10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review)

Woodhorn is a former coal mine, museum and heritage centre near Ashington in Northumberland. It's super easy to get to (just off A189), especially if you are travelling along the Northumberland coast. Parking is free and an annual pass is just £7 for adults (£6.50 if buying multiple at the same time) or £6 for OAPs and students. Under 16s are admitted free of charge. We're annual pass holders and have probably visited Woodhorn 20+ times over the years. We love it and think it provides excellent value for local families. Here's why we recommend a trip:

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review)

1 - One of the best places in the North East to bring the grandparents

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - 70s living room and TV

When people ask me for ideas for places to visit with their parents\grandparents, Woodhorn is my number one recommendation. It's one of those days out which is fab for all ages and especially good for bringing older relatives along. My grandparents love telling stories about how life was like when Cramlington was a pit village and Woodhorn brings it all back and is a real trip down memory lane for the older generation. Part of the museum is a walk-through experience with mock-up rooms and sets featuring life in Northumberland through the decades. I swear the 80s living room could have been taken straight from my childhood home. Woodhorn is easy to get around (and there are wheelchairs and motorised scooters to borrow if needed) and there's a lovely cafe where grandparents can sit and enjoy a coffee whilst watching the grandkids in the adjacent park.

2 - You can take a train ride

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - woodhorn train

Woodhorn Railway is a fantastic way to travel and imagine life as a miner. Trains are run by volunteers (daily 10am - 2:30pm approximately) and rides are priced at just £1 single or £2 return (make sure you bring cash). The mini train ride will take you up past the lake at the Woodhorn Grange pub and back again and is an inexpensive treat for all.

3 - Free quality craft activities

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - free crafts

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - free crafts

Woodhorn host free craft activities in their Tanky Engine Shed which are always of very high quality and run by enthusiastic staff and volunteers. These activities tend to take place between 12noon-3pm on weekends and Northumberland school holidays (check their website for up to date details). In the past, we've made trumpets and glowing gems. I would visit Woodhorn for their craft activities alone and I can't believe they're available at no additional cost.

4 - A huge range of ever-changing exhibitions 

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - poppies exhibition

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - art gallery

There is always something new to see at Woodhorn which is part of the reason we keep going back. Over the years we've enjoyed a Doctor Who and Sci-Fi exhibition, Dinosaurs, Snake encountersWeeping Window Poppies, Bones exhibition and my personal favourite, Frost of Forgetfulness plus so much more. Woodhorn is such a fantastic space and I love how diverse the exhibitions are and that they're never afraid to host something a little more unusual too.

5 - Annual fun days 

Woodhorn hosts a range of annual fun days from Miner's Picnics to Sci-Fi invasions. These events are always super popular and they're not to be missed.

6 - There's a play park and lots of space to run about

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - play park

Woodhorn offers lots of outdoor space for kids to run around and burn off some energy. I love that the cafe has an outside terrace overlooking the park so grown-ups can chill out while their kids go wild.

7 -  The Woodhorn Cafe offers excellent value

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - toys in cafe

The Woodhorn Cafe is fantastic. We've eaten here on many occasions and I can never believe how cheap it is. My kids love the simple pick n mix lunch boxes and they serve Ringtons tea, coffee and biscuits as well as a small selection of homemade cakes, tray bakes scones, sandwiches and cooked dishes. There's even a mini play area with building blocks and colouring sheets for kids to use inside of the cafe too.

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - kids meal deal

8 - Lovely, helpful staff

Each time we visit Woodhorn the staff are always super friendly, warm and welcoming. Nothing is ever too much trouble.

9 - All-weather attraction and accessible 

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - woodhorn banners

Woodhorn is a lovely place to visit on one of those (many) days where the weather is changeable. There's an indoor museum, walk-through experience, galleries and cafes plus some of the old mine buildings are indoors so there's plenty of places to shelter if the weather takes a turn for the worst. Equally, if the sun is shining, there's lots of outdoor space with a park, picnic tables and walks to enjoy.

All of Woodhorn's buildings which are open to the public are accessible (with two a little challenging) and you can borrow wheelchairs or a mobility scooter. Dogs are allowed on a lead in the outdoor areas too.

10 - Learn about Northumberland's history

We love learning about local history and Woodhorn is the perfect place to do this. From designing your own Miner's Gala banner to playing a game with racing pigeons and walking through a pretend mine/dressing as a miner, Woodhorn provides lots of hands-on and interactive ways for children to learn about their heritage for which I am thankful for.

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - coal shovel

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - retro table game

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review) - design a banner

Are you looking for other ideas for days out in Northumberland? Why not join my North East Days Out Reviews Facebook group. It's free! Or how about reading one of these posts next:
You can find out more about Woodhorn here:  https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk/

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10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review)


1 comment

  1. I am such a supporter of kids learning more about the area they come from. As a child from Norfolk I can tell you so much about how the Broads were formed and all the different river birds - for some reason the local history I was taught has stuck in my head far more than any other history I was ever taught at school!

    I'm definitely going to go to Woodhorn at some point, I can't believe I've never been! Would you say it's also an enjoyable place to visit if you don't have kids?


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