Explore Hexham

The market town of Hexham offers a wealth of wonderful things to see and do, to keep adults inspired and children entertained. After your visit to the Abbey, why consider exploring the town itself?

Arts and Culture

One of the jewels of Hexham’s crown, the Queens Hall incorporates an atmospheric library - including a cosy children’s section - a range of modern exhibition spaces, and a theatre. It has a full calendar of art, music and theatrical events across the year.

We’re also proud of our community-owned Forum Cinema, an art deco gem in the heart of the town, with its own licensed café. The cinema offers an impressive mix of blockbuster and art-house films, and regularly shows live feeds from the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and Royal Opera House.

Open Spaces

There is plenty of space in Hexham to enjoy the open air and a little exercise. The Sele park, next to the Abbey, has big grassy spaces and lots of mature trees, along with a children’s playground. The newly-restored bandstand provides a handsome setting for a number of concerts throughout the year.

The River Tyne runs along the northern edge of the town, and the green spaces alongside it are popular for walks and picnics. The river bridge is one of the best places in England from which to see salmon leaping in the autumn, as they make their journey up-river to their spawning grounds.

Providing the perfect conditions for rowing, the river at Hexham is also home to Hexham Rowing Club, and hosts a hugely popular one-day regatta every summer.

The Old Gaol

Hexham's Old Gaol was the first purpose-built prison in England, and is now an impressive museum, with exhibits displayed over four floors. You can take a lift down to the atmospheric basement dungeon,

learn about armour and weaponry, get a sense of what life was like during the Border Reiver feuds, and even try out the town stocks for size!

The ideal family attraction, the Old Gaol regularly hosts hands-on, family-friendly activities and exhibitions, as well as educational visits for school groups.

Shopping and Leisure

Hexham has a range of shops, from popular high street names to smaller independents. On the second and fourth Saturdays in the month the historic Shambles on the Market Place hosts a popular Farmers' Market, where a wide range of local, organic and artisan produce is available.

The Wentworth Leisure Centre offers a range of sports facilities, including a bright and modern swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym, sports hall, athletics field and bowling alley.

And you need never go hungry in Hexham! The town enjoys a large number of cafés, pubs and restaurants, and you can enjoy anything from a cup of tea to an evening of award-winning fine dining - all within a few minutes' walk of the ancient Abbey.