It’s the time of year when our region’s heritage springs into life as many attractions open their doors for a new season this Saturday (1 March).

Some of the region’s most visited places including the National Trust’s Cragside, Wallington and Lindisfarne Castle have lots of new things waiting to be discovered this spring.

The conservation charity has uncovered hidden parts of some of your favourite places, transformed the experience at others and developed their programme of family events and activities for the year ahead.

Joanna Royle, Head of Marketing and Supporter Development told us:

“2014 is an exciting year for the National Trust. We have more new things to see and do at our places than ever before, not just in spring but throughout the whole year. The experience you get at Trust houses and castles has evolved and we’re improving our outdoors offer with more sporting events and nature activities on offer across the North East.”

Here’s a taste of what’s waiting for you at Trust places this spring:

• At Wallington, spend Tuesdays ‘At Home with the Trevelyans’. Discover previously closed rooms, explore hidden cellars and attics and meet the experts.
• The barriers have been removed in the Owl Suite at Cragside so you can now see the fantastic views the royal visitors would’ve had down to the iron bridge. Colourful and original 19th century Japanese prints, gifted to Lord Armstrong, have also been rehung so you can get a better view.
• Get fit in stunning surroundings with new weekly 5k parkruns around Gibside every Saturday.
• Souter Lighthouse has a new talking telescope in the garden. For just 20p you can learn more about the wildlife along The Leas or the lost village of Marsden.
• The Trust has spent the winter transforming Lindisfarne Castle, bringing to life the stories of the people who lived and worked there. Four new-look rooms and lots of new items are now on display, including copies of Gertrude Jekyll’s original garden plans.

Joanna continued:

“At the Trust we’re passionate about great days out and we’re keen for people to come and see the changes we’ve made this year. The places the Trust looks after are for everyone to enjoy so we hope you like what you see.”

To find out more about all the new things on offer in the North East in 2014, visit