What’s on in Northumberland – to Thursday, December 22

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STAGE/FILM

Saturday, December 17: The Holly & The Ivy. A lively, cheerful and thoughtful look at midwinter and Christmas through music, song, dance, stories and customs. Featuring accordionist/singer David Oliver, master fiddler Stewart Hardy and dancer/musician Laura Connolly. At Rennington Village Hall. Tickets £8.50 adults, children £5, including interval buffet. To book, call 01665 577253.

LIVE MUSIC

Tonight and Thursday, December 22: Buskers Night. Come and show off your talent. At The Railway Inn, Acklington. 8.30pm. Free. More information call 01670 760320.

Tomorrow: The Elles. Live music duo. At The Railway Inn, Acklington. 8pm. Free. Christmas Fair also available. More information call 01670 760320.

Saturday, December 17: Christmas Party. Amble-based band NE Guns perform. At The Trap, North Broomhill. Starts 7.45pm with support band Snapped Strings before NE Guns perform about 9.15pm. There will be a hog roast available. Free entry. More information, visit www.neguns.org.uk

Saturday, December 17: LUSH Acoustic. Fourth birthday gig with We Steal Flyers, Bill Read, Jamie Robb, Tom Beels, Carl Cape, David Ainsworth and Eric Davison. At The Tanners Arms, Alnwick. 8.30pm. Free.

Monday, December 19: Northumberland Traditional Music Session. Live music at The Railway Inn, Acklington. 8pm. Free. More information, call Jack or Pam Daws on 01665 722835.

Wednesday, December 21: Northumberland Traditional Music Session. Live music at The Fleece, Alnwick. 8pm. Free.

Wednesday, December 21: Open Mic Christmas Special. Hosted by We Steal Flyers and featuring a cash-prize draw. At The Trap, North Broomhill. 8.30pm. Free entry and free food available.

Thursday, December 22: Glendale Accordion and Fiddle Club. Marion Anderson Trio perform. Bar available. Admission, members £4.50, non-members £6, includes supper. Membership £8. More information, contact Sheila Smailes on 01668 281535.

EVENTS

Today: Crib Service. Amble Links First School Crib Service. 1.30pm.

Today to Saturday, December 17, and Thursday, December 22: Willow Lantern Walk. See The Alnwick Garden in glowing light, collect a beautiful hand-made willow lantern for an evening walk through The Garden. 4pm–7pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Today to Saturday, December 17, and Thursday, December 22: Children’s Lantern Workshop. At The Alnwick Garden. 4pm–7pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Today to Thursday, December 22: A magical meeting with Father Christmas. Come and meet Father Christmas in his beautifully lit grotto, filled with decorations and magical displays. At The Alnwick Garden. £5 per child, plus standard Garden admission ticket, including a traditional gift. Today and tomorrow, 4pm–7pm, Saturday, December 17, 10am–7pm, Sunday, December 18 to Wednesday, December 21, 10am–4pm, and Thursday, December 22, 10am–7pm. Tickets are available online and on the day. Limited availability, pre-booking recommended. More information, visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Today to Thursday, December 22: Christmas Star Trail. Can you find the stars that are hiding in The Alnwick Garden? Each star guards a letter that will help you solve a Christmas puzzle. Collect trail card from admissions. 10am–4pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Today to Sunday, December 18, and Thursday, December 22: Film Screenings. Warm up in the Pavilion Cafe and enjoy screenings of festive favourites. At The Alnwick Garden. 10am–4pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Tonight: Christmas Carols and Festive Music Night. An evening of music and song. The Alnwick Silver Singers will perform some of their favourite songs and lead the company in singing traditional carols. A special guest, Grace Halliday from the Youth Choir of Edinburgh, will perform and other traditional players will add to the evening. Mulled wine, mince pies, tea/coffee available. At The Jubilee Hall, Newton on the Moor. 7pm. Entry £3.50, in aid of the village hall. Pay on the door or book a table by calling 01665 575232.

Tonight: Aln Valley Railway Society. The Members Entertain. Annual buffet, raffle and evening of short presentations from members and guests. In the Old Waiting Room, Alnwick Station. 7pm for 7.30pm. Visitors, members and their guests welcome for a small donation towards meeting costs. Refreshments available from 7pm. More information, contact Roger Jermy on 01665 606168.

Tomorrow: The Big Universe. A night about scientific efforts to understand the Big Bang to the cold, dark, empty end of everything. Takes place at Kielder Observatory. The night includes a tour of the facility and use of the powerful telescopes. 8pm. Adults £8, conc £6. Book online at www.kielderobseratory.org or call 07805 638469 for assistance.

