What’s on in north Northumberland - December 31 - January 7

The one everyone has been waiting for! 30 years on from Return of the Jedi, George Lucas' epic saga continues and Alnwick Playhouse will be showing it Saturday, January 2, More details below.
The one everyone has been waiting for! 30 years on from Return of the Jedi, George Lucas' epic saga continues and Alnwick Playhouse will be showing it Saturday, January 2, More details below.

See what’s on in north Northumberland for the next seven days. Covering theatre, films, live music, walks and other events taking place in Northumberland this week. If you have an entry email the address above.


Until January 17

Dick Whittington. Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Tickets available from £12. See the website www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/dick-whittington-1516 for further information.


Northumberland Theatre Company, The Ugly Duckling. Craster Village Hall, Northumberland, 2.30pm. A funny and heart-warming story for all the family, packed with song, dance and visual treats about growing up, finding your own identity and a mother’s struggle to protect her children or let them go. Call 01665 576226 or 01665 576479 for further information.


Saturday until January 9

Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Alnwick Playhouse, 2pm and 7.30pm. The one everyone has been waiting for! Thirty years on from Return of the Jedi, George Lucas’ epic saga continues. Fancy Dress welcome. Tickets: premier £7.80, standard £7.50, concession £7, child/student £5.50, friends £6.75. Certificate (12A).


The Lady In The Van. The Maltings, Berwick, 1pm. Maggie Smith stars in this hilarious and heart-warming film based on real events. A colourfully complex character, Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith) “temporarily” parked in the driveway of writer Alan Bennett’s (Alex Jennings) home – and stayed there for 15 years. Tickets: £7.75, £6.75 concession, £4.75 child. Certificate (12A).

Tuesday until Thursday

The Good Dinosaur. The Maltings, Berwick, 4.30pm. What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While travelling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. Tickets: £7.75, £6.75 concession, £4.75 child. Certificate (PG).


Steve Jobs. The Maltings, Berwick, 7.30pm. His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However, his drive to revolutionise technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicentre. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, the late chief executive of Apple inc. Steven Paul Jobs. Tickets: £7.75, £6.75 concession, £4.75 child (ages 15 and 16 only). Certificate (15).

live music/dance


Northumberland Traditional Music Session. Blue Bell, Belford. For more information contact Jack or Pam Daws on 01665 722835.


Every Thursday

Gateway Drop-In. Shilbottle Community Hall, every Thursday, from 10am to 4pm, come along to a free drop-in to meet friends over refreshments, and maybe play cards, read newspapers, watch television, or use the internet, and in the afternoon join the craft group.

Today (Thursday)

A Garden of Fairy Tales. The Alnwick Garden. A strange wind is blowing through The Alnwick Garden, bringing with it a band of fairy tale characters and an exciting quest. Beauty is in trouble, the Wicked Queen intends to poison her. Are you brave enough to join our fairy tale adventure and save Beauty? Free with The Alnwick Garden admission.

Today (Thursday)

New Year’s Eve Stargazing Party. Kielder Observatory, 8pm to 1am, January 1. Join the observatory for a night under the darkest skies in the UK, celebrating the end of 2015 and a New Year beginning. The now famed New Year’s Eve parties are a real showstopper. Let the team of astronomers guide you through the facility using high-tech instruments as they show you the wonders of the night sky. With the winter constellations overhead and the Milky Way still visible, it promises to be a great night. For details visit the website www.kielderobservatory.org

Until January 3

Game On 2.0. Life Science Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 10am to 6pm. With Game ON 2.0 your gaming journey takes you through the decades up to contemporary favourites, including Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3, with games such as Halo 3, Wii Sports Resort and Rock Band. The exhibition gives a global take on video games. The highlights include an exploration of the influence of manga and anime on computer games; films that have been influenced by and influenced computer games; online gaming, music composed for games, and new games technologies. Tickets: family (two adults and two children, or one adult and three children) £31.50, single adult £12.95, concession £9.50, child (aged five to 17) £7.50, child (aged four and under) free.

Until January 8

Into The Woods. Gallery 45, Felton, 10am to 5pm. A group exhibition showing new work by the eight resident artists and designers of Studios at 45.

