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    Latin class field trip to Chesters with tutor Alan Beale

  • Explore lifelong learning 2016 print workshop with tutor Margaret Adams adult education

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    Artist and tutor Margaret Adams teaching printmaking

  • Explore lifelong learning 2016 Howick baby field trip with tutor Michael Leddra adult education

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    Field trip to Howick bay with geologist Mike Leddra

  • Explore lifelong learning 2016 forensic anthropology with tutor Sanita Nezirovic adult education

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    Forensic anthropology with Sanita Nezirovic

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    'The Luminaries' study group with tutor Bronwen Calvert

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    Sunderland and Seaham geology field trip

  • Explore lifelong learning 2016 art workshop with tutor Cecilia Holmes adult education

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    Art tutor Cecilia Holmes explains a point

  • Explore lifelong learning 2016 taster event adult education

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    Explore taster event at Newcastle City Library

  • Explore lifelong learning 2016 art tutor Lizzie Rowe adult education

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    Artist and tutor Lizzie Rowe teaching a workshop


Welcome to Explore

Are you looking for entertaining and varied learning delivered by experts in their subjects?

Explore is a lively, ambitious programme of courses, talks, workshops and visits open to anyone with an appetite for learning.  Our purpose is to stimulate curiosity, expand minds and enrich lives.
We run over 450 classes a year, led by highly regarded senior lecturers, writers and practising artists. We are based in Commercial Union House on Pilgrim Street in Newcastle opposite the Tyneside cinema.
Our diverse programme includes art history, practical art, archaeology, astronomy, classics, politics, literature, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, science and more.
We are open throughout the day and early evening, Monday to Saturday.

What is special about Explore?
The high standard of our programme taught by expert tutors.
The programme is guaranteed to run - no minimum enrolment.

Try Explore 

Contact the office to arrange your free taster session by clicking here.

NEW MEMBER OFFER - pay £100 per term if you are new to Explore.
Join Explore
Explore lifelong learning 2016 taster event adult education

Get in touch

Current Programme 

About Explore : by our members and tutors

'Lifelong learning is fundamental to our endless curiosity to know and share knowledge. The Explore programme is unique, enriching, life-giving.'

Max Adams, author of 'The King in the North : The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria', Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow, Explore Tutor
Photo credit Kona McPhee

'We must look after our minds as well as our bodies. Explore encourages me to accept new information and gently pushes my brain back into thinking mode.'

Harry Rose, Explore member
Explore lifelong learning 2016 Harry Rose adult education

'Explore is the backbone of my week – it amuses, intrigues, challenges and inspires - a thoroughly sociable way to broaden my horizons.'

Angela Young, Explore member
Explore lifelong learning 2016 Angela Young adult education

'I need structure, stimulation and social contact during the week. Explore provides all three in a distinctive and attractive setting.'

Maria Goulding, Explore tutor and member
Explore lifelong learning 2016 Maria Goulding adult education


Artist Louise Wilson visits Explore

Our members were very happy to welcome Turner prize nominee, artist Louise Wilson to Explore recently.  Louise spoke about working with her twin sister Jane, reflecting on their projects in the Ukraine on the 30th Anniversary of Chernobyl, and her ongoing connection to the North East. It was an extra treat to meet the lovely lady who raised them too! 
Explore lifelong learning 2017 Louise Wilson adult education

Jeremy Corbyn visits Explore

Jeremy Corbyn MP visited Explore on Monday 3rd October 2016 on the first morning of our new season for 2016-17.  Our VIP visitor said hello to members who were enjoying art tutor Peter Quinn's lecture on the body in art.

Jeremy was interested in and impressed by our innovative member run, professionally delivered programme. 


John Grundy

Explore is pleased to announce that local historian and author, John Grundy, has agreed to become our new patron.  

John said
'It would probably be a bit strong to say that my life has depended on continuing education, but lots of bits of it have. I didn’t do as well as I hoped in A levels and so if the Open University had not existed I would have had no degree, I would never have become a lecturer, or got on the telly or ended up writing books.  I would have been less fulfilled and less confident and so I feel a sort of passionate gratitude towards all of those people and forerunners who recognised the need and provided the opportunities for people who wanted (or needed) to keep on learning. 
Explore lifelong learning 2017 John Grundy adult education
Newcastle’s history has been full of them – the members of 18th century philosophical societies and debating groups, the self-help and self-improving workers’ societies, the subscription concerts, the WEA, Joseph Cowen and now Explore….

 When I look at Explore - the level of commitment, the range of opportunities, the quality of teachers, the gorgeous and slightly bohemian setting in which it is based – I feel really delighted and proud to be considered one of its patrons.'

Lee Hall

Lee Hall, the Newcastle born writer of Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters is a patron of Explore. Lee is passionate about creating opportunities for everyone to learn. 

Lee said ‘I am thrilled to be a Patron of Explore. Learning is the way to transform ourselves, to understand others and to create the possibility of a better world so nothing could be more important. At a time when the access to the education we have taken for granted last century is being eroded Explore is taking matters into its own hands and providing a tremendously exciting model of how we can all come together to change this. It is incredibly important that we have opportunities to continue to learn throughout our lives. It's one of the great privileges of being a writer that being a 'student' never really stops. 
Explore lifelong learning 2017 John Grundy adult education
I can see that Explore makes it possible to share that knowledge in a way we once expected the State to provide. Newcastle has always been a place where people have seized the initiative to share their learning from the debating clubs in the taverns of the Eighteenth Century to institutions like the Lit and Phil. 

So Explore is in a long and important tradition. It's a really exciting programme and I look forward to it going from strength to strength.’
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