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
It's a Christmas of Love, Laughter and Light at The Alnwick Garden throughout winter, their gorgeous Sparkle lighting display illuminates The Garden as the evenings draw in. From 27th November to 24th December there is a unique creative partnership between The Alnwick Garden and The National Glass Centre Sunderland on display. There's sculpture on display around the garden by David Watkinson until 1st April 2015. For more information see their website.
Alnwick Castle closes annually for the winter months, re-opening again on the 26th March 2015. 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 cold winter's 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, 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!
Visit Santa's Grotto at the Joiners Arms in Newton this Christmas! 30 magical minutes asking questions and sharing stories with Santa and his elves. Santa has a surprise present for everyone! Call 01665 576 112 to book your place, £10 per child.
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. The Gardens and Woodland are open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout winter, with the House re-opening for visitors in the Spring. 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 re-opening in the new year. The Woodland Walks (see the red squirrels!) and the Walled Garden are a particular pleasure at any time of year. The House is open on specific days in the run up to Christmas to meet Santa and hear wonderful stories from Mrs Santa!
Belsay Hall (English Heritage) is also open every day and also has beautiful gardens to enjoy at any time of year.They have a number of Festive events in the run up to Christmas.
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.
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens have a host of activities and events throughout the Winter. They have Junior Zoo School and find out how to recycle your Christmas Tree!
There are a host of events along Hadrian's Wall throughout June. 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 Winter.
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 Winter months.
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.
Kielder Winter Wonderland is a magical day out for the family! Places can book up quickly though so be sure to check the website.
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.
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 cold winter 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 at the weekends only in winter 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 winter and have a great range of activities for those 'bad weather days'! 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 on a Saturday and Sunday in the winter months.