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Head over to Beamish Museum for a day full of fun and learning. Beamish is a living, working museum. This means that you can really immerse yourselves in bygone years without the use of time-travel. With so many fascinating areas and exhibitions set in over 300 acres of glorious County Durham countryside, there’s plenty to get stuck in with.

What is Beamish Museum like?

Step back in time and experience first-hand what life was like in North East England during the early 19th and 20th centuries. The open air museum of Beamish is a delight to explore and quite unlike most other museums! You won’t find any stuffy rooms, glass cases or silent halls here. Rather, you have the opportunity to experience authentic Northern history through interactive exhibitions, a vast collection of artefacts, functional vehicles, working machinery and costumed staff.

While here, you can meet knowledgeable staff decked out in period costume. They help to really bring the museum to life by shining a light on the realities of everyday life in the North of England. They are eager to answer any and all questions that you can throw at them, so much so that even inquisitive little ones will run out of things to ask!

From a 1900s village and drift mine, 1940s farms and Georgian country homes, the incredibly vast museum of Beamish takes some hours (and many steps!) to investigate. However – do not despair! If you find yourself feeling tired, there are several spots where you can take a break. Furthermore, accessible historical buses and trams can shuttle you around the museum grounds. What’s more, tickets are valid for 12 months after your initial visit. This means that for the price of one ticket, you can come back as many times as you’d like for no extra fee!

Accessibility

Inclusion and accessibility are top priorities here at Beamish Museum. However, due to its devotion to historical accuracy, some buildings are not wholly accessible to all visitors. For example, some buildings or exhibits can only be reached via a stepped access point. However, numerous measures have been introduced to make it as accessible as possible. 

Most of the outdoor spaces are level. However, it is uneven and cobbled in a few places, with some steep slopes. Although, upon request, you can hop aboard the free wheelchair accessible bus, to be whisked around the museum.

Beamish Museum is also proudly dementia and autism friendly. They have signed the Autism Charter and all staff are trained Dementia Friends, as evidenced by their forget-me-not pins.  Numerous events are held throughout the year specifically for people with dementia. 

Further facilities include free wheelchair hire services, ramped access, baby changing facilities, accessible toilets and spacious changing place facilities. Here you will find a hoist system, adjustable changing benches and wash and dry toilets.  

Beamish Museum has even been recognised as a Top Accessible Venue (2020). For further information, please see their accessibility statement and accessible visitor guide.

Further points of interest

Fancy seeing more of what Durham has to offer? Why not make the 20 minute drive down to Durham city, where you can admire the magnificent Durham Cathedral or explore Durham Castle?

Q How much do tickets cost? Do I need to book tickets beforehand?

You can find specific ticket costs and deals at the following address on the Beamish website: https://www.beamish.org.uk/plan-your-visit/

Due to Covid-19 safety measures, you need to book a timeslot beforehand for your visit. This can be done for free on the following webpage: https://beamish.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/28879?catID=28378&

Q Who should I contact to reserve a wheelchair for my visit?

You can call the number 0191 370 4000 to make your reservation. Reservations can be made at 24 hours notice.

Q Is Beamish Museum dog friendly? What about guide dogs?

You are welcome to bring your pooch along to Beamish Museum. There if no entry fee for your furry friends but they must be kept on a short lead for the entirety of your visit. They are permitted in most areas of the museum, but you can check the following link where restrictions apply: https://www.beamish.org.uk/plan-your-visit/dogs/

Water bowls are provided for dogs and they are refilled throughout the day. You will also find dog waste bags at the museum entrance, which can be disposed of in one of numerous dog waste bins throughout the museum grounds.

Guide dogs are also welcome at Beamish and are permitted in all areas of the museum.

Q Are refreshments available at Beamish Museum?

There are numerous sit-in and takeaway services available here at Beamish. The museum has created a handy map detailing what amenities are available and where they can be found: https://www.beamish.org.uk/content/uploads/2021/07/July-2021-updated-map-1.pdf/

Reviews frequently rave about the candies from the sweet shop and the fish and chips from Davy's Fried Fish!

Q Can I pay by cash?

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Beamish Museum is currently only accepting card payments.

Q Does Beamish Museum accept donations?

As Beamish Museum is a charity, most of their income is generated through visitors such as yourself! They are very appreciative of any donations, no matter how big or small. You can make monetary donations to the museum via the following link: https://beamish.digitickets.co.uk/category/13841

Q Is there parking at Beamish Museum? Is there disabled access parking?

Beamish Museum offers a large car park, with overflow sections, for you to use free of charge.

There are also numerous accessible parking bays available close to the museum entrance. Accessible minibuses can also park here.

There is ramped access to the museum entrance from the car park.

Q Are there toilets at Beamish Museum? What about accessible toilets?

You will find toilets in each area of the museum. Accessible toilets are also located at each of these spots.

Q What happens if I can't access a specific building or area due to accessibility issues?

Staff have created handy photo packs and guides for all areas of the museum. This means you can still see and learn about different exhibits and sections is a stress-free way. Just approach any member of staff and they will be more than happy to help you. Staff can be differentiated from visitors by their period dress and forget-me-not pins.

Q How long do tickets to Beamish Museum last for?

Your ticket lasts for a whole year! This means that after your initial visit, you can drop by Beamish Museum however many times you'd like for a year from your initial ticket purchase date. Quite a deal in our eyes!

Q How do I get to Beamish museum?

When driving, you will see many brown signs leading you Beamish Museum. From Durham, you can follow the A167 North. If you are coming from Newcastle, getting off the A1 and joining the A692 is likely the easiest route for you to follow.

To reach Beamish Museum via public transport, you can hop aboard the regular 28 Go North East Bus from Newcastle's Eldon Square Bus Station. This bus service drops you off right by the museum reception and also has ramped access for wheelchair and pushchair users. If you follow this route, be sure to keep your bus ticket as you can show it at the reception to get 25% off of your entry ticket!

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