Welcome to your guide to Events and What's On in Northumberland this week. If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter that covers the main events in the month ahead and a few interesting local stories, just give us your email address here and it will arrive directly in your inbox each month.
Alnwick Area & Heritage Coast
The Alnwick Garden is a great day out throughout the Autumn for the whole family! On Halloween this year The Alnwick Garden is organising an attempt to beat the Guinness World Records for the ‘Largest number of people dressed as witches in one location’. They also offer pumpkin carving and willow lantern making, great fun for the whole family.
Alnwick Castle has a packed calendar of events of the rest of the year. Try your hand at Broomstick Training, Medieval Crafter and Dressing up! Check their website for more information and dates.
The Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick is open all year round and has a rolling program of exhibitions and is a great activity for a rainy day! Don't forget to download the Kids Go Free voucher from their website before visiting! There's always lots going on at the Alnwick Playhouse, from cinema to the arts there's something for everyone.
Alnwick Market takes place every Saturday and Thursday from 9am to 4pm in the Marketplace, a great opportunity to pick up quality local food with the Farmer's Market on the last Friday of the month. Amble has its usual Sunday market at the harbour between 10am and 3pm and also a new Wednesday Market as well. There will be lots of local produce on sale and you'd be hard pressed to find a more attractive location for a market!
Morpeth & Mid NorthumberlandIt's Morpeth Market day on Wednesday in the Marketplace 9am to 4pm with the Farmer's Market on the first Saturday of every month, another great opportunity to pick up some of our regions best local produce and support our local businesses.
Cragside House, Gardens and Estate is a stunning National Trust property near Rothbury. Every day during October half term there's lots of Hallowe'en fun to be had at Cragside! Follow the witch hunt trail in and around Nelly's Moss Labyrinth - there will even be a real witch to find on 31 October! Join in with creepy craft activities in the spooky stables workshops - make a haunted house, make a Hallowe'en lantern or make a scary spider to hang on our giant spiders web! There's loads on right through Autumn including Garden Walks and Victorian Baking visit their website for more information.
Also in Mid Northumberland Wallington Hall (National Trust) and like Cragside, the grounds and Walled Garden stay open all year round, with the House also open throughout Autumn. Visit and try some of the 50 things activities with a spooky twist this week. Will you complete the 50 things trail before the sun sets? The Woodland Walks (see the red squirrels!) and the Walled Garden are a pleasure at any time of year, particularly with the golden leaves of Autumn.
The Northumberland Music Festival kicks off on Friday 30th October and runs right through to Saturday 28th November. This year's programme includes: Full-length Opera: The Marriage of Figaro & Madam Butterfly, A Grand Night of Opera in Seville & Spain, The 3 English Tenors, The Northumbrian Ranters, Musica Johannis, Graeme Danby – Songs of the North East & Northumberland and Savoy Opera from Gilbert and Sullivan.
Belsay Hall (English Heritage) is also open every day and also has beautiful gardens to enjoy at any time of year. It's Spooky Fun from Saturday 24th October right up until Halloween! Fearless souls are required for a thrilling family adventure. Grab your cloaks and steady your nerves as you hear scary tales, try creepy crafts and find out how to spot a witch.
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens have a host of activities and events throughout the Autumn. Half term brings a whole week of events to bring out your inner zoo keeper! Every day there will be different activities for you to join in with including helping the keepers with their daily checks, feeding the lemurs, training the cockatoos and walking the Shetland ponies.
All aboard the Hogwarts Express and head to Kirkley Hall this Halloween for a spooky Hogwarts celebration where we expect great fun to be had by all. Enjoy a light lunch from our very own ‘Three Broom Stick’s followed by a wand lesson, broom stick racing and party games. Cast your magic on a pumpkin and bring it along and enter it in our competition. All students must be equipped with a wand, cloak and broomstick for the event – All available from Diagon Alley! Food will be served at 1:30pm. Adults £8.50, children £6.50 (suitable for ages 3-13) Booking is essential, visit their website for more information.
There are a host of events along Hadrian's Wall throughout Autumn. Chesters Roman Fort is always worth visiting and Housesteads Roman Fort Museum is open again with their amazing new visitor centre and Roman inspired events throughout Autumn. The National Park Centre at Once Brewed, Hadrian's Wall, is also open, you can have a look at the designs for www.TheSill.org.uk, have a coffee or buy a souvenir.
