Ecocabs is based in the lovely market town of Hexham. It’s a beautiful, historic spot with a thriving cultural scene. We’ve got all the local knowledge you need and here are our top ten things to do this spring in Hexham.
1) Tyne Valley Film Festival
The Forum, Hexham’s indie cinema, is one of the venues for this annual film festival. Its team created this film festival too, which runs from 18th-27th March.
Don’t miss film fest gems at the Forum such as Hexham on Film on Saturday, March 26th, Miles Davis; The Birth of the Cool on the 25th or the Danish film Flee on the 22nd. If you have never been to the Forum don’t miss it – it’s a beautiful art-deco cinema and a million miles away from a multiplex experience.
There are Tyne Valley Film Fest screenings at 17 venues along the Tyne Valley including Hexham Community Centre, Hexham Abbey, the Queen’s Hall and The Vault.
2) Spring Flowers
We’re lucky to have a big, lovely park called the Sele at the heart of Hexham. In spring, the Abbey Grounds section (right next to Beaumont Street) has swathes of spring bulbs growing on the lawns. The daffs, tulips and crocuses get better and better every year, which is lovely to see. Visit on Sunday March 20th and you can also go to the Net Zero Fair at Hexham Abbey right next to the park (11am-1pm).
3) Hexham Old Gaol
The Old Gaol closes for the winter and reopens on April 6th. This wonderful building is an early example of recycling as it was built in 1333 using stone from the ruins of Corbridge’s Roman town. A scheduled ancient monument, the Old Gaol was the earliest purpose-built prison in England and to say that it is imposing is an understatement -a file hidden in a cake would not get you out of this place! It’s a great spot to find out more about the turbulent history of Hexham and the wider area. This is an accessible museum.
4) Hexham Races
Hexham is said to be Britain’s most beautiful racecourse. There are eight meetings on this spring including Derby Day on June 4th and Ladies’ Day on June 19th. The full line up is Monday, 28th March; Monday 11th April; Saturday, 30th April (Evening); Saturday, 7th May Heart of All England Race Day; Tuesday, 17th May (Evening); and Saturday, 11th June. One for the bucket list?
5) The Queen’s Hall
Hexham’s Queen’s Hall arts centre is in an elegant building on Beaumont Street, originally built as a corn exchange. The Queen’s Hall has a lively programme as always for spring. In recent times, it has become really strong on comedy and is a great place to see stand ups before they go out on massive arena tours. Seeing stars such as Chris Ramsay and Jason Manford live in our market town last autumn was a real treat! Spring 2022 highlights include Wor Bella, Alistair McGowan and Feast of Fiddles.
The Queen’s Hall is a great place for a bit of culture whether you are looking for comedy, drama, live music, kids’ shows or workshops. It’s also very reasonable on its ticket prices, so you can see live shows without taking out a second mortgage. No time for a show? Pop in to see a free exhibition and then have a cuppa in the lovely café.
6) Hexham Jazz Festival
Enjoy the wonderful acoustics of Hexham Abbey (not to mention the architecture) during a weekend of jazz. A weekend ticket for 13th-15th May is just £35 (£20 student) and covers gigs from Hot Club Du Nord, Dean Stockdale, Paul Edis and Graeme Wilson, Jo Harrop, James Kitchman with Bruno Heinen, and the Abbie Finn Trio.
Profits from Hexham Jazz festival are going to Newcastle University’s Centre for Cancer, so you’ll be having fun and doing good at the same time. Don’t think of yourself as a ‘jazz person’? Have a listen to some of the performers through the links above and you may well be a convert.
7) Hexham Book Festival
The book fest has become a big highlight of the cultural year in Hexham and runs from 10th-19th June in 2022. The full line up hasn’t been released yet for, but Lady Hale and Ed Balls have just been announced. A children’s book fest runs in parallel to the main festival and Hexham’s Cogito Books has a stall at all of the events.
8) Hexham Farmers’ Market
The Farmers’ Market always has a great atmosphere and is part of the ‘rhythm’ of the town after over 20 years in business. It runs on the second and fourth Saturday of every month in the marketplace. Hexham Farmers’ Market’s spring hours are 9am-1.30pm.
There are 25 regular stallholders all of whom come from within 50 miles of Hexham. Stallholders make their products using locally produced and regulars include Bluebell Organics, Muckle Brewing and Noisette Catering.
The market dates for spring are March 26th, April 9th, April 23rd, May 14th, May 28th and June 11th.
Experiencing Europe’s biggest Dark Sky Park is simply awe inspiring. Take a trip up to Kielder Observatory (you must book in advance) or book an event closer to Hexham such as the very popular stargazing nights at the Twice Brewed Inn, just 13 miles away. In these challenging times, looking up at the stars is the perfect escape.
10) The Vinyl Vault
Hexham is strong on live music with bands and singers appearing regularly at pubs such as The Fox, The Globe and the Tap. The town’s newest venue is a truly unique one – a medieval malting cellar turned into a grassroots music venue. The venue hosts Vinyl Vault on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 7.30pm. Check out The Vault’s website for details on lots of tiny, excellent gigs throughout the year.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our guide to what’s on in Hexham over the next few months. Ecocabs would love to take you wherever you want to go. Booking is easy via our app, by phone or our website.