Newest Review: ... servants. I found this area a bit boring there wasn't much to do but look about the house and kids did get a bit restless but the items wi... more
the pride of the North East
Beamish in general
Member Name: shelley222
Beamish in general
Date: 03/07/01, updated on 22/02/02 (81 review reads)
Advantages: a full day out for everybody, excellent staff, fully interactive
The museum is set in acres of beautiful countryside and the whole area is superbly maintained and you will find it hard to fault. It is not hard to see why they were winners of the British Museum of the Year and the European Museum of the Year Awards.
I will now try to describe some areas of the museum for you, but in no way is this a comprehensive list.
THE MANOR HOUSE
Pockerley Manor house has been inhabited for over 1000 years and the house itself and the grounds are all shown as they would be in the 1820s.
This shows a typical street of the early 1900s and here you will find houses and shops of that era, including sweet shops (samples are given out), the bank, the Pub, solicitors and the printing works. My favourite was the dentist?s surgery and my son was allowed to have his photograph taken in the gruesome looking chair with the dentist holding up a selection of implements that would have been used at the time (not for the faint hearted).
THE COLLIERY VILLAGE
This is where you can sample a piece of ?pit? life, by visiting the drift mine, engine works, Methodist chapel and the pit cottages and gardens. The village school even allows you to take part in a lesson, using chalk and a board.
Unfortunately, during our visit, this area was out of bounds due to the foot and mouth outbreak but staff are hoping that it will be able to open again soon.
THE RAILWAY STATION
Here you will find the signal box, good
s shed and the station building. There is even a waiting room that is for ladies only.
Take a ride on the 1825 railway, which I have to say is a very unique experience. You travel in 1825 railway carriages and are pulled along by a replica of the ?Locomotion?.
TRAMS AND BUSES
The tramway runs around the entire area of the museum (well over a mile) and the tram stops can be found at most of the main areas of the museum. It is an excellent way to get from one area to another but take time to travel the whole distance. There are also horse drawn buses that visitors can ride.
The museum is open throughout the year and is split in to a summer season and a winter season.
SUMMER SEASON ? operates from early April until late October, with opening times from 10am until 5pm. During this time all areas and facilities are open.
AMISSION CHARGES DURING SUMMER are:
Children £6.00 (5-16 years)
Children under 5 are admitted free.
Group discounts are also available, so check their website or telephone for more details.
WINTER SEASON ? the museum is centred on the Town and tramway only with all other areas being shut. The museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. It remains closed from 10th December until after the New Year. Winter season admission charges are consequently reduced.
ADMISSION CHARGES DURING WINTER are:
All tickets are £4.00 with children under 5 years still being admitted free.
Once paid all your bus and tram rides are free and there are no more hidden charges, except for the Victorian Fairground.
THE BEAMISH CLUB
If you live locally you can join the Beamish club, which is a membership scheme which is open exclusively for people of the North East of England. For an annual subscription charge of £15.00 (£12.00 if over 60), you can visit Beamish as often as you like for free. Also on
each trip there you can bring up to 2 guests at half price. The criteria is that you live either in Durham, Cleveland, Northumberland, Tees Valley or Tyne and Wear. You need to complete an application form, which you can get in advance by telephoning them or writing to them, or you can complete one on the day of your visit.
REFRESHMENTS AND FACILITIES AVAILABLE
There are several places to eat and drink, including a working period pub in the Town, and cafes situated throughout the museum. There are also souvenir shops, picnic areas, baby changing facilities, toilets in most areas (all include disabled access) and free car parking (disabled parking included).
Dogs are permitted at the museum but must be kept on a lead at all times.
HOW TO GET THERE
Beamish is situated in County Durham, 12 miles from the city of Durham and 8 miles from Newcastle. The museum is well signposted all along the main roads and there is good public transport from all the major towns and cities in the area. More detailed instructions and maps can be found on the website.
In my opinion this is a wonderful day out, even if you are not very interested in history. My only piece of advise is that you should make sure that you get there early as the time seems to fly by and you certainly need the whole day to get around the entire museum.
UPDATED 22/02/02 Just to let you know that the farm is now fully re-opened after the foot and mouth crisis and it is a wonderful attraction especially for the younger children.
Thank you for reading and hope you have an enjoyable day out.