Prepare to experience a winter wonderland across Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland, with a combination of captivating, North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) funded events and other exciting events across the region.
The NTCA has funded some incredible Winter Warmers events to add to your calendar. In February 2024, the yearly extravaganza The Festival of Flame, will take place at Hexham Abbey, combining fire, music, poetry and community at Hexham Abbey. The captivating Illuminated Sheep art project by Deepa Mann-Kler is returning to the region this winter and is set to make appearances at various locations throughout the region, including Festival of Flame. Both The Festival of Flame and the Illuminated Sheep are funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority.
There are a host of other events included in the festival, with a jam-packed calendar of festive Christmas events. Follow the magical Alnwick Garden Winter Light Trail, an annual, immersive trail which shines a different spotlight on The Garden. Or, be dazzled by Northern Lights, Newcastle, the brand new Christmas light trail coming to Newcastle’s city centre, completely transforming Leazes Park with world-class installations, vintage fairground rides and a bustling Christmas Village.
Bamburgh Castle’s Christmas Kingdom makes for a magical day out, as the castle interior is adorned with decorations created by theatrical designer Charlotte Lloyd Webber. See mermaids, selkies as you explore the amazing state rooms and, of course, make time for a winter walk along incredible Bamburgh beach afterwards.
Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, said, “The delivery of events throughout the winter provides yet another compelling reason for local and out of region visitors to consider visiting Northumberland. By amalgamating these events across the wider North of Tyne area, the proposition becomes even more exciting and we expect will stimulate out-of-season demand for visitor economy businesses.
“Northumberland has much to offer, from major annual events such as The Alnwick Garden Winter Light Trail and Bamburgh Castle’s Christmas Kingdom, to the return of the amazing Illuminated Sheep and Hexham Abbey’s mesmerising Festival of Flame, we are extremely proud of Northumberland’s offering and are thrilled to join forces and promote these experiences as part of the Winter Warmers festival.”
Ian Thomas, Director of Visitor Economy, NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), said, “Bringing together and marketing the fantastic events happening across our region under one brand this winter is really impactful. We know that when visitors come to the North East they don’t see our borders and will enjoy the coast, countryside as well as explore our cities, so we are providing a one-stop-shop for them to discover the activities they can get involved whilst they are here.
“Newcastle and the wider region is already highly regarded for our Christmas offer with Guardian Travel naming Leazes Park’s Northern Lights trail one of the best in the country and The Times including Newcastle in their list of the UK’s most magical Christmas stays. The Winter Warmers platform builds on our offer and makes it even easier for visitors to find memorable and unique experiences.”
Councillor Glen Sanderson, portfolio lead for culture, creative and rural at NTCA, said, “Tourism is hugely important to Northumberland’s economy, creating jobs and opportunities that allow communities to thrive. Offering an array of large scale and smaller, community-focused events, alongside other exciting winter initiatives such as the ‘Step into the Curious World of Alnwick’ town centre promotion programme, provides a way for visitors to engage with the warm winter welcome they’ll receive from the communities across Northumberland.”
Stay tuned for more surprises as Winter Warmers has additional events and activities in the pipeline. Keep an eye on Visit Northumberland and NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s websites where you can find a full programme of events.