Beamish is an open air museum that tells the story of life in North East England during the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. You can learn about the industrial revolution and the agricultural lifestyle through original artefacts, buildings and costumed staff.
Things to Do
You can take an underground guided tour of the Mahogany drift where you see how coal was mined and how people worked including how men, ponies and all the equipment was transported. You can explore the traditional houses and shops, some of which are the original buildings but others have been rebuilt in the original style. Beamish has a selection of agricultural animals that would have been on a traditional farm including pigs, goats, horses, geese and chickens. There are old working vehicles that people would have used for farming and you can ride on vintage buses and trams. You can see early tractors, threshing machines, horse drawn carriages and even working replicas of early steam locomotives.
There are plenty of places to eat at Beamish. There’s the Davy’s Coal Fired Fish and Chip shop where traditional dishes of fish and chips are fried in beef dripping. The Sun Inn pub serving traditional pub food, sandwiches, soft drinks, tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages. The Dainty Dinah tea rooms is a self service eatery where you can pick up hot and cold snacks. The Pitman’s Pantry is good for hot and cold food that can be eaten in the outdoor seating area and the Cart Shed also has a outdoor area. Those with a sweet tooth can pick up traditional confectionary and see sweets being made at the Jubilee Sweetshop.
Dogs are welcomed in certain areas of the park but must always be kept on a lead. Not all areas of the museum and parks are accessible to disabled visitors but every care has been taken to ensure that there is plenty of accessible parking, toilets and facilities available.
How to Get There
Beamish is approximately eight miles south west of Newcastle or twelve miles northwest of Durham city. By car, you can easily find Beamish by following signs from the A1M, junction 63. Buses run from Newcastle and Durham city centres and the lime service 8 runs from Sunderland Interchange via Washington.
Where to Stay
There are lots of hotels and bed and breakfasts in the local area. For convenience, it’s best to choose one that’s close to transport links or close to a city centre for restaurants and entertainment.
One of the closest family friendly hotels is the Holiday Inn in Washington which is situated just off the A1M junction 64, making it a short drive from Beamish.