Newcastle, also known as Newcastle upon Tyne, is a beautiful city in England that is a popular travel destination and a great place to live. The city is innovative and home to some very talented people, in fact, it is the birthplace of the windshield wiper and also where the first street ever was lit by electric lighting.
Newcastle has been home to several famous people like the actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson as well as the popular singers Sting and Cheryl. Newcastle Central Station in the city is ready to take you wherever you need to go. In terms of entertainment and tourist attractions the city thrives, as the MetroCentre is one of the 10th largest shopping malls in the world and one of the largest Roman artifacts, Hadrian's Wall, is still standing in Newcastle and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you are a nature lover then you will be pleased to hear that Newcastle has some beautiful parks and beaches with walking trails for you to explore. You can refer to this list to find the best hiking trails in the city that the whole family can discover together. Before hitting the trails, take advantage of a luggage storage service in Newcastle to keep your bags and extra gear safe and out of the way.
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Newcastle
We will start our list with the Leas which is a big and grassy area that is perfect for an easy hike. To get here you should head to the South Tyneside Coast which will take you under half an hour to reach from Newcastle. The area is run by the National Trust and is a favorite among many locals and visitors because of the incredible views of the coast.
The meadows span over 300 acres and in total there are 6 different trails for you to wander through. They all differ in length and difficulty which makes it the perfect spot for both a short stroll or a long walk. Some paths will take you by the Souter Lighthouse which, when it was built back in 1871, was the most advanced of its time.
This park is found towards the North inside the city itself and won't require you to drive far away to reach it. In fact, you can probably walk or go for a warm-up jog to get there. The site is used for cultural events and recreational activities so chances are that locals will already be there enjoying the park.
The greenspace is beautiful and offers some attractions as well. The Palace of the Arts, which was built for the Exhibition of Science, Industry and Arts in 1929, is located here and also worth stopping by.
Hedley Hall Woods
Just over fifteen minutes away from Newcastle is Hedley Hall Woods which is a perfect spot to do some birdwatching. There is also a collection of different butterflies, plants and trees in the area so any nature lover will have an amazing time here.
The reserve is made of woodlands, grasslands and hill areas that walkers and hikers will enjoy discovering. If you want to meet up with others you can participate in some of their events that can bring you together and teach you something new, too. Activities include family runs, tree identification classes and other workshops on nature and art.
Head to the Eastern end of the city and you will find Heaton Park. In this park, you will find woods, lovely flowerbeds and a playground inside the clearing. The paths are paved which makes biking or rollerblading possible too.
You probably won't even have to drive to get here but if you do you can find a car park near this greenspace, Jesmond Dene, or another public space called Armstrong Park since they are all connected. If you want to learn how to navigate the city, check this Bounce guide to getting around Newcastle.
If you are looking for somewhere close by Newcastle and relaxing to wander around then Jesmond Dene will do the trick. This local park will only take you a couple of minutes to get to by car, or you can take advantage of the pleasant weather and walk there instead.
The greenspace is small but calm and many people say that it is a great place for a picnic. You will find a quiet stream as well as some old mill ruins that give the place some excitement and charm, so it is definitely worth a trip even if it does not challenge you.
Are you interested in Newcastle museums? Just outside of the city is Hadrian's Wall, which is a structure thought to be built by soldiers during the time of the Romans and has only recently been discovered in Newcastle. This is the perfect spot to go for some fresh air and to learn more about the history of the city and this structure which dates back as far as 122 AD.
Back during its time the wall served as a barrier and protection around the city and spanned for a total of 80 miles. It was decorated with huge fortresses and milecastles (these are small forts) which have earned it a spot on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Hadrian's Wall Path can take you either all the way or through sections of the wall. Dedicated hikers can walk the whole length of the wall but will need to stop at different places at night since the trek will take between 5 to 10 days.
Quayside is a park found inside the city of Newcastle and is a popular spot for people to gather with friends and family. The region has a total of seven bridges that are each impressive and can be nice to stop by.
You will find yourself right by the river which makes for a nice path to take a stroll or more vigorous walk. You won't be surrounded by nature but it can be a great place to get some exercise without leaving the city.
To get to Warkworth Hermitage you will have to head to an area not too far from the city centre which can be reached in easily under an hour by car. If you have ever heard of the Warkworth Castle then this is where you will find it, and the grounds surrounding the building make for great hiking trails.