Until January 24

Berwick Visual Arts presents: Where is the Line? Drawings from mima’s collection. The Granary Gallery, Berwick, from 11am. Where is the Line? brings together a number of works from the collection of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA). Free admission.

Until February 7

Our Streets. Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick (Museums and Galleries), 10am to 4pm. A celebration of the hugely successful three-year programme of community activity in the Alnwick area involving schools, streets and all kinds of community groups, all kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The output on show includes films, books and artworks, plus the Memory Box of oral history captured from Alnwick District residents. Free with museum entry.

Until March 6

The Ashington District Star. Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives, Ashington. Inspired by the Ashington Group Painters, photographic artist Julian Germain has embarked on a two-year collaboration with local people to produce a new newspaper, The Ashington District Star. The exhibition incorporates the original paintings and maps the editorial process involved in developing a new collection of created and collected photographs about contemporary Ashington and the surrounding area. Free. Parking charge of £3.50 applies for the whole site.

Tomorrow (Friday)

Get to Know Your Telescope. Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory, Hexham, 8pm to 11pm. The evening starts with a history of astronomical telescopes from Galileo to the space telescopes of the present day. The team will guide you through the types available to use in the observatory and the ones you might be thinking of buying for yourself. You’ll then get to experiment with the observatory telescopes, and if the skies are clear, you may be led in an ad-hoc stargazing session. If you have a telescope of your own then you can also ask the team to help you set it up and they will show you how to start using it. Please let us know if this is the case at your time of booking. During the winter months the observatory warm room is kept cosy and with hot drinks available all year round. Tickets: single (adult) £15, concession £12, family of four £49.

Every Friday

Coffee morning. Enjoy a cup of rich coffee and tasty biscuits and do your bit for the lifeboats every Friday morning at Alnwick Playhouse. Coffee is served from 10am, upstairs in the bar.


5km Run. Head along to Gibside and join its weekly park run to blast away the Christmas excess with like-minded people. A 5km run takes place at Gibside every Saturday, at 9am, and whether you’re a beginner or a professional, everyone is welcome to take part in this group run through Gibside’s beautiful landscape. For more information visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside


Today (Thursday)

Craster to Low Newton Coastal Walk. For a bracing and beautiful coastal walk, Northumberland is without compare. This walk sets off from the fishing village of Craster, passing the mighty ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and the long sweep of Embleton Sands, before reaching Low Newton by the Sea. It is a moderate walk, about six miles long, and dog-friendly. Visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/embleton-and-newton-links for more information.

Today (Thursday)

Farne Islands, Inner Farne wildlife walk. The Farne Islands are one of the natural highlights of the Northumbrian coast. Famed for providing sanctuary to St Cuthbert in the 7th century, Inner Farne is now renowned as a summer haven for nesting sea birds. For full details, visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/farne-islands

Tomorrow (Friday)

New Year’s Day Walk. A New Year’s Day walk is a tradition for many families. If you fancy trying a new route this year, you can take inspiration from National Trust rangers who work in the countryside all year round. They’ve suggested their favourite winter walks at places like Hadrian’s Wall, the Northumberland Coast, Wallington and Gibside. You can find the list and download a route online at the trust’s website – www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northeast


Berwick Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks. A 7.5-mile moderate circular walk from Etal, starting at 1Oam. Take refreshments with you and wear suitable clothing and footwear. For more details please telephone 01289 388668 or 01289 309581.


Alnwick Ramblers. Morpeth and its River. Meet in the car park beside Marks and Spencer, 10.30am. OS Ref: NZ201859. The walk is 7.25 miles and is led by Paul Wright. Telephone 01665 799403 for further information. If the weather is inclement, check with the walk leader.


Please note, all attraction opening times may vary during the winter season.

Aln Valley Railway, Alnwick: 0300 030 3311. For opening times and further details visit the website www.alnvalleyrailway.co.uk

Alnwick Castle: 01665 511100. Please note, Alnwick Castle is now closed until March 2016. For further information, visit the website www.alnwickcastle.com

Alnwick Garden: 01665 511350. Please see the website online at www.alnwickgarden.com for winter opening hours. Prices are £7.70 adult, £5.83 concession, £4.40 child, £21.50 family.

Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick: 01665 605847. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 4pm, but is closed on Mondays. Admission is £4, £3 concession, £1 child, under-fives free.

Bamburgh Castle: 01668 214515. Open daily, from 10am to 5pm, last admission 4pm. Please call for winter opening hours. Admission £10.50, £5 child, £10 senior, £25 family.

Barter Books, Alnwick Station: 01665 604888. Open daily, from 9am to 5pm.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens: 01661 881636. Open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Admission £9.20, £8.30 concession, £5.50 child, £23.90 family.

Berwick Barracks: 01289 304493. Open Monday to Friday, from 10am to 6pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Admission £4.80, £4.30 concession, £2.90 child, £12.50 family.

Chillingham Wild Cattle Park: 01668 215250. Open Monday to Friday: Tours at 10am, 11am, noon, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm. Sundays: Tours at 10am, 11am, noon. Closed Saturday. Admission £8, £6 concession, £3 child, £16 family.

Cragside House, Gardens and Estate: The house is closed and the gardens and woodlands are only open Friday to Sunday. Closed completely on December 20 for winter, then open again on February 13.

Dunstanburgh Castle: 01665 576231. Open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Gift aid admission: £4.90, £4.40 concession, £2.90 child, £12.70 family.

Edlingham Castle: 0870 333 1181. Open during daylight hours. Free admission.

Etal Castle: 01890 820332. Open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Gift aid admission: £4.80, £4.30 concession, £2.90 child, £12.50 family.

Heatherslaw Cornmill: 01890 820488. Open daily, from 10am to 5pm. Admission £3.80, £3.20 concession, £10 family, under-fives free.

Heatherslaw Light Railway: 01890 820244. Open daily, from 10am to 4pm, first train at 11am. Return journey prices: £6.50, £6 seniors, £4.50 child, £2.50 under-fives, babies free.

Heatherslaw Visitor Centre: 01890 820338. Open daily, from 10am to 5pm.

Howick Hall Gardens: 01665 577285. Open daily, from 10.30am to 6pm, last entry 5pm. Gift aid entry: £7.70, over 60s £6.60, children free. Closed until February.

Lady Waterford Hall, Ford: 01890 820338. Open daily, from 11am to 5pm. Admission £3, £2.70 concession, £8 family, under-fives free.

Lindisfarne Castle: 01289 389244. Call for opening times. Gift aid admission: £7.80, child £3.90, family £19.40.

Lindisfarne Centre: 01289 389004. Call for opening times. Admission £4, £3.50 concession, £2 child, £10 family, under-fives free.

Lindisfarne Priory: 01289 389200. Open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Gift aid admission: £6.20, £5.60 concession, £3.70 child, £16.10 family.

Longframlington Gardens, Swarland Road: 01665 570382. Winter season at the gardens and arboretum. For details, including opening times, visit the website www.longframlingtongardens.co.uk

Preston Tower, Chathill: 01665 589227. Open daily, from 10am to 6pm, or dusk, whichever is earlier. Admission £2, 50p child, £1.50 concessions or groups.

RNLI Grace Darling Museum, Bamburgh: 01668 214910. Open daily, from 10am to 5pm, last admission 4.15pm. Free admission.

Wallington: 01670 773600. Stately home near Cambo: Open Thursday to Monday, and Wednesday, from noon to 5pm. Closed Tuesday. Walled garden: Open daily, from 10am to 7pm. Garden and estate: Open daily, from 10am to dusk. Gift aid entry: £12.60, child £6.30, family £31.50.

Warkworth Castle and Hermitage: 01665 711423. Castle: Open daily, from 10am to 6pm (times may vary through the winter). Gift aid entry: £6, £5.40 concession, £3.60 child, £15.60 family. Hermitage: Open on Sunday and Monday only, from 11am to 4pm. Admission £4, £3.60 concession, £2.40 child, £10.40 family.

Woodhorn Museum and Archives: 01670 624455, Museum: Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. Northumberland Archives: Open Wednesday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.