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Friday, 19 February 2016

A Snake Encounter at Woodhorn - a temporary exhibition until 10th April

February half term is always a funny one - we do try and get outdoors but the weather is just SO miserable! My Timehop has revealed that we quite often visit Woodhorn during this holiday and this year was no different. We specifically visited to discover the secret world of snakes at the temporary 'Snake Encounter' which continues until 10th April.

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Snake Encounter entrance


Need to know


  • Entry to the main Woodhorn museum and archives in FREE
  • Car parking is £3.50 per car per day
  • The Snake Encounter Exhibition costs £4.50 per adult and £3.50 per child. Under 5's are free and discounted family tickets are available. You purchase tickets on the door and they are valid all day
  • Open Wednesday - Sunday 10am-4pm plus Monday and Tuesday during school holidays

Woodhorn Museum

One of the things I love about Woodhorn is their ever-changing exhibitions meaning there is always something new to see and do (we loved the Poppies last October). Before visiting the Snake Encounter we had a quick walk around the grounds and reminded ourselves of Northumberland's mining heritage. 

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Colliery

We walked through the museum as it brings to life what it's like living in a mining district throughout the decades. I love the replica of an 80's living room - always brings back nice memories for me. 


We always marvel at the banners above our head too.....

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Banners

I always enjoy wandering around the galleries upstairs near the archive and I absolutely loved the current Ashington Star exhibition which continues until 6th March (so be quick if you'd like to see it). Mostly featuring photographs and paintings from real families in Ashington, it's very thought provoking and definitely one of my favourite exhibitions the museum has featured.

There are snake crafts upstairs too which were very busy so unfortunately we didn't get a chance to join in......next time though and if we had planned on spending any longer at Woodhorn I'm sure we could have squeezed in. The Snake Encounter was beckoning though.....

A Snake Encounter

We were informed on arrival that the next live Snake Encounter with Bugs n Stuff would be at 2pm so after an hour of wondering around the museum we headed over. We've created a short video of our experience and hope you like it:-




The live Snake Encounter happens at several points throughout the day and are well signposted. It's easy to plan your day around this. Guy from Bugs n Stuff was fab and well....knows his stuff! The informal sessions gave us all the chance to learn about snakes, how to care for them, their behaviour in the wild and we even had the chance to touch a snake too. The session lasted around 30 minutes and was light-hearted, fun and factual! All ages seemed to enjoy it from toddlers to grannies. There was a chance to ask questions too. 

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Guy Tansley from Bugs n Stuff live snake demonstration



Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Guy Tansley from Bugs n Stuff live snake demonstration


After our live encounter we washed our hands (hand gel is provided) and headed through to the exhibition part of the encounter. 

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - A Snake Encounter Exhibition

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - A Snake Encounter Exhibition, Snake Skeleton

We spent around 30 minutes in this section but if I didn't have my boisterous 5 year old with me it would have been longer with the older two. There were snake models and hundreds of facts around the room. 

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - A Snake Encounter Exhibition Snake Model

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - A Snake Encounter Exhibition

Heidi was even brave enough to pop her hands in a few of the unknown boxes,........

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - A Snake Encounter Exhibition


We could see how our weight compared to various snakes on this special machine too.....


Of course, we had to exit through the gift shop. Soft toy snakes for the boys and a snake 'slap on' bracelet for Heidi - 3 gifts for around £10, not too expensive I thought. 


Overall I think the Snake Encounter provides superb value for money - we spent over an hour in this part alone and then another few hours in the museum. If you pack a picnic or take lunch in the cafe, plus ride the special Woodhorn train, I'm confident you could easily spend around 4 hours enjoying Woodhorn and all it has to offer.

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Woodhorn exterior shot

Woodhorn Museum near Ashington, Northumberland - Woodhorn exterior shot


A Snake Encounter at Woodhorn, Northumberland - a review



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