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Santa Heads On Tour



Following its success last year, with thousands of people lining the streets to wave at Santa and his helpers, Go North East is bringing back its magical open-top Santa bus to help spread some Christmas cheer.

The region’s largest bus company will be running the tour up until 23rd December.

Just like last year, the Santa bus tour will not stop at any of the locations but will be moving slow enough to get your photos and videos. You can share your social media snaps using #GNESantaBus.

Commenting on the tour, Go North East’s commercial director, Stephen King, said: “We’re delighted to be spreading some festive cheer again this year. We were blown away by how popular the Santa bus open-top tour was last year, and we can’t wait to get started again, seeing all those smiling faces as we pass through the region’s villages, towns and cities.”

This year, you will be able to go one step further with Go North East’s very own Santa tracker – simply download the Go North East app and track the bus in real-time moving across the region’s villages, towns and cities.

Check out where he’s heading and when here:

  • Wednesday 22 December – Barnes Park, East Herrington, Silksworth, Tunstall Village, Pennywell, Sunderland, Fulwell, Seaburn, Whitburn, South Shields, Chichester and Cleadon.
Barnes Park 16:15
East Herrington Board Inn 16:30
Silksworth Health Centre (E-bound) 16:40
Tunstall Village Green 16:51
Hollycarrside Leechmere Way 17:01
Premier Road-Pearl Road 17:22
Pennywell Shops 17:31
Hylton Road-St Lukes Road 17:42
Millfield Metro 17:54
Sunderland Vine Place ‘Stop 29’ 18:00
Sunderland Fawcett Street ‘Stop 15’ 18:04
Fulwell The Grange 18:13
St Peter’s National Glass Centre 18:26
Seaburn Morrisons 18:35
Whitburn Grey Horse 18:41
Marsden Inn 18:56
Horsley Hill Square 19:07
New Crown Hotel 19:15
South Shields Interchange 19:22
Chichester Metro ‘Stop E’ 19:32
Stanhope Road / Boldon Lane 19:39
South Tyneside Hospital 19:45
Cleadon Pond 20:00
  • Thursday 23 December – Sunderland, Shiney Row, Bournmoor, Great Lumley, Chester-le-Street, Pelton, Grange Villa, Stanley, Annfield Plain, Greencroft, Leadgate, Bridgehill, Blackhill, Consett, Delves Lane, Lanchester, Witton Gilbert, Durham, Gilesgate and Carrville.
St Mary’s Boulevard 16:15
Sunderland Interchange 16:20
Sunderland Royal Hospital 16:26
Hastings Hill Chester Road Roundabout 16:34
Barnwell Avondale Avenue Shops 16:44
Shiney Row Co-op 16:49
Bournmoor Rose Crescent 16:55
Great Lumley Warrior’s Arms 17:05
Chester-le-Street Coral’s ‘Stop G’ 17:20
Pelton Schools 17:28
Newfield Edward Terrace 17:35
Grange Villa Club 17:39
West Pelton Twizell Road End 17:42
No Place Beamish Hills 17:46
Stanley Bus Station ‘Stand A’ 17:55
South Stanley Hollyhill Gardens West 17:58
Annfield Plain Tesco 18:09
Greencroft Road Ends 18:14
Leadgate Co-op 18:25
Consett Tesco (NW-bound) 18:32
Bridgehill Chaytor Road (Middle) 18:40
Blackhill St Andrew’s Church 18:44
Number One Roundabout 18:47
Consett Bus Station ‘Stand J’ 18:50
Delves Lane / Greenways 18:57
Lanchester Village Green 19:12
Witton Gilbert Travellers Rest 19:28
University Hospital of North Durham 19:38
Durham Millburngate ‘Stop J’ 19:45
Gilesgate Moor Traveller’s Rest 19:52
Dene Drive 20:00

Will you be heading to see Santa? Let us know where!

The schedule is subject to change.


Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration



Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.

The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.

According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.

“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.

“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”

The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”

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Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022



Sunderland’s beaches have been named among the best in the country for the 11th year running.

Seaburn and Roker were both named as winners of the Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The pair were once again handed Blue Flags, marking them out for their for their excellent water quality, cleanliness and attempts to constantly improve visitor amenities.

The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.

Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It is fantastic to see Sunderland’s beautiful beaches once again awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Award.

“Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront has excellent quality bathing water and first-class facilities.

“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, and this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in keeping our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”

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Best of North East

Best Children Activities in the North East



Looking for a way to entertain the kids for the day? Well, lucky for you, we have rounded up the best children activities in the North East.


Whitehouse Farm Centre

From donkeys and pigs to mice and rabbits, expect to meet all your favourite farm animals and more! Whitehouse Farm is also home to striped skunks, marmoset monkeys, harris hawks, bearded dragons, curly haired tarantulas – the list could go on and on. We won’t tell you them all, so there’s still plenty to be surprised by. However, we can’t resist telling you, you are in for a treat as you will even have the chance to handle and feed the animals!

Credit: Whitehouse Farm Facebook

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