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 open throughout the Easter Holidays, offering daily Poison Garden Tours and Family Cooking Sessions (Jamie's Ministry of Food). From 5th April to the 21st April they have a Lindt Gold Bunny hunt and Egg Cosy Making especially for the kids, follow the trail throughout the Garden! For more information see their website.
Alnwick Castle opened again at the end of March and throughout the Easter holidays the kids can enjoy Broomstick Training and Battleaxe to Broomstick Tours. They also have daily State Room and Historical Grounds Tours. Check their website for more information and dates.
The Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick has a rolling program of exhibitions and is a great activity for a rainy Spring day! Friday's are for the family with special activity sessions and various Craft Workshops.
There's always lots going on at the Alnwick Playhouse! Film during April includes Frozen (Sing-a-long) and 12 years a Slave. During the School Holidays there are Circus Skills Workshops with various skills including Acro-balance and walking and unicycle!
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!It'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.
Morpeth & Mid Northumberland
Cragside House, Gardens and Estate (National Trust) is open for the Spring season and during the holidays will have a Cadburys Easter Egg Trail (Friday 18th to Monday 21st April, 10am to 3pm). Victorian Baking Days take place most Wednesdays where you can be greeted by the smell of freshly baked cakes as you step through the door. Volunteer cooks will be in costume recreating authentic Victorian recipes in the magnificent kitchen, each week there will be a different recipe. Visit their website for more information.
Also in Mid Northumberland Wallington Hall (National Trust) is celebrating Spring, the gardens will be bursting with colour, the Walled garden is always a favourite at this time of year, packed full of colour and vibrant plant life. There is a packed calendar of events this month including At Home with the Trevelyans, Spring Plays, Guided Walks around the Grounds, Ranger Rambles and a Cadbury's Easter Egg Trail.
Belsay Hall (English Heritage) is also open every day and also has beautiful gardens to enjoy and during Easter has Belsay Wonderland from Saturday 5th April to Thursday 17th. The curious characters including Alice, The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, hiding in the spring floral delights. Come and find them in the wonderful world of Belsay as you follow the trail!
The Congregational Art Gallery on the upper High Street in beautiful Rothbury is a great place to stop off and enjoy an exhibition, sit by the cosy log burner and have a drink in the Cafe. It's a unique and innovative art space and high recommended, a personal favourite. Their Spring Exhibition includes work from Ken Spencer and Jane Jackson.
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens have a host of activities and events throughout Spring. They always have a great range of daily events plus Kirkley Kritters on 9th April, Bunny and Chicks weekend on 12th/13th April, Easter Zoo club 14th - 18th April and the Countryside Festival on Sunday 18th May.
There are a host of events along Hadrian's Wall throughout Easter. 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 the season. Join them for their Easter Adventure Quest from Friday 18th to Monday 21st April. Meet characters from the past and crack the clues as you explore Housesteads Roman Fort. Rise to the challenge and you’ll win a yummy chocolate reward. It's time to get hands-on!
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, buy a souvenir or catch the Hadrian's Wall Bus.
At Queens Hall Arts Centre in Hexham has a packed program of events for the week ahead with the Send More Paper, an uplifting tale about murder on Tuesday 1st April. The Exhibition Colours of Northumberland runs until 5th April and then from 12th April to 24th May there is Honey, Mein Leibschen and Drawing on Much Ado!
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. There is a Vintage and Classic Vehicle Weekend on 10th and 11th May. Visit their website for more information.
Nearby Kielder Observatory is also incredibly popular and is the number two rated attraction for Northumberland on Trip Advisor. 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 now open 7 days a week. 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.
The Maltings Theatre in Cinema in Berwick has a plenty of film coming up including Monuments Men, Rio 2, Need for Speed and the Pirate Fairy. Sandi Thom performs on Friday April 11th and there's National Theatre Live Warhorse on Sunday 6th April. 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 (Elements - an Exhibition by John Fieldhouse on 25th and 26th April), The Fenton Centre and the Old Dairy.
The Exhibition Centre on the Heatherslaw Mill site in the old Bakery building opposite the Mill entrance has Curiouser and Curiouser! from the 18th to 20th April. From 20th April there is also a Great Easter Egg Giveaway.
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. Throughout the Easter holidays you can join a ranger in a Rockpool Ramble (21st April) and visit the Gertrude Jekyll Walled Garden.
Bamburgh Castle is also now open for the Spring season, perhaps one of the country's most spectacular castles! There's always a great range of activities here for the kids including A Small Axe Woodcraft Project, Beastly Egg Hunt (20th and 21st April) and Create a Faberge Egg workshop on the 20th April.
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. Spring Bloomcraft is every day during the Easter Holidays 12noon to 3pm and the Easter Bunny will be visiting from Friday 18th to Monday 21st April from 12noon to 3pm. See the Birds of Prey Display on April 21st from 11am to 3pm and while you're there why not buy from some of the regions most talented makers and producers at the Spring Fair.
The Newbiggin Maritime Centre have a free Kite Flying Extravaganza on 19th and 20th April from 10am to 3pm, Mick Oxley has an exhibition of his fantastic artwork from April 7th to May 5th 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. This Easterthey have loads of activities to entertain including the Cadbury Easter Egg Trail (20th and 21st April), Make and Do every Sunday Lunch and Guided Walks around the Estate.