9 things to do in 90 minutes

If you think 90 minutes is a long time to watch football, it's time for you to leave your buddies glued to the box and do something else with your precious, precious time.

Now that the Summer of Football is here, we’ve got some great ideas for the football widows out there - or those that simply don’t get a kick out of watching 22 men chase a ball around a field. Our east coast is jam-packed with things you can do to treat yourself, or make a difference to somebody else’s life.

Here's our rundown of the best.


This summer Newcastle and Gateshead is a hive of activity as the Great Exhibition of the North rolls into town. In the same time that if takes England to get a 2-0 win (!), you could be exploring the Great North Museum instead. There are some fantastic exhibitions curated especially for the Great Exhibition, and if the game heads to extra time you’re in the perfect place to start one of the discovery trails across the city.

Great Exhibition of the North

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Rattle those pots and pans

In 90 minutes you can add a new dish to your repertoire at Leeds Cookery School. Whether you want to learn how to select and grill the perfect steak, bake a crusty loaf or discover the tastes of Louisiana, at one of the many classes on offer you can do just that. Book in for a class before heading home and wow your friends and family with your new cheffy skills.

Leeds Cookery School

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Train your nose

Hop on the train to London and head east to the Experimental Perfume Club. Take part in a workshop to gain an understanding of the basics of perfumery, with access to a full array of ingredients. Under the watchful eye and nose of the perfumer, you can create your own signature blend.

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Step back in time

Channel your inner Lady Mary or Lord Grantham as you explore the beautiful Burghley House. Tour the rooms and halls as the faces of yesteryear look down on your from the portraits on the walls. The ‘Otherworldly’ sculpture garden is well worth a visit, and you’ll even see a Star Wars spacecraft parked up on the lawn. You have to stop by the Orangery Restaurant for a meal and a chilled glass of wine too.

Burghley House 

Book a train to Peterborough

Total avoidance

Why not cross the border to Scotland if you really want to avoid the football? The national team didn’t qualify, so you’ll find there won’t be much interest in what the England boys are getting up to. In Edinburgh, you can visit the Scottish Poetry Library where 90 minutes could be spent unwinding in this oasis of calm as you browse tomes and verses. There really is no better escape than with a good book.

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Speaking of escape, this one comes in a little short of 90 minutes, but it’s an hour that will stick in your mind! There are escape rooms all over the country and they are themed around everything you can think of. From dinosaurs to spies, mad scientists to zombies, if you can think of it there’s probably a room based on it. Leeds has some great rooms, as does Newcastle, but you‘ll find them all along the East Coast. Will you get out in time?

Exit Newcastle

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Make a difference

Instead of doing something for you, why not do something for somebody else? Volunteering can make a real difference to your life and the lives of those around you. Whether you help out at a community project or support someone less fortunate than yourself, it will really pay off.

Katherine volunteering with Fareshare

If you want to find out more about volunteer the NVCO website has a directory of centres up and down the country.

Work on your brewing

Hop onboard and head up to Edinburgh, where you can become a true coffee connoisseur. The BrewLab offers a sensory workshop, where you’ll get the chance educate your palette and boost your coffee knowledge. Discover what goes into a great cup of coffee and of course taste different, roasts, blends and brews.


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Head up, up and away

Rise up and float away with an unforgettable hot air balloon experience. Taking off from York Racecourse, you soar above the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and ancient city walls, with views of York Minster, Clifford's Tower, and Castle Howard. Tickets include a champagne toast on landing. Book at Balloons Over Britain.

Book a ticket to York