Beamish the Living Museum of the North
Beamish, County Durham
Average time spent – 4+ hours.
Things to do at Beamish the Living Museum of the North review
Beamish Museum is an open air museum in County Durham. It’s a unique and wonderful way to learn about life in the North East of England in the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s and 1950s. Many of the buildings and features are taken directly from villages and towns in parts of the North East and transported and rebuilt at Beamish.
Beamish is set over a massive space and is just like a real town. There are various areas including a 1900’s town where you can watch bread, cakes and biscuits being made at Herrons Bakery and buy them too! Drink a pint at The Sun Inn or choose some traditional sweets from the sweet shop? The town is also home to the Beamish Motor & Cycle Works, which is a replica of a typical early 1900s garage and the Town Stables where you can see horses and carriages.
In the centre of the town is Redman Park with it’s bandstand, originally from Saltwell Park in Gateshead. At various times throughout the year you can listen to brass band performances or buy traditional produce from the Christmas market.
Visitors can ride on vintage fairground rides or try their hand at winning prizes on the side shows. At Rowley Station, visitors can take a ride on a real steam train which used to be a working engine at Rowley, near Consett, County Durham, in 1867.
At the 1900’s Colliery, you can take a trip down the Beamish drift mine and experience the dark, cramped conditions coal miners had to endure. The Northern General Transport Bus Depot allows visitors to see engineering work on historic vehicles and is home to some of the working vehicles that Beamish has. This includes two Edwardian replica buses based on the London B type (in Newcastle Corporation livery) and a Northern General Daimler.
The 1950s welfare hall is a replica of Leasingthorne Colliery Welfare Hall and Community Centre, near Bishop Auckland, which opened in 1957. It’s exactly how I remember the village hall in the village I lived when I was young and the one at Beamish even holds a regular Mother and Baby group.
Beamish Museum is by far my favourite North East attraction. It’s unique in every way and is jam packed with history, information and fun things for the whole family.
Beamish hold regular events throughout the year including Halloween and Christmas specials, star gazing events, weekend celebrations for the Beamish Agricultural Show and the Great North Festival of Transport.
Covid 19 – Please check the website or social media of an attraction before visiting. Many places may be open differently and some remain closed. Reviews do not mention all of these changes or possible price changes. Most places now require you to pre-book online in advance.
Important Information Beamish the Living Museum of the North
Eating – Beamish tea rooms which offers a large range of hot and cold food and drinks, a small cafe at the museum entrance ( which can be accessed without purchasing museum tickets), various town stalls, The Sun Inn pub, Herron’s bakery and a couple of ice cream kiosks. Davy’s fish and chip shop in the 1900’s pit village is a must too. They use coal-fired ranges and beef dripping and they’re the nicest fish and chips, ever! The pit village also has the Sinkers Bait Cabin where you can purchase things like sausage rolls and pasties.
Facilities in brief – Beamish has so much to explore, there are old buildings, houses, a mine and vehicles. There is transport to ride on, some with disabled access. There are toilets and changing facilities. Plus food and drink options in almost every area of the museum.
Entry price – *Higher priced but great value for money
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *Higher-priced. £19.95 for an adult, £11.50 for a child age 5-16. Other pricing options are available such as family tickets. It’s great value for money because once you’ve purchased your ticket you can return as much as you like for free for the next 12 months.
Opening: Beamish is open almost all year round. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Dog friendly? Assistance dogs are welcome everywhere. Pet dogs are allowed in most of the areas and on the lower levels of the transport.
Address: Regional Resource Centre, Beamish DH9 0RG, County Durham, England. Phone: 0191 370 4000
Guest post with thanks to Rock and Roll Pussycat
Category – Museum – Indoors and Outdoors – Suitable for all ages
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