There’s lots to do in the North of England and the Scottish Borders this Easter. Organisations have lined up all kinds of events and activites for the holidays, including a range of indoor and outdoor activities. Here’s a selection from This is Northumberland for you to choose from, listed in order of date.
- April 1 onwards
Most of English Heritage’s sites across the North including Northumberland opened on April 1, so now is the time to exlore places like Belsay, Warkworth, and the new museum at Housesteads.
- April 4
Bushcraft, 10.30am – 4pm. Do some bushcraft and see if it’s for you. This course lets you choose from either a family taster course or an overnight experience, where you can explore the natural world around the National Trust’s Cragside woodland, near Rothbury. This is a great wway of spending time with your family or friends in the outdoors. Gain an insight in world of campcraft and outdoor living skills. Learn about shelter, fire, water and food in a woodland environment while having some real fun and excitement. Meet at Blackburn car park. Ask for directions from a member of staff on arrival. Book ahead and get costings on 0844 249 1895.
- April 5
Cragside, Another Side. Ever wanted to time travel? Now’s your chance! The National Trust will let you step back in time to the year 1880 as Cragside House is brought to life between 11am and 5pm. See a day in the house and watch Lord Armstrong’s servants as they do their work. You will witness Lord Armstrong and Joseph Swan discussing the electric light bulb and Lady Armstrong and the cook planning the day’s dinner menu with the cook. Booking not needed, normal admission applies.
Come and enjoy the treasures of the North’s dark skies at a three-hour session led by Gary Fildes from the Kielder Observatory. Have the unique opportunity to use Gary’s portable 12″ aperture telescope to view galaxies and planets. Listen to a talk about the cosmos as you enjoy a warm fire soup and mulled wine. The event runs from 8pm until 11pm. Park in the Church car park or Unison Colour car park. Wrap up warmly with sensible footwear. Details: www.kielderobservatory.org.
- April 6 – 7
Children can learn about honeybees at Seaton Delaval Hall from 11pm – 2pm. Prepare for this vital creature’s arrival in late April. Make bee boxes for solitary bees to help keep gardens healthy. Please book ahead by contacting the National Trust on 0191 237 9100.
Experience the National Trust Underground Adventure. From 10am to 3pm you can have a great day discovering the the mine tunnels of Smallcleugh Mine. This event is organised by Adventure North East expert Ian Hopper. Ian can answer questions about the history of the mines. Note that you must be eight or older to attend. Meet at Nenthead Heritage Mines Centre and be sure to wear good clothing and sensible footwear. Bring a packed lunch, too! £10 Child £20 Adult. Booking essential on 01434 607654.
- April 6 – 9
At the National Trust’s Cherryburn, Mickley near Stocksfield you are invited to follow a family trail around the farm yard and gardens. On the days of April 8 and 9 young ones can get their faces painted, too! Later, collect a Cadbury chocolate prize!
English Heritage is running family Easter Fun Trails with prizes at the end! Young children can explore the details of historical sites including Warkworth Castle, Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens. Break the clues and get a lovely tasty treat at the end. These events are mostly all free for chidren under five years old. Parents can discover the interseting and exciting history at English Hertiage locations. Explore some amazing properties on your doorstep, enjoy spring and children will be entertained with the Easter Fun Trails.
“This Easter, we will be running our trails for youngsters at Belsay Hall, Warkworth Castle and Chesters Roman Fort. These fun-filled trails will take your little ones on an adventure through our fascinating sites, in a hunt for clues that will lead them to a yummy Easter prize,” said Jon Hogan, events manager for English Heritage in the North.
“It’s the ideal time of year to venture outdoors – a visit to one of our sites is guaranteed to put a spring in your step! From the stunning gardens at Belsay to the best preserved Roman bathhouse in Britain at Chesters, there is something for everyone to see. Many of our properties in the North East will be open daily from April 1 and we are encouraging visitors to come and enjoy all that they have to offer.”
Near Hexham Housesteads Roman Fort has opened a brand new visitor attraction with a new museum and the return of an ancient winged statue. English Heritage will welcome people to the new museum, which will feature an exciting interactive and audiovisual exhibition exploring life at the fort.
The National Trust’s Wallington is set for its Easter Eggstravaganza where participants can have some Easter fun with a fantastic Cadbury children’s trail, craft activities, face-painting, games and races. All – £2.50 (per Easter Trail ). Booking not needed.
