Beamish Open Air Museum
Beamish Open Air Museum Reviews
Where tacky meets brilliant, where fun meets knowledge and where you can REALLY burn a hole in your wallet! May 29, 2014
I have to say, I never quite imagined I'd have fun because this was one attraction I was entering without expecting much. I knew it was one of Britain's largest tourist attraction, great day out for families with kids and just generally something you want to get off your list.
The Beamish Museum opens at 10am but queues start forming by 930a itself. there's a coffee shop that was selling flapjacks, cakes and hot beverages right by the entrance. There were 2 entrances - one for those who've booked online and members, and one for those who had to purchase tickets. Tickets are expensive but the good news - they're valid for a year!
It was fairly chilly. The doors opened up promptly on time but we first thought we'd complete the entire circuit by either the bus or the tram and then walk around. It was kind of fun - you could tell this was an out and out family event thing as the bus was loaded with little kids in their cute lil Geordie accents talking to their mums and dads.
The museum is broken into 4 "areas" - the Colliery Village, the Railway Station, the Old Town and the Farm.
Our first stop was the Colliery Village. This was nice, particularly the mock-up of the school ("East Stanley Board School") with interesting posters and exhibits. I liked that list of diseases, how to eat clean food, etc. Kinda cool! I walked around the other parts including a Church, coal mine and the chippie shop. It started drizzling at the time...
So the next stop was the Old farm. This was a bit boring. Save for a fancy arse tea shop, there was nothing we haven't seen here. One interesting thing about UK is that a lot of these styles of architectural designs are still very much around and hence, it didn't feel like we were in a museum, but just any other place.
From the farm, we walked on past the fairground to the Old Town which was where most people spend a lot of time. We thought of a pub lunch but all we got was pork, so crossed the road to the tearooms for veg soup, cheese and egg sandwiches and amazing sponge cake sandwich. What was really cool here was the building rooms - we went to the lawyer's, the dentist's (had the smell of cinnamon and a display of the instruments they'd use back in the day, in addition to a mock demo), the music teacher's house, sweets shop, Barclay's Bank and utensils' store (including the cheesy "we accept modern currency" line, LOL!).
So the final stop was a farm kind of area where there were alpacas, a lady giving us samples of ginger cake and lots of kids and a man and woman dressed in Victorian clothes playing instruments. We thought of taking the steam engine train but its path was too short so we skipped it. There was a hill and we went up hoping to find some cool stuff but it was more of just barns!
So that was it - a 360 degree tour of this open air museum. I repeat that it is expensive but for someone like me who's had the fortune of visiting the UK so many times, I really didn't mind marking this off my list. Visit if you're in the area, but don't really make the trip just for this!
**** WILL CONTINUE WRITING REVIEW LATER
Part of the England (Northumberland and London) travel blog
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The living history museum of the north Aug 12, 2013
Beamish, the open air living museum of the north of England, is one of the premier attractions in county Durham.
Entry is not especially cheap, at £17.50 for an adult and £10.00 for a child, but the place is extremely well done, and makes an ideal family day trip with attractions to appeal to all. The tickets are also valid for up to a year, so very good value if you are able to visit more than once.
The site is split into historical areas with transport between afforded by vintage trams and buses.
The highlight is the turn of the 20th centuray main street with a bank, stable yard, grocers, miliners, motor showroom, dentists, newspaper offices, park, row of period terrace houses, and even a working pub for the visitor to explore.
Attractions are manned by staff in period costume who are happy to chat about their characters and have photographs taken. The replication is of such accuracy that the town often features as a set for historical television dramas.
In addition to the town the site also has a working steam railway (open at weekends), funfair, mining village complete with victorian school house and a row of miner's cottages with fully tended vegetable gardens, a georgian (circa 1800) manor house and a farm complex.
Themed events are also held throughout the year such as harvest festival, holloween & christmas evenings.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy