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!
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?