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 celebrating the arrival of Spring with Budding Artist Activities, Water Fights, Flora Explorer Trail and Budding Cooks everyday! Pick up a free trail card at admissions at let the fun begin. For more information see their website.
Alnwick Castle is open again for the season and there's all sorts of events and activities for the kids with Broomstick Training, Historical Grounds Tours and Harry Potter inspired characters! Check their website for more information and dates.
The Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick has a rolling program of exhibitions including Darryn Wade, returning to the Museum and Gallery with his new Northern Light exhibition, presenting some astonishingly powerful images of our wonderful northern landscape. Irene Hilsden and Shilbottle Art Group and Powburn Spinners are also exhibiting their work.
There's always lots going on at the Alnwick Playhouse! Film this week includes I'm so Excited and Robot and Frank. There's classical music the Northern Simfonia on Tuesday 14th May and a talk and booking signing with Lionel Shriver on Friday 17th May.
Alnwick Market takes place every Saturday from 9am to 4pm in the Marketplace, a great opportunity to pick up quality local food. 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, 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 again for the new season. This year You can take part in their 150th anniversary celebrations with a range of activities and events over the week ahead. They have Dream Flags for the kids and each Wednesday between 1pm and 4pm they have a Victorian Baking Day 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 to life, the Walled garden is always a favourite at this time of year, packed full of colour and vibrant plant life. On Sunday 19th May there will also be Cars in the Courtyard! A whole host of post-vintage and classic cars to discover (normal admission fees apply). Belsay Hall (English Heritage) is also open all week and also has beautiful gardens to enjoy.
The Congregational Art Gallery on the upper High Street in beautiful Rothbury is open for the new season with a brand new exhibition featuring work by Ken Spencer, Robert Wiseman, Bernadett Khandakar and Emerson Mayes. The Spring exhibition runs throughout the week.
It's the Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens Open Day and Countryside Festival on Sunday 19th May from 10am to 4pm. Students will be performing their land based skills including riding displays, tree climbing, dog agility and much more. Teaching staff will be available to offer careers advice and answer any questions you may have. In addition we will also have a variety of stalls selling arts, crafts and food produce. There will be a variety of refreshment options and entry is only £2pp.
There are a host of events along Hadrian's Wall over the weekend. Chesters Roman Fort is always worth visiting and Housesteads Roman Fort Museum is staying open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the Winter Season while construction work continues on their amazing new visitor centre. The National Park Centre at Once Brewed, Hadrian's Wall, is open for 2013. 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 2013; there are loads of events for Hexham Book Festival and an Exhibition by Hexham Photography Group: Margins. For the past two years Hexham Photography Group has tackled the theme 'Margins', an exploration of edges and junctures producing prints with content ranging from book annotations and margins to an absent Michael Morpurgo and Quantum Mechanics. The exhibition runs until the 1st June.
Cherryburn (National Trust), the birthplace of Thomas Bewick, perhaps Northumberland's greatest artist is now open for the season. 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 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 in advance. Their next Public Observing session is Tuesday 14th May, but the sessions can sell out well in advance so be quick and plan ahead!
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 this week including Side Effects, This House and Epic. Berwick Visual Arts presents The Ruth Borchard Collection of Self-Portraits until Sunday 30th June. There's a digital broadcast of the Royal Opera: Nabucco on Monday 29th April from 7.15pm. 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.
The Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS) opened its Exhibition Centre on the Heatherslaw Mill site this week in the old Bakery building opposite the Mill entrance. The extensive exhibition, 'Life in a Border Village 1830-1930' include maps, photographs and some artefacts, with a focus on the local villages of Crookhamn and Branxton.
Lindisfarne Castle is open again for the season! 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. On Tuesday 14th May you can join local photographer Andy Craig for a photography walk with your camera around one of Northumberland's most iconic locations, home to the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Bamburgh Castle is also now open 7 days a week again for the rest of the Summer season, perhaps one of the country's most spectacular castles!
South & South-East Northumberland
Woodhorn Museum, located at the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, have a winding house demonstration throughout the weekend (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).
Their new exhibition Dressing the Stars is now open to the public. On display are a huge number of costumes worn by stars such as Keira Knightley in The Duchess, Kate Winslett, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean, Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love, and Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech.
On 18 and 19 May Northumberland’s premier re-enactment event at Blyth Battery is set for war. There will be vintage vehicles and a ‘beach assault’ each day, providing some spectacular scenes. Admission and parking is completely free too! It all takes place from 11am to 4pm each day..
The Newbiggin Maritime Centre have weekly activities including Jo Jingles on a Monday, an under 5's music and movement groups session. They also have their wonderful museum and a range of film screenings at various times of the month, 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 week on Thursday 16th May you can have a free tour of the Formal Gardens and activities for the kids on the 19th May with Make and Do:Tissue Flowers (normal admission charges apply)
Wednesday 15th May at The Black Bull in Morpeth: Buskers at The Bull every week from 8.30pm, entry free.
Wednesday 15th May at The Trap in North Broomhill: Buskers Night hosted by We Steal Flyers from 9pm, entry free.
Thursday 16th May at The Junction in Widdrington: Live music every Thursday night from 8pm, entry free.
Saturday 18th May at Etal Village Hall: Siobhan Miller & Jeana Leslie from 7.30pm,