A Family Day Out at Beamish Museum, Durham


Last Sunday, we took a trip over to Beamish Museum, exploring this brilliant indoor and outdoor Durham destination.

Pulling into the car park right on time for Beamish opening at 10am, both kids were a little giddy with excitement. Handing in our passes, we stepped out of the main entrance building onto a street showcasing amazing views of the valley below.

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Walking down this hill to the 1900s town and pit village, it was incredible how much there was to see. From a church to houses, school and gardens, actors are also dotted about to interact with you and set the historical scene. As someone who has a weird phobia of museum mannequins (seriously, I get the jitters), I loved there being real people in the different areas.

Completely family-friendly, dogs are welcome within all of the outdoor space. Picking up a takeaway cuppa, we had a look at the pit pony stables and bought a souvenir hook made by the local blacksmith.

Nearby is the 1940s farm, including rations info, an air raid shelter and World War Two memorabilia, which was great for us as L has been doing this topic at school. We grabbed the tram, climbing onto the open air top deck and soaking up the sights. Taking us to the 1900s town, this area features Ravensworth Terrace, a bakery, grocery store and most importantly, the sweet shop. It was clearly only polite to sample most of the delights on offer; and we headed down to the funfair field armed with sweetie stocks (before actually stopping for a well-timed appointment at Mr Jones, the dentist’s office).

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The kids enjoyed a ride on the rides, such as seesaw ‘shuggy boats’ and a merry-go-round. Later winning a prize on the coconut stall, we picnicked beside seaside scenery. Although prepared with our own food, there are many places at Beamish for snacks and meals, all of which can be found on the map.

Heading towards the railway line, a steam engine was embarking on a journey and our minis discovered the waiting room.  After going back up to the town, we took another tram up the hill towards 1820s Pockerley.

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We were very lucky with the weather as the sun shone, making it a glorious adventure. L and T spoke to a lady knitting in St Helen’s Church and we then walked over to Pockerley’s Waggonway. Finishing off at the gift shop to pick up some souvenirs for the kids, we felt completely content thanks to the joys of a wonderful day.

There is so much to see and do at Beamish Museum, with interesting events for both the kids and us adults. I’d love to go back, as this vast outdoor museum bursts with history and North East insight. The children have talked about our trip all week, and we’re already planning our return journey. My mum and dad have some pics of me as a little one on the funfair rides, which need to be recreated. Plus, I think I may have missed a few jars in the sweet shop…

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With thanks to Beamish Museum for gifting us our tickets on Sunday. You can pay once and visit for free throughout the year with Beamish Unlimited. A family ticket covering 2 adults and 2 children is £49.50 and under 5s are free.

Find more information about upcoming events and ticket prices over at Beamish.org.uk.

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