Tomorrow and Saturday, December 17: Treefest. See the decorated Christmas trees and enjoy light refreshments. At St Mark’s URC, Amble. 3pm–8pm. Donations to Amble Christmas Lights and St Mark’s. On Saturday, December 17, there will be Christmas activities for children aged 5-10 years from 2pm–4pm. The church’s festival service takes place on Sunday, December 18, from 3pm.

Saturday, December 17: Christmas Fair. Festive event to raise funds for the 1st Whittingham BP Scout Group. With Santa’s grotto, craft and food stalls, tombola and raffle and refreshments, including soup. At The Northumberland Hall, Alnwick. 10.30am–3.30pm. Entry to the fair is free, but donations are welcome. Entry to Santa’s grotto is £2.

Saturday, December 17: Christmas Crafts. Join glitter-filled workshops to make a range of Christmas cards and gift bags, to decorations, bath bombs and reindeer food. At The Alnwick Garden. 11am–3pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Saturday, December 17: Festive Concert. Alnwick and District Choral Society present A Victorian Christmas in Words and Music, featuring carols and readings on the traditional Christmas theme including well-known carols for you to join in. At St Michael’s Church, Alnwick. 7.30pm. Tickets £9, conc £8, available at the door. Refreshments after the concert in aid of church funds.

Saturday, December 17: Christmas at Kielder Observatory. A log fire, mulled wine and a talk with a distinguished speaker. Gaze at the heavens and use the telescopes to look at distant objects in the universe. 8pm. Adults £8, conc £6. Book online at www.kielderobseratory.org or call 07805 638469 for assistance.

Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18: Christmas at Wallington. Admire the decorations in the house and enjoy carol singing and seasonal music. Festive workshops will also take place with a Christmas trail and stories from Mrs Santa. Also meet Santa in his grotto. Normal charges apply, plus a small charge for some activities. Santa visits, £6, includes a gift. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 10.30am–3.30pm. Contact 01670 773600.

Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18: Christmas Fact Finding Trails. Specially designed for little ones to learn some intriguing festive facts. At Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. 10am–4pm. Free event but normal admission applies.

Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18: Family Wreathmaking. Get together as a family to make a beautiful Christmas wreath to take home and display to welcome in the festive season. At The Alnwick Garden. 11am–4pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18: Christmas Tree Sales. Escape the city crowds and shop for Christmas in a more relaxed way at Kielder Castle. The forest shop and Duke’s Pantry will be open and trees will be on sale from Kielder Castle courtyard. Self-led Christmas trail also available. 11am–4pm. More information, call 01434 250209.

Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18: Christmas Carols. 20,000 Voices and local choirs share seasonal songs. Noon–3pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Sunday, December 18: Mese Mundo. This community carnival band will be at The Alnwick Garden performing at intervals from 4.30pm. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Monday, December 19: Civic Christmas Carol Service. With the Bailiffgate Singers. Seasonal refreshments will be served after the service. At St Michael’s Parish Church, Bailiffgate, Alnwick. 7pm. Free.

Monday, December 19: Evening of Original Music and Poetry. A brilliant new piece of work, entitled Horse, will be performed live by its creators, Northumbrian poet Katrina Porteous and composer and computer music pioneer Peter Zinovieff. Written for the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival in November 2011 at The Sage Gateshead, Horse was inspired by the 3,000-year-old Uffington chalk figure that leaps across the Oxfordshire landscape. Scored for voice and two computers, Horse mixes the sound of a Cornish ferry with human voices to conjure echoes of the Cretaceous sea, the dragon beneath it and recollections from our deepest past. At Barter Books, Alnwick. 7.30pm. Entrance £3, wine and cheese afterwards. To be assured of a seat, it is advised to arrive early, with doors opening at 7pm.

Wednesday, December 21: Winter Walk. Join a member of the gardening team at 11am every Wednesday for a tour around The Alnwick Garden in its winter splendour and to learn about the exciting new developments taking place in time for spring. More information visit www.alnwickgarden.com or call 01665 511350.

Wednesday, December 21: Alnwick Baptist Church Carol Service. At The Northumberland Hall, Alnwick. 7.30pm. All welcome to stay for refreshments, including mince pies, afterwards.

Wednesday, December 21: Public Observing. Learn about the incredible dark sky with your naked eye, binoculars or with 14” and 20” telescopes supplied by Kielder Observatory – or bring your own. Experts will be on hand to guide you around the sky and to help you use the instruments. At Kielder Observatory. 8pm. Adults £8, conc £6. Book online at www.kielderobseratory.org or call 07805 638469 for assistance.