To get to the actual Hermitage you will need to pay a local ferryman to take you there since you will have to cross over some water. This only makes the adventure more exciting and the landmark is well worth a visit. You can walk around the area as much as you want and when you're finished take a boat out onto the water to head back.
If you enjoyed the walk in Quayside then you won't have to go much further to get to this location in Ouseburn. It is another cultural centre where citizens can gather and participate in events.
This place is recommended for anyone who visits as there is usually something going on like cultural events or gatherings. Grab the whole family and make an outing out of it, and take an urban hike around the area afterward.
Big Waters Nature Reserve
Welcome to Big Waters Nature Reserve, which is the location of the biggest pool of open water in the region. Aside from the lake, you can find everything from wetlands, woodlands, pastures and meadows with tracks for you to explore.
Those who enjoy birdwatching can participate in the pastime here and other hikers can just appreciate the scenery. There are a few walking trails so you can try more than one route while you are visiting.
Weetslade Country Park
Only a short distance away from Newcastle is the Weetslade Country Park which makes for a wonderful journey into nature. Some of the highlights in this park have to be the diverse wildlife and tracks that you can explore.
You might get the chance to see skylarks, kingfishers, martins, and other birds as well as wildflowers and insects like dragonflies. You can easily pass the afternoon here and can take your time walking the trails and stopping as often as you want to look at all of the amazing creatures.
Just on the edge of the city in the area of North Tyneside is the lovely Tynemouth Beach. This place is always worth stopping by for a visit even in the winter months when it is too cold to swim, and since its location is so close by you have no excuse.
The drive here is quick and easy, once you get on to Coast Road you continue driving until you reach the harbour. During the summer you can see people from town surfing on the waves and enjoying the sunshine, and it is a popular spot for families to spend an afternoon.
The Rising Sun Countryside Centre
Found inside the city and just a short walk or drive away is The Rising Sun Countryside Centre. The region is fairly big at 162 hectares that serves as a public park and nature reserve. Lots of locals, tourists and wildlife gather here and it is a great spot to get away from the busy city streets.
You can wander through several paths or find a nice spot by the river and wetlands for a picnic. The area also hosts outdoor events and gatherings so chances are that something will be going on while you are in town.
Marsden Circular Walk
This is another one run by the National Trust and located in South Tyneside that is great for hiking so if you want to visit several spots in one day you can add this one to your list. The Marsden Circular Walk will take you up to the cliffs to see some beautiful views of the sea.
You will get the opportunity to see the natural beauty of the cliffs and water as well as some old ruins. The area is home to a windmill that was built in the 19th century and a parish church dating back to the 13th century. You will also be brought past by a quarry which is where you can find many species of birds, wild flowers and plants.
Gibside, also run by National Trust, is a big park in Newcastle Upon Tyne that offers a different landscape than the usual hills and valleys of the city. This spot in the countryside takes up a total 600 acres of land filled with gardens and woodland.
It serves as a nice spot with hiking trails perfect for the whole family and dogs are welcome too. Aside from beautiful marked trails and walks with stunning views, Gibside has a playground for the kids called Strawberry Castle, a rope adventure course and other fun activities and attractions. To get here, it is about a twenty minute drive away from the city centre.
Easy Hikes in Newcastle
Ouseburn is not only easy to get to, but the hike is easy as well. The area is mostly used for events and you will be walking through the city streets so it will not be too strenuous.
The Leas is great for anyone who wants a simple hike in nature and it has some nice views of the coast. Since there are several trails more experienced hikers can continue on for longer.
Intermediate Hikes in Newcastle
This is considered an intermediate hike because the different areas you can explore both at the castle and the hermitage can be just challenging enough for beginners but still easy for experienced walkers.
Big Waters Nature Reserve
There are lots of different tracks for you to follow here, so those who want to challenge themselves just enough can find the right route.
Difficult Hikes in Newcastle
These hiking trails are challenging because of how long it is and also because you won't have much cover from the elements. Only the most daring hikers should try to walk the whole 80 miles of wall.
Marsden Circular Walk
This hike is one of the more challenging in the north east but is worth the effort because of the incredible views.
Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Newcastle
Spending time outdoors is important for everyone, so grab your hiking boots and leave the house. The earth is filled with stunning views and beautiful creatures that we walk past every day without even realizing it.
This is why taking a trip to a local beach, woodland or river either inside or outside of the city can be nice for everyone. The benefit of having so many greenspaces inside the town is that you won't have to search for parking, and if you get hungry you will be just a short walk away from a cafe or restaurant.