- April 7
Mountain Biking at Kielder Forest from 10am – 3pm. This is an excellent chance to try the more extreme trails at Kielder Forest. But don’t worry, you won’t be alone. You will have access to a fully qualified mountain bike leader. Bikes can be provided if needed. For ages 12 and over, cost £15 per person. Book ahead and call 01434 607654 for further details.
- April 7 – 9
Easter trails will be open to explore at Washington Old Hall, Wasington from 11am – 4pm. Join the National Trust in the hall’s garden and make some Easter bonnets. Small charges apply for crafts & trail. Free face painting and Cadbury egg Booking not needed and the event is free.
- April 8
In Georgian days, children celebrated Easter by decorating hard-boiled eggs. Join the National Trust at Seaton Delaval Hall from 11am until 1pm in this traditional activity, and see who can make the most decorative egg.
A Country & Coast Walk will start at Seaton Delaval Hall at 11am. The National Trust invites everyone to join a guide and celebrate the rich and varied working lives of our men, women and children from the 1700s to the present day on this five-mile-walk, which concludes at 2pm. You will learn about the Hartley Pit Disaster, carriage restorations, aluminium (a global business in Northumberland) Gloucester Lodge Farm and 7000 troops, stories from World War 2, and the Salt Pans. For booking and costs call 0191 237 9100.
At Traqair near Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders you are invited to enjoy an Easter Extravaganza that will feature egg hunts in the maze, children’s activities and workshops. Thousands of eggs to be found and lots of other Easter prizes will be given away.
Another Easter Eggstravagaza will take place at Floors Castle, Kelso. This will be a fun family day where children can meet the Easter bunny and join the hunt for Easter eggs. There will be a bouncy Castle, face painting, garden games and a messy corner. Have a go at Floors’ Easter-themed Olympic games and bring along your own decorated egg for a chance to win a prize.
- April 8 – 9
Enjoy Souter’s Easter Shindig from 11am – 4pm at Whitburn, where you can experience Easter fun and games. Complete the National Trust’s Easter trail and get a chocolate reward. The fun includes face painting, games, a bouncy castle, art and craft activities and and Easter trail. Cost is £2.00 (per trail), booking not needed.
Cadbury Easter Egg Trail at Seaton Delaval Hall from 11am until 1pm. Enjoy the ultimate Cadbury experience and discover plenty of games and activities, including face painting, giant snakes and ladders, sack races, the egg shy and lots of other fun! The trail costs £1 but all other activities are free.
- April 9
Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Family Bushcraft Day runs form 10am – 3pm. Learn with Ian Hopper and develop your woodland skills. You’ll learn to cook on a fire, build a shelter, make tools, and more – all the skills you would need to survive in the wild. Meet at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge Car Park and bring a packed lunch. Please book ahead and call 01434 607654 for further details costs.
- April 10
From 10.30am – 4pm you can do some bushcraft and see if it’s for you. This course lets you choose from either a family taster course or an overnight experience, where you can explore the natural world around the National Trust’s Cragside woodland, near Rothbury. This is a great wway of spending time with your family or friends in the outdoors. Gain an insight in world of campcraft and outdoor living skills. Learn about shelter, fire, water and food in a woodland environment while having some real fun and excitement. Meet at Blackburn car park. Ask for directions from a member of staff on arrival. Book ahead and get costings on 0844 249 1895.
- April 10 – 11
There will be a Rockpool Ramble at Souter Lighthouse from 12 noon – on April 10 and 12.45pm April 11. Discover what things and creatures exist in the rockpools along the shores of Souter. Meet in the foghorn field. Nets & buckets available or bring your own if you want. Don’t forget your wellies! Booking not needed.
- April 12
Cragside Another Side 11am – 5pm, same details as shown above under April 5.
- April 12
The National Trust at Wallington near Cambo is hosting Building for Birds, where you are invited to drop in from 11am until 1.30pm and make your own bird box or bird feeder for your garden. All – £2.00 (per bird feeder) All – £5.00 (per bird box ) Booking not needed.
- April 14
At the National Trust’s Cherryburn, Mickley near Stocksfield come and join Bat Watch which runs from 7pm to approximately 9pm. Discover Cherryburn’s outstanding range of wildlife that comes forth after dark and have a tour with a local expert. This event kicks off with a barbeque. Please book ahead and call 01207 541820 for costs and details.
- April 14
Gather at the National Trust’s Gibside near Rowland’s Gill see what’s new in the garden and gain some gardening growing tips, too. Also get the latest updates on restoring Gibside to its 18th century prime. This event is from 2.30pm until 4pm and is suitable for all the family. Booking not needed and you can call 01207 541820 for more details.
