travel, accommodation, restaurants and businesses.
Contribute to community cohesion through targeting communities with less access to culture.
Highlight the skills and creativity of the region’s artists and craftspeople, to inspire people of all ages to learn old ways, and find new ways to be creative in their ever y day lives.
Promote the concept of sustainable living and being a voice for sustainable issues.
The Festival of Thrift is a free festival, although there is a small charge for car parking. There are lots of workshops going on throughout the weekend to give you the opportunity to learn a new skill – workshops are paid.
Hardwick Live – 17th -18th August
The aim of Hardwick Live is to give everyone a fantastic weekend out appealing to The whole family, something for everyone, a melting pot of Live music over 2 stages, Children’s area within the woods full of great entertainment, face painting, magic shows, Ventriloquist shows, Punch & Judy, pottery making, Comedy stage, Vintage fairground attractions also celebrity pop up kitchens, a huge choice of Culinary delights on our food stalls and an extensive range of refreshments from Champagne cocktails to Hot chocolate on our various bars.
Hardwick Live is where you might stand alongside Superstars, urbanites, farmers, fashionistas and families.
Glorious days out at Hardwick Live, Entertainment for a Friendly crowd from all walks of life.
Artists this year include, James, Manic Street Preacher, Stiff Little Fingers, Lisa Stansfield.
Kynren – June- September
With performances in June, July, August and into September, the critically acclaimed Kynren returns
Take your seat as dusk settles over the vast, still lake and the expectant audience of 8,000 falls silent and the epic show begins.
Suddenly the lake’s deceptively placid waters erupt as a Viking longship, teeming with marauding invaders, bursts from its depths. Their dramatic attack on a fishing village leaves a trail of destruction and fire. The Vikings have arrived!
Before the show experience the more peaceful side of Viking life in the brand new Viking Village. Visit the cookhouse complete with its own vegetable patch and the woodworker’s cottage built into the hillside.
Take a stroll along the stream and watch the past come to life at the working blacksmith’s forge where you’ll be able to see real chainmail being made.
Don’t miss the village’s animal inhabitants like the impressive Highland cattle and the curly haired Wensleydale sheep.
Reviews have included “Awesome” The Independent “ Brilliant” The Sunday Times, “Stunning” The Northern Echo
Middlesbrough Mela – Albert Park – 17th and 18th August 2019
Middlesbrough Mela brings communities together to celebrate and promote the diverse cultures within our region. The festival offers a vibrant celebration of world class music covering a rich mix of hip hop, Bhangra and traditional Asian sounds; a global arts village; food court; bazaar; street theatre, and family fun entertainment.https://www.lovemiddlesbrough.com/mela/
Romeo and Juliet at Brancepeth Castle – 3rd July
A unique outdoor theatre experience by Heartbreak productions. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by Alan Atkins. Doors open at (18.00) for picnics on the lawn – bring your own or there will be a range of refreshments on sale. Bring your own seat
Please contact Brancepeth Castle for ticket details on 0191 378 9670 or www.brancepethcastle.org.uk. Bring your own seat or rug for comfort!
South Tyneside Festival – Events throughout June, July and August
There are a huge selection of events going on at the Amiptheatre on South Shields sea front throughout the summer. Most of the events are also free, from brass bands, live music and lots of activities for the kids there is something for everyone going on. The highlight of the festival is the summer Parade at Bents Park on the 16th July.
Afternoon Teas Menu.
Adults – £15.95 pp (minimum of 2 per booking)
Finger sandwiches with choice of four fillings – fillings include ham and mustard, free range egg mayonnaise, tuna and sweetcorn, cheddar and onion chutney, brie and grape
Three cheese rustic quiche
Scones with jam and clotted cream
A choice of cupcake from my Pudding Inspired Range (Please find flavours below)
Luxury chocolate brownie
Children’s – £9.95pp
Finger sandwiches with choice of four fillings
Scones with jam and clotted cream
A choice of cupcake from my Pudding Inspired Range
Luxury chocolate brownie
Milkshake in mini retro milk bottles
(Choice to upgrade to iced cookies and bespoke cupcakes available)
Afternoon Teas come presented to you in beautiful wicker baskets.
Why not complete the look with vintage china, cake stands, and table linens available to hire.
Bespoke celebration cakes are also available to order.
Pudding Inspired Cupcake Range
- Lemon Meringue Pie – Zesty lemon sponge, sandwiched with homemade lemon curd, Italian meringue frosting and meringue pieces.
- Apple Crumble and Custard – Vanilla sponge, filled with a homemade apple compote, topped with custard buttercream and a crunchy crumble topping.
- Tiramisu – Coffee sponge, soaked with coffee liqueur, with a mascarpone cream and dusted with cocoa.
- Peach Cobbler – Vanilla sponge, filled with homemade fresh peach compote, custard buttercream and crunchy crumble topping.
- Black Forest Gateaux – Rich chocolate sponge filled with cherry compote topped with chocolate buttercream and fresh cream
- Banoffee Pie – Banana sponge with fresh cream and homemade toffee sauce.
- After Dinner Mint – Mint chocolate sponge, with mint chocolate buttercream, topped with after dinner mint chocolate.
- Pecan Pie – A brown sugar sponge with toffee sauce, crushed pecans and brown sugar Italian meringue buttercream.
- Strawberry Cheesecake – A strawberry sponge with a mascarpone cheesecake filling and a crumbly biscuit topping.
- Eton Mess – Strawberry sponge topped with fresh cream, raspberries and meringue pieces.
- Sticky Toffee Pudding – A traditional sticky toffee sponge filled with homemade toffee sauce and a toffee buttercream