Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives

A view along the main entrance path at Woodhorn with the old colliery buildings in the background
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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, Archive

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-Sat.)

Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives will be closed for the entire week beginning Wednesday 1st March and re open the following Wednesday 8th March.

This will allow us to process a large, recently purchased collection. We apologise for any inconvenience.


Full details of opening times on www.experiencewoodhorn.com

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.
Coal Forest

Coal Forest

  • 27 October 2018 — 22 April 2019

Coal Forest will see the site transformed through a series of magical and thought-provoking art installations in our museum and colliery heritage buildings.

Neon lungs glow in the heart of the colliery ventilation system. A plainsong chant leads to a kaleidoscopic vision of coal; past, present and future. A curious, tree-like figure has taken root in front of the blacksmith’s forge. An unearthly stag is disturbed as he grazes in the depths of the mine. Extraordinary and ancient insects creep through the colliery site.

Coal Forest will be complemented by an exciting event programme that shifts with the seasons through Autumn, Winter and Spring.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission
12 months of unlimited free returns

16 and under: FREE

Adult: £7

Multiple Adults purchased at the same time: £6.50

Concession (OAP and student): £6

All Sites pass per adult: £16

Birds of Prey

Birds Of Prey

  • 31 October 2018 11am-3pm

Discover the fascinating world of birds of prey and see spectacular displays with the team from Ridgeside Falconry.
The popular and interactive flying displays take place at 12 noon and 2pm (weather dependent).

Ridgeside Falconry will also be on hand to answer your questions about the birds of prey alongside their static display from 11am – 3pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

12 months of unlimited free returns

16 and under: FREE

Adult: £7

Multiple Adults purchased at the same time: £6.50

Concession (OAP and student): £6

All Sites pass per adult: £16

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.
Pumpkin Trail

Pumpkin Trail

  • 27 October — 4 November 2018

Pick up your trail sheet at the Welcome Desk then explore the museum and colliery buildings to try and find all the hidden pumpkins. If you manage to find all the pumpkins, make your way back to the Welcome Desk with your completed trail sheet to receive a small treat!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

12 months of unlimited free returns

16 and under: FREE

Adult: £7

Multiple Adults purchased at the same time: £6.50

Concession (OAP and student): £6

All Sites pass per adult: £16

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories of Woodhorn Museum

  • 31 October 2018 11:30am-3:30pm

Stories include the mysterious ‘man in a leather apron’ lurking in the Coal Town exhibition, troublesome ‘Jack’ causing mischief in Winding House 1, and all manner of strange sights & sounds experienced after darkness falls.

Set in the atmospheric colliery site where these experiences actually took place, these storytelling sessions will scare, surprise & delight visitors in equal measure!

We would recommend these sessions as suitable for ages 5 and up, but you know your kids best so if they are easily frightened they may prefer our pumpkin trail or birds of prey display.

Please arrive in good time for the storytelling to avoid interrupting the 30 minute session.

Each session starts at: 11.30am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

12 months of unlimited free returns

16 and under: FREE

Adult: £7

Multiple Adults purchased at the same time: £6.50

Concession (OAP and student): £6

All Sites pass per adult: £16

Ice Skating

Pit Yard Skating

  • 1 — 24 December 2018

Back by popular request, our WonderIce skating rink will be open throughout December.

Come along and enjoy festive fun for all the family.

Skate through history on our popular WonderIce Rink. Enjoy the magnificent Pit Yard setting and skate off some of that seasonal indulgence at Woodhorn Museum this winter.

This event is open to visitors aged over two and visitors aged 2-5 must be accompanied by an adult

11am until 3.30pm half hourly sessions
Adult £5.00 Child £4.00

1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd and Christmas Eve

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

11am until 3.30pm half hourly sessions
Adult £5.00 Child £4.00

Please note that the standard Museums Northumberland annual membership charges apply:

Adult: £7

Multiple Adults purchased at the same time: £6.50

Festive Tales

Under Fives Fridays: Festive Tales with Father Christmas

  • 7 — 21 December 2018

This magical event has been customised for our pre-school audiences and will include lots of festive fun for everyone.

Want to find out how to get your letter to Father Christmas or what Reindeer really want you to leave for them on Christmas Eve?

Come to our festive family fun event and find out all the insider knowledge from the great man himself!

