QE II Country Park
NE63 9YF






01670 624455


01670 626121

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.

Gallery Revamp 15 September 2014 - 11 October 2014

Please note that for a period of three weeks from 15th September, the remarkable Ashington Group Collection of paintings located at Woodhorn will be taken off display as the gallery undergoes a revamp.

During this brief period of closure, the gallery will be repainted and new interpretation installed including film footage from the 1970s of the artists talking about their work and experiences.

Although it is not possible to maintain full access to the remarkable paintings, there will be special tours available at 11am and 3pm. This will allow visitors to go back of house and see the paintings in our storage facility.

The public will be able to enjoy the new interpretation and gallery refresh when it reopens on Saturday 11th October 2014.

For more information, visit our website page on www.experiencewoodhorn.com/gallery-revamp/.

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.

Oliver Kilbourn - My Life as a Pitman

  • 28 June — 16 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



Retronaut: The Photographic Time Machine

  • 27 September 2014 — 22 February 2015 *on now

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 of £3.50 applies, but admission to Woodhorn and the exhibition is free.



Woodhorn's Blockbuster Exhibition 2015

  • 14 February — 22 March 2015
  • 1 April — 31 May 2015

Watch out for more details coming soon. A great exhibition guaranteed to entertain and delight the whole family.
Admission charge payable TBC.



Norman Cornish Art Exhibition

  • 25 April — 1 September 2015

More details to come

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.

Thank Folk It's Friday

  • 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...
31st October- Jim and Marilyn Gibson
28th November- Chris Kelly

Suitable for

  • Any age



Birds of Prey Display

  • 29 October 2014 11am-3pm
  • 31 August 2015 11am-3pm

See beautiful birds of prey on display from 11am to 3pm and catch one of the spectacular flying displays by the team at Ridgeside Falconry with flying demonstrations at 12pm and 2pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age


All-day parking charge of £3.50 applies.



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.


Martin Pugh- Women and the First World War- 11am

Richard Van Emden- Meeting the Enemy: The Human Face of the Great War- 1pm

Paul Ternent - Northumberland at War - 2.30pm

Places are limited and booking is essential.

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

Northumberland Miners Picnic

  • 13 June 2015 10am-4pm

A great family day out

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Summer Craft Fair

  • 31 August 2015 10am-5pm

More details to come

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Christmas Craft Fair and Winter Weekend 2015

  • 5 — 6 December 2015 10am-4pm

More details to come

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