At Queens Hall Arts Centre in Hexham has a packed program of events for the Autumn months, ideal as the weather starts to turn. Held over three days during half term, why not try the Spooky Shadows Master class? Learn the art of shadow puppetry with professional puppeteer Alison McGowan of PuppetShip. Alison trained in Puppetry at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has experience in many puppetry styles and has worked extensively in theatre, TV and film including ‘Muppets Most Wanted’.
Cherryburn (National Trust), the birthplace of Thomas Bewick, perhaps Northumberland's greatest artist. There are activities every Sunday including Live Printing Demonstrations. See the processes used by Thomas Bewick demonstrated using traditional methods on our original hand presses.
Kielder Water and Forest Park is in the Northumberland National Park close to Hadrian's Wall Country and is a very special place to explore for the whole family. The Park is home to the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe and the biggest working forest in England. Visit their website for more information.
Nearby Kielder Observatory is also incredibly popular, even more so since Northumberland was designated a 'Dark Sky Park'. It's a great day out and their events fill up really quickly so remember to book well in advance. Public Observing sessions generally take place on a Wednesday evening with Family Astronomy at the weekends, visit their website to book a place.
The Garden Station near Hexham is a restored Victorian Railway Station in a woodland garden in Langley-on-Tyne and is open Friday to Monday. They have their beautiful garden, woodland walks, a cafe and art exhibitions as well as courses in gardening, art, the environment, sculpture, writing and food. Bellingham Heritage Centre is a volunteer run local history museum established in 1994 and have 5 permanent collections and a whole host of exhibitions throughout the year. Current exhibitions include The Border Counties Railway 1862-1958, a Mining Heritage, The Photographs of W P Collier, The Border Reivers, The Stannersburn Smithy and The Farming Gallery.
Brockbushes Farm have fun for all the family this Halloween! They have a magic pumpkin patch, daytime spooky maze and pumpkin trail and even an evening maze of horror! Visit their website for more information.
Berwick is celebrating 900 years of history throughout 2015 and has events running from Easter through to October! Visit the Berwick 900 website for more information.
The Maltings Theatre in Cinema in Berwick has a plenty of film coming up and they always have a great mix of the arts making it a great place for a rainy day out. For more information visit their website.
Ford and Etal Estates is a great day out with such attractions as the Duddo Standing Stones, Etal Castle, Flodden Battlefields, Heatherslaw Light Railway (above right) and Visitors Centre, Lady Waterford Hall, The Fenton Centre and the Old Dairy. Enjoy a spooktacular few days across the Estates with tearooms, shops and attractions decorated to celebrate Hallowe'en and lots of scary and silly costumes to entertain you. Children who visit in hallowe'en costume will be rewarded with treats at some of the venues too!
Lindisfarne Castle has to be part of one of the best days out on the Northumberland Coast. Holy Island (pictured right) is just beautiful at any time of the year and has always been a family favourite but please check the tide times carefully before your visit.
Bamburgh Castle is open daily and remains one of the country's most spectacular castles! There's always a great range of activities here for the kids and part of a great family day out at the coast.
An evening of fun for the whole family at Chillingham Castle on Saturday 31st October. Activities will include: Children’s Ghost Stories, Best Fancy Dress Competition, Best Pumpkin Competition, Pumpkin Trail, Tombola, Children's Tablecloth Colouring, Free Children’s Face Painting and Live Music
South & South-East Northumberland
Woodhorn Museum, located at the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, have a winding house demonstration throughout the weekends (on Saturdays and Sundays) It's the last Victorian Engine House in Northumberland and you can see how it all works. They also have Family Colliery Tours every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and the Narrow Gauge Railway that runs through the park (Saturdays and Sundays 10am - 3pm, subject to weather conditions). On the last Friday of every month there is also an informal programme of folk music in the cafe.
Poppies: Weeping Window at Woodhorn: Woodhorn Museum is pleased and honoured to present Weeping Window as part of a UK-wide tour of the iconic poppies sculpture organised by 14-18 NOW. Saturday 12th September - Sunday 1st November (10am - 5pm every day).
The Newbiggin Maritime Centre are open throughout Autumn and have a great range of activities for those 'bad weather days'! On Saturday 24th October they have a Comic Books and Collectibles Fair from 10am to 4pm. Visit their website for more information.
Seaton Delaval Hall is one of the newer estates to be taken into the care of the National Trust. The Central Hall, Garden and Stables are all open through Autumn. Visit on Saturday 31st October in your Hallowe'en costumes and bring along your pumpkin for a day of frighteningly-good fun! Visit the spooky basement and follow the Hallowe'en trail (on all weekend) and bring your carved pumpkin along for our pumpkin competition. Then, join the Hallowe'en parade with pumpkins and lanterns, into the woodland for some spooky storytelling!