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 Spring for the whole family! The fantastic Cherry Blossom will be in full bloom around now and there's a host of regular events including 'A Garden of Fairy Tales'. A strange wind is blowing through The Alnwick Garden, bringing with it a band of fairy tale characters and an exciting quest. Beauty is in trouble, the Wicked Queen intends to poison her and we need your help to stop her! Join the adventure to save Beauty, don one of our costumes or bring your own.
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. Spring is simply the best time to visit as thousands of Rhododendrons bloom in the beautiful grounds. There's plenty of daily events as well including Victorian Baking and Ranger Walks, 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 Spring. The Woodland Walks (see the red squirrels!) and the Walled Garden are a pleasure at any time of year, particularly with the fresh growth of Spring.
Belsay Hall (English Heritage) is also open every day and also has beautiful gardens to enjoy at any time of year. They’re celebrating the Year of the English Garden at Belsay Hall this bank holiday weekend with fun horticultural activities for everyone. For little ones there’s the I-spy trail and the chance to plant your own sunflower to take home. And for green fingered enthusiasts, you can take part in expert-led tours around Belsay’s stunning gardens which come to life in a riot of spring colour at this time of year. You can also join our very own version of Gardeners Question Time and get hints and tips for your own garden.
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.
Kirkley Hall are proud to host our annual one day countryside festival on Sunday 15th May! Visitors can look forward to a fun day out for all the family including entry into the Zoological Gardens, a fun dog show, a variety of stalls and land based skills displays including horse riding, tree climbing, dog agility and much more.
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 Spring. 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 Spring months, ideal if the weather starts to turn.
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.
Berwick is celebrating 900 years of history throughout 2016 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.
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.
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.
The Newbiggin Maritime Centre are open throughout Spring and have a great range of activities for those 'bad weather days'! On Visit their website for more information.