As you travel along New Bridge Street towards Byker there is a turn off that runs down the back of The Tanners pub….down here is Stepney Bank/Lime Street and a secret oasis called The Ouseburn Valley.
I was over the moon to move my Newborn Photography studio, Tiny Baby Studio, to this location in 2015 as it’s right in the centre of a thriving community of family friendly attractions and home to lots of local artists. My studio sits at the bottom of Stepney Bank close to more grown up spots like The Ship Inn and The Cluny but it’s surprising how many people are unaware of this lovely spot in Newcastle. So here is my list of top 5 family friendly activities that are literally minutes away from my newborn photography studio.
Nestled into some of the old buildings that were previously a flour mill, you will find Seven Stories which is the National home of Children’s Books. Their website tells you there is no other place like it in the UK and they are right! We are so privileged here in the North East to have this visitor attraction that celebrates children’s books, their creators and their readers.
Seven Stories has unique exhibitions, lively events and playful activities that bring children’s books to life. So over the 7 floors you can find a lovely café and a well stocked beautiful book shop as well as innovative exhibitions, story time sessions, and performances… perfect for your little bookworms!
The exhibitions change regularly so there is always something new to see if you’ve not been for a while and the genres and authors are wide ranging so there is something for everyone from toddlers to teens. I am particularly looking forward to the Great North Snowdogs this autumn!
Seven Stories is also a popular venue for birthday parties. I would have loved to have my daughter’s party here when she was younger!
Stepney Bank Stables
I absolutely love where my studio is positioned as I can watch the beautiful horses and ponies from the stables wandering past. The Stepney Bank Stables is a unique equestrian centre situated in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. Their superb team of qualified instructors and well mannered horses provide horse riding lessons ranging from beginner to advanced. The centre has both indoor and outdoor riding arenas allowing all year round equestrian activities.
The Stables also operates as a charity providing opportunities for children and young people growing up in challenging situations to grow their confidence, develop their resilience and gain qualifications and experience that will enrich their lives.
There is more to the stables that meets the eye… they also do cookery and dance courses!
So if you have a mini horse lover at home….you should check out Stepney Bank Stables to see what they can offer.
Who would have thought sheep, turkeys, tortoises, pigs, goats, ferrets and many many more animals would also call Ouseburn home! The FREE visitor attraction is nestled away under Byker Bridge and offers a fantastic café, with home cooked food, to stop and rest for a while at this hidden gem. The Ouseburn Farm works closely with schools to provide heritage, farm-based and environmental education and also provides a setting where people with disabilities and the able-bodied can work together.
The volunteers are incredibly friendly and can help your children learn more about the animals that live there and their environment.
Check out their programme of free sessions from falconry, bug hunts and nature trails.
As it’s only 1 min from my door, it’s the perfect place to take wriggly bored older siblings during a newborn shoot or just to pop in after your shoot for some fresh air, stretch your legs and of course cake and coffee!
The Victoria Tunnel
Just a few mins from Tiny Baby Studio is a very unique visitor attraction for young and old! The Victoria Tunnel is a preserved 19th century waggonway under the city from the Town Moor to the Tyne, to transport coal from Spital Tongues (Leazes Main) Colliery to the river and operated between 1842 and the 1860s. The Tunnel was converted in 1939 into an air raid shelter to protect thousands of Newcastle citizens during World War 2. And now you can join in a guided tour to venture into the tunnel and find out about the history of this interesting place.
Tours run most days and are great for children over 5 years old and in the summer holidays they run special tours for children. The tour takes you into the dark tunnel where you can hear stories from when it was used to transport coal and also feel how scary it must have been to shelter here during the WW2 bombings. I’ve been on this tour and found it fascinating!
The Cycle Hub
Follow the Ouseburn river as it flows towards the Tyne… stop at The Tyne Bar if you need alcoholic beverage and check out the Ouseburn Barrage then wander over to The Cycle Hub which is positioned on the banks of the Tyne right on the Sustrans 72 cycle route.
The Cycle Hub sits in an enviable position on the banks of the Tyne with fantastic views. It is a bike friendly independent café offering bike hire and with a fully equipped workshop for bike services and repairs. They provide a great meeting place for all, cyclists and non cyclists alike to catch up over coffee and cake or to refuel with some delicious homemade food and take in the dramatic views down the Tyne and towards The Quayside.
Why not hire some bikes, or even a tandem, and cycle right through the heart of the Quayside, exploring the area…its flat terrain is perfect for little legs. The Cycle Hub also offers guided rides and also offers a wealth of information on local cycle routes.
So as you can see there is lots to do and you could combine your maternity, newborn or baby photo shoot with a trip to one of these places! For more information about the types of photoshoots that I offer please head over to my website..click here for more information