HERITAGE chiefs are offering the chance to take a high-wire tour of one of the city’s most iconic buildings.
The National Trust is auctioning off a harness-bound tour of Penshaw Monument after the overwhelming success of open days at the heritage site.
Hundreds of visitors make the climb up Penshaw Hill over when the 66ft monument’s “secret” staircase and top walkway was opened to the public for the first time in decades.
Simon Lee, a property manager for the National Trust, said the charity’s new “experience auction” was offering the chance for an even more special tour.
He said: “The lucky winner will don a harness and be clipped on to a ManSafe System – a metal cable running around the roof – before being guided on a thrilling tour of the parts of this iconic high landmark most people will never reach.”
Mr Lee said the tour will include traversing the apex of the landmark at either end, several feet above the relatively enclosed walkway in what he calls “a truly adrenalin-inducing, once-in-a-lifetime experience”.
The tour includes a picnic at the top of the monument for the winner and three guests over the age of 10.
The opportunity to scale the monument is one of several experiences up for auction in the Trust’s latest fund-raising drive.
The charity is also taking bids on another item for those with a head-for-heights – a candle-lit meal for two served in Souter Lighthouse’s lantern room with a night’s accommodation in the lighthouse cottage.
Other items in the “experiences auction” include a wedding ceremony and drinks reception at Washington Old Hall, and two entries for next year’s the Great North Run with accommodation at Souter Lighthouse for the night before and after the event.
“This is a chance for people to make somebody’s Christmas,” said Mr Lee. “We have some fantastic one-off experiences on offer.”
Other experiences on offer around the North East include a grey seal safari round the Farne Islands to spot newborn pups, a Georgian dinner for 10 at Seaton Delaval Hall and a wedding at Washington Old Hall.
The auction and a full list of items is online now at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/experiencesyne.