Meet Father Christmas and find out what you should be leaving for him and the Reindeers on Christmas Eve? Or perhaps, enjoy some seasonal stories featuring classics like ‘The Snowman’ and ‘The Polar Express’? There will be lots of fun opportunities to get on Santa’s good side at Woodhorn this winter and every child will leave the experience with a lovely seasonal gift.

The ticket price is £6.50 per child. Please note that Adult visitors will not be charged for the experience, but Museums Northumberland annual membership charges will apply.

The ticket price includes:

A 30-minute session with Father Christmas including seasonal stories
An all important photo opportunity
A seasonal gift

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

The ticket price is £6.50 per child. Please note that Adult visitors will not be charged for the experience, but Museums Northumberland annual membership charges will apply: £7 per adult or £6.50 for multiple adults.

Festive Tlales

Relaxed Early Opening: Festive Tales with Father Christmas

  • 8 — 9 December 2018 10:30-11am

Want to find out how to get your letter to Father Christmas or what Reindeer really want you to leave for them on Christmas Eve?

Come to our festive family fun event and find out all the insider knowledge from the great man himself!

Meet Father Christmas and find out what you should be leaving for him and the Reindeers on Christmas Eve? Or perhaps, enjoy some seasonal stories featuring classics like ‘The Snowman’ and ‘The Polar Express’? There will be lots of fun opportunities to get on Santa’s good side at Woodhorn this winter and every child will leave the experience with a lovely seasonal gift.

Woodhorn Museum will open early and this magical event has been customised to a more relaxed session for visitors on the Autism spectrum and those who would feel more comfortable in a quieter environment.

The session will include lots of festive fun for everyone.

The ticket price is £6.50 per child. Please note that Adult visitors will not be charged for the experience, but Museums Northumberland annual membership charges will apply.

The ticket price includes:

A 30-minute session with Father Christmas including seasonal stories
An all important photo opportunity
A seasonal gift

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

The ticket price is £6.50 per child. Please note that Adult visitors will not be charged for the experience, but Museums Northumberland annual membership charges will apply: £7 per adult or £6.50 for more than one adult.

Website

https://www.tickettailor.com/events/museumsnorthumberland/r/website-winter

Festive Tales

Festive Tales with Father Christmas

  • 8 — 24 December 2018

Want to find out how to get your letter to Father Christmas or what Reindeer really want you to leave for them on Christmas Eve?

Come to our festive family fun event and find out all the insider knowledge from the great man himself!

Meet Father Christmas and find out what you should be leaving for him and the Reindeer on Christmas Eve? Or perhaps, enjoy some seasonal stories featuring classics like ‘The Snowman’ and ‘The Polar Express’? There will be lots of fun opportunities to get on Santa’s good side at Woodhorn this winter and every child will leave the experience with a lovely seasonal gift.


The ticket price includes:

A 30-minute session with Father Christmas including seasonal stories
An all important photo opportunity
A seasonal gift

Sessions are: Saturday and Sunday, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm.
Christmas Eve, 11.30am,12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm.
£6.50 (booking essential)

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

The ticket price is £6.50 per child. Please note that Adult visitors will not be charged for the experience, but Museums Northumberland annual membership charges will apply.

Annual Membership Charges:
Adult: £7

Multiple Adults purchased at the same time: £6.50

Pit yard Skating

Relaxed Early Opening: Pit Yard Skating

  • 15 — 16 December 2018 From 10am

Woodhorn Museum will open early and this magical event will provide a more relaxed session for visitors on the autism spectrum and those who would feel more comfortable in a quieter environment.

Come along and enjoy festive fun for all the family.

Skate through history on our popular WonderIce Rink. Enjoy the magnificent Pit Yard setting and skate off some of that seasonal indulgence at Woodhorn Museum this winter.

Ticket prices are as follows:

​​Adults £5
​Visitors aged 2-16 £4
This event is open to visitors aged over two and visitors aged 2-5 must be accompanied by an adult

Please note that the standard Museums Northumberland annual membership charges apply

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Ticket prices are as follows:

​​Adults £5
​Visitors aged 2-16 £4
This event is open to visitors aged over two and visitors aged 2-5 must be accompanied by an adult

Please note that the standard Museums Northumberland annual membership charges apply: £7 per adult or £6.50 for more than one adult.

Website

https://www.tickettailor.com/events/museumsnorthumberland/r/website-winter

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

Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives
QE II Country Park
Ashington
Northumberland
NE63 9YF
England

Website

http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com

E-mail

generalenquiries@woodhorn.org.uk

Telephone

01670 624455

Fax

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.
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