WALKS

Sunday, December 18: Christmas Guided Walk – Simonside. A seven-mile, moderate walk offering spectacular views and also exploring Lordenshaws Iron Age fort. Starts 10am at Lordenshaws. £14. More information and to book, visit www.shepherdswalks.co.uk or call 01830 540453.

Sunday, December 18: Guided Walk. A 7.5-mile walk with Alnwick Ramblers from Dunstan Steads to High Newton. Meet at Dunstan Steads. Walk starts 10.30am. For more information, or if weather is inclement, call walk leader Penny Ford on 01670 788278.

Alnwick Health Walks (Starter). Every Wednesday at 10am from Alnwick TIC. Maximum 30 minutes. Contact Jon Monks on 01665605030.

Amble Health Walks. Every Tuesday at 1.30pm from Amble Tourist Information Centre. Starter and intermediate Contact Jon Monks on 01665 605030.

Belford Health Walks. Short walk, Every Monday, 1.30pm, long walk every Monday, 2pm. For both walks meet at Bell View Resource Centre, West Street. Contact North Northumberland Sports Development Team on 01665 511494.

Berwick Health Walks (Beginner and Intermediate). Both Wednesday. Meet at 1.30pm at The Maltings. Contact North Northumberland Sports Development Team on 01665 511494.

Hadston Health Walks (Starter). Every Wednesday at 1pm from Hadston House. Contact Jon Monks on 01665 605030.

Rothbury Health Walks (Starter). Every Friday at 10.30am from Rothbury TIC. Intermediate/long walks every Friday at 10.30am. Contact Jon Monks on 01665 605030.

Seahouses Health Walks. Every Monday at 2pm. Meet at the Resource Centre. Contact Kelvin Rusworth on 01665 721868 or send a text to 07745 571802 or email seahouseswalking@hotmail.com

Wooler Health Walks (Intermediate). Every Thursday at 1.30pm. Meet at the Cheviot Centre. Contact North Northumberland Sports Development Team on 01665 511494.

EXHIBITIONS

Alnwick Playhouse, Bondgate Without, Alnwick, 01665 510785. The autumn/winter display from Alnwick and district arts association. Lighting up the winter days with an exhibition of paintings and photographs displaying their varied talents. Until February 4. Open during box office hours.

Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick, 01665 605847. A Stroll in the Parks. Until tomorrow. Display based upon the two great Parks in the area – Hulne Park on the edge of Alnwick, plus the Northumberland National Park. Featuring items and images on loan from both Northumberland Estates and the National Park, along with old images from the Museum’s own collection, this is an opportunity to revisit the beauty and majesty of the local parklands. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–4pm. Adults £2.50, conc, seniors, students, unemployed £2, U16s free, family (2 adults/1 conc) £6.70, family (2 adults plus 2 conc) £7.60.

Belford Craft Gallery, Market Place, Belford, 01668 213888. Visit www.belfordcraftgallery.com

Crown Studio Gallery, Crown Studio Gallery, Bridge Street Rothbury, 01669 622890, www.crownstudio.co.uk, Twitter @northumberart. Winter exhibition. A sophisticated selection of work by professional artist makers. Exquisite jewellery, Northumbrian landscape paintings, limited edition prints, studio glass, designer silk scarves, etchings, sculptural ceramics, domestic stoneware and other tempting treats. For the archaeologist, antiquarian or historian of the family you’ll discover an exciting hoard of historic ceramic replicas from Roman hunt cups to tactile Willendorf Venuses. Free gift wrapping service on all purchases. Open every day of the week 10am to 5pm including Sundays until December 25. Mince pies and mulled wine for customers on Sundays.

Fenwick Gallery, Warkworth, 01665 711136. For information visit www.fenwickgallery.co.uk

Hope and Anchor Hotel, Alnmouth, 01665 830363. A photographic exhibition by Alnmouth Camera Group. From noon and runs until early 2012. Open daily.

The Aln Gift Shop and Gallery, 57 Northumberland Street, Alnmouth, 01665 830245. Autumn display by Joanne Wishart with limited edition and original hare prints. Original work and prints by Emma Holliday. Open daily, 10am–5pm, Sundays 11am–4.30pm.