- April 15
At the National Trust’s Cherryburn, Mickley near Stocksfield you are invited to a Family Printing Day, where children can make their own Thomas Bewick-inspired print to take home!
Assist the National Trust in the creation of its bee garden at Seaton Deleval Hall and welcome honey bees to their new home by making a bouncy bee, from 11am until 1pm.
Come and learn how the Delavals made their fortune from salt, coal and glass by taking a walking tour. The walk starts at 2.30pm and is flat, gentle and four miles long. You will see views of the Hall, Holywell Dene and the harbour, and will last up to two and a half ours. Call 0191 237 9100 for costs and booking details.
Starting at 12noon the National Trust will install its bee hives at Seaton Delaval Hall. Get information from the beekeeper about the importance of bees.
- April 19
Cragside Another Side 11am – 5pm, same details as shown above under April 5.
- April 21
Cragside Farmers Market 10am – 3pm, enjoy seasonal produce and quality crafts from local farmers and producers on the first and third Saturday every month. There will be a range of food, drink and craft stalls, plus tasting and cooking demos. Free entry! Dogs on leads welcome Booking not needed.
- April 21 – 22
Wallington near Cambo will host a St George’s Weekend from 11am – 4pm. Mark St George’s Day by meeting the National Trust’s very own knight in shining armour! Try on helmets and chainmail and learn to be a knight at Knight School. Have a go at painting your own shield and join a quest through the woods! Booking not needed.
April 21 – 22: Enjoy a Dragon Family Fun Trail at Chesters Roman Fort, 10am – 6pm. All dragon hunters are invited to help St George to find dastardly mini dragons before they distress the damsels. Get dragon hunting and be rewarded with a certificate. Adults £5.20, concession £4.70 and children £3.10. English Heritage members and under fives free.
- April 22
Join a Wild Walk at Wallington and go foraging with Wild Harmony from 10am – 4pm. You will be able to take a walk on the wild side and join the National Trust’s wild food expert on a special guided walk on the Wallington Estate. Keep your eyes peeled for seasonal wild food and learn how to use it. Contact 01670 773963 to book.
- April 22
Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort Indoor Climbing Adventure runs from 10am – 3pm. You can try out climbing and learn how to use movement skills, the harness, belaying and climbing calls. This beginner’s session will be held in a Newcastle venue, where you will join an instructor to help you learn the correct way to climb. Safety routines will be introduced, reinforced and checked. Please wear suitable clothing. You must book ahead. Call 01434 607654 for further details and costs. Book on to this event enjoy a free outdoor climbing adventure at Crag Lough.
- April 22 – April 25
At Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort the National Trust is organising an Easter Trail between 10.30am – 4pm. Experience Easter fun get an egg by taking part in their Easter trail.
- April 26
Cragside Another Side 1am – 5pm, same details as shown under April 5.
- April 28
There will be an 11-mile guided walk along The John Martin trail, organised by the National Trust staff at Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort, from 10am – 3pm. Meet at The Bridge Library, Haydon Bridge for this walk and see some beautiful places and learn new things. This walk takes in the southern loop of the John Martin Trail and is classed as moderately strenuous. It covers the areas which influenced John Martin’s art works. There are regular waymarks and information panels en route. The walk will be led by a trained volunteer guide who is familiar with the walks and points of interest. Wear suitable waterproof clothing, stout footwear and bring a packed lunch. This event is free, however advance booking is essential on 01434 344525.
- April 29
Join the National Trust at Seaton Deleval Hall and make newspaper plant pots and plant seeds from 11am – 1pm. You’ll make a bio-degradable plant pot from newspaper and sew some pretty flower seeds. Once the seedlings appear, you can put the pot straight into your garden without damaging the plants The event is free and booking is not needed.
The big exhibition at Woodhorn is for all fans of Si Fi. Invasion has been running from February 11 and continues until September. You can see the costumes, props and robots from favourite TV and sci-fi film blockbusters including Star Trek: Enterprise, Andromeda, Red Dwarf, Lost in Space and The Chronicles of Riddick. There are aliens from Star Wars, X files, Doctor Who and of course Alien itself. And no sci-fi exhibition would be complete without a range of robots; check out the machines from Red Planet Robot, Robocop and ABC amongst others. Admission Charge for Invasion: £3.95 Adult, £3.50 concession, £2.95 children and £12.50 (2 + 2) Family Ticket. Woodhorn is open Wednesday – Sunday (plus Monday and Tuesday in school holidays and Bank Holiday Mondays). April – September from 10am – 5pm and October – March 10am – 4pm.