Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Park, to give it its full name, is a large park just north of Ashington.
An easy, disabled friendly walk of about 2 miles round a lake. The lake is usually full of wild swans and geese, who often stand in the car park. The lake is on the site of Ashington and Woodhorn collieries, and there is a mining museum at the eatern end of the park, with a small railway. There is also a large inn at the car park, with outside seating, perfect for an after walk pint.
How to get there
Postcode for Satnav - NE63 9AT. This is the Premier Inn, in the corner of the car park.
Take the A189 spine road from Newcastle, past Cramlington and Ashington, until you come to a small roundabout with a left hand turn signposted Alnwick, Ellington. The A189 actully turns left here, so follow it to the left and about a mile up, you will see a large lake and a Premier Inn on your left. Park here.
Coming from the A1, turn off just north of Morpeth, signposted A197, Ashington and Morpeth. At the roundabout for Morpeth, follow the A197 for Ashington and just after you enter Ashington, turn left on the A1068 and follow this road round for a couple of miles until you come to a roundabout. Turn right onto the A189 here, past the windmills, and you will see the lake and the Premier Inn on your right.
Walking from Ashington itself, cross the dual carriage way that bypasses the town centre to the north, and take any of the paths into the trees. Keep to your right, and they should eventually take you to the lake. .
Click here to see a detailed OS routemap of the walk. It will open in a new tab.
Basically, walk round the lake in a circle until you get back to car park. Either direction would do.
However, if you turn left when you get out of your car (facing the lake), and walk clockwise round the lake, you will see a small railway line and platform just outside the car park. It is sometimes possible to catch an old mining train here and ride along to Woodhorn colliery museum. If the train is not running, then it is only a short diversion walking.
Jubilee park is built on the site of the colliery spoil heap for the Ashington coal mines. Ashington was once known as 'the largest mining village in the world', but before 1867 it was just a farm. Once coal mining started the village grew rapidly, as five pits were sunk in the area. I remember being down the main Ashington pit in the early 1970s and it was a warren of underground tunnels but by then mining was in decline. Woodhorn closed in 1981 and Ashington soon after in 1986.
You can see the history of the coal mines at Woodhorn Colliery Museum and it also has some of the works of the Ashington Group on display. The Ashington Group were painters in the mid 20th century, mainly miners with little formal art training, but their work became celebrated in the British art world.
poo bins available
Historical buildings near the walk