The Congregational Gallery, High Street, Rothbury, NE65 7TL. 01669 621900. Autumn and winter exhibition featuring the work of Japanese artist Hideyuki Sobue, as well as Stephen King, Liz Tainsh, Jo Kirkham-Knaggs and the sculptures of Lisa Delarny. Closed Monday and Wednesday. Open Tuesday, as well as Thursday–Saturday, 10.30am–4.30pm, Sunday 11.30am–4.30pm. Check website for events and suppers, www.thecongregational.co.uk, email Linda@thecongregational.co.uk

The Design Room Art Gallery, 79 High Street, Wooler, NE71 6BD. New work exhibited by artist Roz Bell and Nigel Cooke. Open Monday–Saturday, 10am–3pm, other times by appointment. Call 07921 436427 or visit www.thedesignroomartgallery.co.uk

The Old School Gallery, Alnmouth, 01665 830600, www.theoldschoolgallery.co.uk. Gallery & Picture Framing Service. Christmas Exhibition with four contrasting artists – Derek Jones, Sue Fenlon, Mike Bell and Daphne Harrison, all of whom specialise in their own field. Mince pies and mulled wine supplied every Saturday afternoon in December before Christmas. Open Wednesdays to Sundays (closed Mondays and Tuesdays) and Bank Holidays. Visit website for more information.

ATTRACTIONS

Alnwick Garden, Alnwick. 01665 511350. Open daily, 10am–4pm, but from Thursdays to Saturdays it also hosts winter lights and evening events from 4pm–7pm. Adult £11, conc £9 (including an optional £1 Gift Aid donation), child 1p, group £7pp. For winter lights and evening events, standard admission prices apply, tickets are valid for the full day and include a hot drink upon evening on arrival.

Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick. 01665 605847. Open Tuesdays–Sundays, 10am–4pm. Closed Mondays. Adults £2.50, conc, seniors, students, unemployed £2, U16s free, family (2 adults/1 conc) £6.70, family (2 adults plus 2 conc) £7.60.

Bamburgh Castle. Open weekends only, 11am–4.30pm, last admission 3.30pm. Adult £8.50, child £4 (under 5 free), senior £7.50, family £21. Groups call 01668 214 208. Schools £2 per pupil.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. 01661 881636. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–4pm, and closed Mondays–Fridays. Adult £7.50, child £4.50, conc £6.80, family £19.50, English Heritage members free.

Chillingham Castle. 01668 215359. During the closed season – November–April – the castle welcomes groups by special appointment. Adult £8.50, conc £7.50, child (5–15) £4, family £21.

Cragside House, Gardens and Estate. 01669 620333. Gardens and Estate open today until Sunday, December 18, 11am–4pm. From Monday, December 19, the Gardens and Estate are closed for the rest of 2011. Gift aid prices – adult £4.60, children £2.10, family £10.90. U5s/National Trust members free. House closed.

Dunstanburgh Castle. 01665 576231. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–4pm, and closed Mondays–Fridays. Adult £4, child £2.40, £3.60 conc. English Heritage members free. If weather is poor, ring ahead to check opening hours.

Edlingham Castle. Open during daylight hours. Free.

Etal Castle. 01890 820332. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–4pm, and closed Mondays–Fridays. Adult £3.80, child £2.30, conc £3.40, family £9.90.

Fenton Centre. 01668 216216. Open Wednesdays–Sundays, 10am–4pm.

House of Hardy Museum, Alnwick. Call 01665 510027 for opening times. Free.

Hulne Park, Ratten Row, Alnwick. Open 11am–dusk.

Kirkharle Courtyard, Kirkwhelpington, 01830 540362. Shops, arts and craft workshops and food outlets in a 15th century farm courtyard.

Lindisfarne Castle. 01289 389244. Open Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18, 10am-3pm. Closed today and tomorrow and then from Monday, December 19 until Thursday, December 29.

Lindisfarne Centre. 01289 389004. Open today and tomorrow and Wednesday, December 21, and Thursday, December 22, 10.15am–3.45pm, Saturday, December 17, and Sunday, December 18, 11.15am–3.45pm, and Monday, December 19, and Tuesday, December 20, 12.15pm–3.45pm. Adults £3, children (5–15 years-old) £1, family £8, U5s free.

Lindisfarne Priory. 01289 389200. Open Saturday and Sunday only, 10am–4pm, and closed Mondays–Fridays. Adult £4.80, child £2.90, conc £4.30, English Heritage members free.

Longframlington Gardens, Swarland Road, Longframlington. 01665 570382. Open by pre-arrangement only. Garden and arboretum £4.25 adults, supervised children free.

Preston Tower. 01665 589227. Open daily 10am–dusk. Adult £2, child 50p, conc/groups £1.50.

RNLI Grace Darling Museum, Radcliffe Road, Bamburgh, 01668 214910. Open Tuesday–Sunday and Bank Holidays, 10am–4pm, last entry 3.30pm. Adult £2.75, child/conc £1.75, family £7.25. On Saturday, November 26, entry to the Museum is free.

Wallington. 01670 773600. Call to check opening times.

Warkworth Castle. 01665 711423. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–4pm. Closed Mondays–Fridays. Adult £4.80, child £2.90, conc £4.30, family £12.50, English Heritage members free.