26 July 2017

Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail

***REVIEW*** 
Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, Northumberland has got an exciting new interactive family quest for the summer school holidays, where children and their families are being invited unearth the Wonderfolk. 

This sounded very intriguing so My Boys Club went along to help test the trail before it was opened to the public.

Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


Woodhorn Museum


Woodhorn is a very popular and award-winning tourist attraction in Ashington, in South East Northumberland. Located on a former colliery site, the site is recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and it is the best surviving example of a late 19th/early 20th-century colliery in the North East tradition. This is a north east attraction we have been to before and came to see the Brick Dino exhibition earlier this year.

Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland

As well as the original colliery buildings inside The Cutter building is where the now famous Pitman Painters exhibits can be found. A special collection of art and the story of the miners whose paintings of everyday life above and below the ground are on display giving a unique insight into social history. The whole museum tells the mining story of Northumberland through fascinating, emotive displays, miners' paintings, an exciting changing exhibition programme, and Northumberland's amazing archival "treasures". It also has special events such as Wonderfolk...

Wonderfolk



Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


Wonderfolk is an exciting new interactive family quest for the summer school holidays at Woodhorn.

The artists who have created the Wonderfolk trail were inspired by the idea of coal seams bringing together local communities to develop the project and create an ‘alternative, magical history of Woodhorn. In this magical history, deep beneath the ground, amongst the coal, live the Wonderfolk.

The Interactive trail starts within the Museum building with an interactive theatrical performance. 


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


First of all, we meet Professor Parkyr, a world expert in unexplained underground life forms, who explains all about her work to uncover the stories and secrets of the Wonderfolk.


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland

This is then followed by some hat making. We make our own hats to wear in a short arts & crafts session as the Wonderfolk are scared of our flat heads.


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland

Adorning our headwear and with the help of a magical miner’s lamp, we then go on a special mission to track down the magical, mythical creatures hidden underground among the coal seams. We take a magical lantern and set out on a quest to unlock their enchanted world. The trail takes us outside and around the grounds of Woodhorn, where participants are directed by a magic lamp – a miner’s lamp no less – to find the answers to the quest. Then once the outside trail is complete we return inside with the answer for the Professor and for the finale.


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


The Lamp speaks to us magically. We hear the voice of a Blue Cap or Blue Bonnet, who when down the mines this was the person who was there help miners discover the things they wanted and also helped to keep them safe.


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


Using ‘magical’ technology the lamp can do all sorts of weird and wonderful things like talk and project animations to help solve clues. It guides us around the tour, triggering different sounds, projections and animations in the different coal buildings at Woodhorn.


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


We also have a map with six miners lamps marked on it but we need the lamp to tell us the correct order in which to find them.


Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


This is a really sweet and enchanting family trail. The performances might not have convinced my boys – they knew it was all ‘made up’ - but it did ignite their imaginations and creativity. They listened intensely, got stuck in creating hats, followed the instructions from the miner’s lamp, and worked out the answers to the clues, and were very pleased to be able to tell the Professor the answer.

We were testing the new technology out so not everything went smoothly on the day we went but that didn’t have any impact on the boys’ enjoyment at all. They really enjoyed themselves. And our feedback from the trial day means it will be improved for the rest of the summer.  

Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland

On a grey day, the trail took them outdoors. They met and interacted with new people and solved puzzles. They had a tour around all of the out buildings at Woodhorn too. 

They also got to make fossils out of clay and play in the adventure playground. Luckily for the British summer, this trail is not an activity that requires brilliant weather so definitely worth checking out this summer.

The trail activity lasts about 90 mins in total so add that to that the other free activities on offer at Woodhorn and plenty of picnic space as well as the cafe and you've got a full day out.
Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland
Wonderfolk at Woodhorn is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day until to Sunday 3 September (the last tour starts at 3.35pm). Tickets are £2 per person plus booking fee; under 5s go free. Parking is £3.50.

Woodhorn Museum, QEII Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9YF

What will your family be getting up to this Summer?

Deb x

Disclosure: We were invited to test out the trail before it was opened up to the public. Photos were taken both by me by Jason Thompson from Sound Ideas Media during our trail.

9 comments:

  1. this looks like great fun-my girls love anything like this!

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  2. What a brilliant idea.I really appreciate Woodhorn. I know we wouldn't have what we do today if it wasn't for the blood, sweat and toil of family members - going back generations. Young ones growing up in the NE meed to know what it was like working in the mines and Woodhorn is a fantastic example of how things were. Thanks for the post and we will definitely be visiting with little C soon.

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  3. This looks such a fun day out with lots to do and educational too! Wish we were closer x

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  4. Looks like such a great place! I am sure any youngster would love it there! Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. This looks like so much fun! Truly magical!

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  6. Wow sounds like you had a lovely day out there! Looks like so much fun :-)

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  7. This looks such a fun place to visit. We'll have to check it out.

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  8. So much to explore and discover here! I admit I haven't heard of it before (we are southerners!) but it looks like a great place to take the kids

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  9. Looks like so much fun. I love it when you get to experience things before they are open to the public.
    http://www.onesliceoflemon.com

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