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“A great day out for Left-Leaning Tourists” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Woodhorn Northumberland Museum

Woodhorn Northumberland Museum
Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, Ashington NE63 9YF, England
01670 624455
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Ranked #1 of 9 attractions in Ashington
Type: Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Discover 800 years of history and experience fantastic events and exhibitions at the award winning Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives. Woodhorn is the permanent home of the Ashington Group paintings, made famous through Lee Hall's successful Pitmen Painters play.
Tynemouth, UK
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A great day out for Left-Leaning Tourists”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013 via mobile

As a resident of the North-East of England since 1972 I was witness to the slow strangulation of the coal industry. Woodhorn remembers those times very well. The museum itself is, essentially, the cleaned and sanitised remains of the pit. The wheels, engines, tracks and buildings are all there. Beautifully kept too. In the visitor centre it is even better. Forget the superb structure of the Centre, looking like a coal cutter, look inside. Brilliantly done. I was particularly impressed with he paintings from the Pitman Painters. I didn't use the Study Centre, but I am convinced that I will be back.
A really good day out.

Visited June 2013
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Woodhorn, Public Relations Manager at Woodhorn Northumberland Museum, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
Many thanks for your super review.
Hope you make it back to the study centre sometime. Do you know it is the public record office for Northumberland and contains about 3 million items dating back 800 years! If you look on the archives section of our website you'll find some useful information about your first visit, the records that we keep, and an opportunity to search some of our records online. We've photographs, paintings, maps, aural history recordings as well as records of churches, schools, property, communities. A veritable treasure trove.
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168 reviews from our community

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English first
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Social History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Set on the site of the old colliery, visitors are able to look around the original buildings. A timeline inside the modern museum building tells the social history of the area against a global backdrop.

Reconstructions of life underground should help anyone understand the hardships faced by miners working in a cramped and dangerous environment. Most poignant were the stories of those that had lost their lives in a number of mining disasters on this very spot.

The museum is free but there is a £3 parking fee (all day) and on a nice day, the walk around through the woodland, where native red squirrels can still be seen is a further attraction.

Visited May 2013
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Woodhorn, Public Relations Manager at Woodhorn Northumberland Museum, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
Hope you managed to spot a red squirrel during your visit. We are very lucky to have a lovely park and such special wildlife right on our doorstep. Hard to imagine what it was like just over thirty years ago when the colliery was still working.
Thanks the the review.
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Kidderminster
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Very good museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

We visited Woodhorn while on Holliday in the area. It was mainly the film costume exhibition that was the draw for me, and it is indeed very good. But the rest of the museum is well worth a visit too. An interesting history of mining life, including a very even handed section on the miners' strike in the 80's. OH was particularly impressed with the permanent exhibition of the Pitmen Painters, who I believe we're the subject of a recent TV programme.

The tea room was fine, and the museum itself is free, although you do pay £3 to park for the day. There is also a charge of £3.75 for the costume exhibition as it's an external touring show.

Visited May 2013
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Woodhorn, Public Relations Manager at Woodhorn Northumberland Museum, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
Thanks for taking time during your holiday to visit and many thanks too for your review. Delighted to hear you enjoyed it. Our Pitmen Painters' paintings are rather special aren't they. Have you managed to catch the play by the same name by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, which illustrates the Ashington Group's early days? It's on national tour at the moment. Well worth an outing if you can make it.
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Barton-upon-Humber, United Kingdom
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“No dogs”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Don't allow dogs in even to the grounds so had to go in on my own. Enjoyed story of coal and overall very impressed but just don't understand why dog couldn't come into the grounds.

Visited May 2013
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Woodhorn, Public Relations Manager at Woodhorn Northumberland Museum, responded to this review, May 28, 2013
I'm sorry your dog wasn't able to accompany you on your visit around Woodhorn's historic site and buildings. Only assistance dogs are permitted on our site which is classed as a scheduled ancient monument. I'm sure your pet is well behaved, but sadly not all are the same.
Dogs are very welcome in the country park, but I would point out that our car park lacks shade for anyone thinking of leaving a pet in a vehicle during the summer.
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Gateshead, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Dressing the Stars exhibition and a fashion show”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

I went today with a group of friends to see the Dressing the Stars exhibition - it was very interestng to see the outfits and to have infomation about the designers alongside the photos of some of the stars wearing the relevant outfits. The intracacies of the designs and the skill of the seamstress were clear to see. I was a little disappointed that there were not more to see but accept that this is a touring exhibit.
Woodhorn itself is a wonderful place to view the life of a coal miner over the years and the main exhibition is excellent.
There were two negatives for me today though - the 'Fashion Show' was inappropriately sited and was ruined by the lack of seating and the racket coming from the main exhibition, it made it difficult to hear what was being said about the clothing on parade. I am sure that somewhere more appropriate could have been found.
The second negative was the food and overall service in the cafe.........too few staff to cope with the visitor numbers (it surely isnt rocket science to expect volumes of visitors on a bank holiday), tables were not cleared away, the time it took to get food and drinks, my coffee was almost cold by the time I sat down with my jacket potatoe and as for the fish and chips - well to say the fish was cheap and nasty about sums it up, reconstituted off cuts of fish over cooked and grey - revolting. The staff were pleasant and helpful but woefully undersupported and overworked.

I have been to Woodhorn before and would recommend it as a place to see local history, spend time wandering the country park and enjoying the art gallery. £3 charge for parking is better than most places these days as it is an all day charge. Paying for visiting exhibitions is not an issue for me.

I intend to return some time this year to do some family history research so please improve the catering offer.

Visited May 2013
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Woodhorn, Public Relations Manager at Woodhorn Northumberland Museum, responded to this review, May 28, 2013
Thanks for taking time to comment about your recent visit to Woodhorn. We're pleased you enjoyed the exhibition and of course we'd have all liked more of the stunning costumes.
We've noted your comments about the fashion show and we'll bear them in mind for future events. It was a free event and the space just didn't lend itself to seating, so I'm sorry it didn't come up to your expectations. Sadly we can't do anything about the sound from the main exhibition - it's either on or the whole exhibition with lights, films and sound is off.
The cafe is always under pressure on busy days, but again we'll pass your comments over. We do have tray racks to encourage people to tidy afters themselves, but sadly few do. Regarding the fish, did you bring it to the attention of the staff? Again we'll make sure they know, but as with any complaint, we can't make amends if we don't know at the time. If you have any issues in future, please bring them to attention during your visit and then we'll do our best to resolve the situation immediately.
Thanks again.
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