QE II Country Park
NE63 9YF






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All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
A view along the main entrance path at Woodhorn with the old colliery buildings in the background
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Woodhorn is a vibrant, exciting place to visit all year round with a great programme of activities and exhibitions for the whole family.

Inspired by monster coal cutting machines once used deep underground, the stunning Cutter building and original listed colliery structures house fascinating, hands-on exhibitions and displays. Take an emotional journey through Coal Town and discover a proud mining community; explore the colliery buildings and imagine what it would have been like to work underground; hum along to the brass band at the Miners’ Picnic, see the colourful banners and even design your own. Marvel at the original paintings of the Ashington Group – miners from the 1930s whose story has inspired remarkable play, Pitmen Painters, by Billy Elliot writer, Lee Hall.

Woodhorn is home to Northumberland’s public archive too.

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site, Gallery

Opening hours

Open: Wednesday through to Sunday (+ Mon & Tues in Northumberland School Hols)
October until March, 10am - 4pm
April until September 10 am until 5pm
(Archives Open 10am - 4pm Wed-Sun until August 31st 2014. From September, for an initial period of 6 months, the Study Centre will close on Sundays.)

Admission charges

Free admission
All day parking £3.50

Getting there

Just off A189 Spine Road and C1 National/Coast and Castles Cycle Route east of Ashington.
Nearest public transport Ashington Bus Station - 15 minute walk

Additional info

Access: Most of the buildings at Woodhorn are accessible but as you might expect with the old listed colliery buildings, access to some is restricted. See our main website for a full access statement. Visitors are welcome to borrow one of three wheelchairs or a motorised scooter during their visit, and staff are happy to discuss any special requirements in advance of a visit.

Assistance dogs are welcome at Woodhorn, but family pets are not allowed in the fenced museum area. It would be best to leave your dog at home if possible as Woodhorn's car park does not offer any shade.

The Pitmen Painters were a group of mostly miners from Northumberland who founded the Ashington Art Group in the 1930s and who took as their subject everyday life in their mining community. Woodhorn museum holds the main Ashington Group collection of their work.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Industry, Natural Sciences, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Pitmen Painters - Northumberland miners who founded the Ashington Art Group
  • Mining history
  • Oliver Kilbourn
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Dinosaur Encounter

  • 24 May — 1 September 2014 *on now

No one has ever seen a living dinosaur but scientists have been able to give us a very good idea of what they looked like and how they moved. Although we often imagine them as colossal flesh-eating beasts that lived on our planet for an incredible 160 million years, and some were indeed gigantic, some were only as heavy as a Labrador dog and many were vegetarian!
The stunning animatronic dinosaurs in this fantastic exhibition will transport you back into a land that time forgot where you will meet the most awesome creatures that ever roamed the Earth…

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult - £4.50
Concession - £4.00
Child (5 - 16) - £3.50
Family (2 adults & up to 3 children) - £15.50
Family (1 adult & up to 3 children) - £11.50
Group rate (advance bookings) - £4.00
Under 5s - Free



Bruised Not Broken

  • 7 June — 14 September 2014 *on now

Developed in collaboration with community groups in Ashington, artist Patrick Murphy presents a series of work that explores the impact of the loss of the mining industry and the resilience of communities.
Marking the 30th anniversary of the miners' strike, Bruised not Broken was commissioned for the BBC Great North Passion, a contemporary retelling of the Easter story, which was broadcast live on BBC One on Good Friday 2014.

Suitable for

  • Any age


All-day parking charge of £3.50 applies.



Oliver Kilbourn - My Life as a Pitman

  • 28 June — 2 November 2014 *on now

This unique collection of paintings by Ashington Group artist Oliver Kilbourn acts as a visual memoir of his working life experiences. This collection forms a comprehensive record of his life underground and offers valuable insight into the life and environments of a working miner throughout the mid 20th Century.
Part of Ashington Group 80.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Discover more about Woodhorn

Family Colliery Tours

  • 30 — 31 August 2014 2-3pm
  • 6 — 7 September 2014 2-3pm
  • 13 — 14 September 2014 2-3pm
  • 20 — 21 September 2014 2-3pm
  • 27 — 28 September 2014 2-3pm

We are offering Family Colliery Tours every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, starting from the Welcome Desk. This is a chance to find out more about the fascinating history of the colliery buildings. This tour is suitable for both adults and children alike.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Please book in advance by calling 01670 528 080 or at the welcome desk. Adults £2.95, Children £1.95, family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £9.00. No unaccompanied children please

Thank Folk It's Friday

  • 29 August 2014 2-3pm
  • 26 September 2014 2-3pm
  • 31 October 2014 2-3pm
  • 28 November 2014 2-3pm

Thank Folk it's Friday is a free programme of Folk music held in the Woodhorn Cafe on the final Friday of each month from 2pm.
TFIF line up for 2014 includes...
25th July- Jim Wigfield
29th August- Pipers Fancy
26th September- John Campbell
31st October- Jim and Marilyn Gibson
28th November- Chris Kelly

Suitable for

  • Any age



Retronaut: The Photographic Time Machine

  • 27 September 2014 — 22 February 2015

Retronaut aims to unearth pictures that seem not to belong to the time when they were created, that dissolve away the years like tarnish on a ring, that take our collective map of the past and tear tiny holes in it, holes through which we glimpse the real past lying underneath our map.

These are pictures that show not so much the past as they show “now” – but another version of now.

This exhibition offers a small glimpse into the vast photographic collections held by the Northumberland Archives. You can discover more of these collections through the Museums & Archives Northumberland Flickr stream, online catalogue search facility or through the searchroom at Woodhorn.

Find out more about Retronaut at www.retronaut.com

You can visit the museum shop to order a copy of any print from this exhibition and to browse & buy exhibition related gifts including Retronaut’s new publication Retronaut: The Photographic Time Machine.

This exhibition was made possible thanks to support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Collections Fund led by the Museum Association, and the Arts Council.


Parking charge pf £3.50 applies, but admission to Woodhorn and the exhibition is free.



Periscope rifle Gallipoli

History Fair - WW1 Event

  • 26 October 2014 11am-4pm

Celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of the region at the Northumberland History Fair. Come along to learn more about local history and to meet some of the organisations who preserve it.

Suitable for

  • Any age


All day parking charge of £3.50 applies.

Christmas Fayre

  • 29 — 30 November 2014 11am-4pm

A chance to buy special foods and crafts at our ever popular Christmas Fayre.

Suitable for

  • Any age


All day parking charge of £3.50 applies

Getting there

Just off A189 Spine Road and C1 National/Coast and Castles Cycle Route east of Ashington.
Nearest public transport Ashington Bus Station - 15 minute walk