Beamish is a place we return to again and again. It is the one place my son has never got bored of, despite having seen everything there so many times now. Because it is a living museum it is like being transported back in time and there’s a magical element to it that appeals to all ages. It can be a long and tiring day (especially if you have to push a pushchair round, if not you can hop on and off the trams), but well worth it. Before we went the first time I thought the admission price seemed quite high (£18.50 for adults, £10.50 for children at the time of writing – under 5’s are free) but this actually gives you a year long pass. We return every summer and Christmas and usually either Easter or one of the half terms as well so we certainly get our money’s worth.

The museum is made of up of four main areas and trams and old buses run regularly to take you from one to the next. If you have a pushchair with you there is one accessible bus but it’s generally easier to just walk.

1820s Pockerley Wagonway and Old Pockerley Hall


The wagonway is great fun. Not only can you have a look at the old steam engines you can have a short ride on the wagon way itself. Be warned though it can be bumpy and if you sit at the front you are likely to come away covered in smut so if you’re wearing white you might want to sit further back.

There is a church in the 1820’s landscape that is a new addition since the last time we were there and it has been beautifully recreated.

During the summer they had different activities on each day and the Friday that we went there was a falconry display on in the field next to Old Pockerley Hall. We didn’t stay for the display but M did get to hold an owl which he was very happy about.

L enjoyed checking out the beds in Old Pockerley Hall. Every time we visit we have our photo taken on this bench in the Hall’s gardens, it has become a bit of a tradition now.

On the bench at Beamish

1900s Town and Railway Station

My mum was with us on this visit so she took M on the tram to the village while I pushed L in the pushchair,  it’s about a ten minute walk. Once there we headed to the park next to the tearooms and had a picnic near the bandstand. We have eaten in the tearooms a few times and the food is nice, but you need to get their early as it fills up pretty fast. As long as the weather is nice a picnic is a much better option and there are plenty of lovely places to stop all around the museum.

Mmmm cake!

In the town their are a number of shops where you can buy traditional items, such as the windermere waters below (it’s expensive but I highly recommend the Raspberry flavour), bread and cakes from the bakery (get there early as they sell out) as well as packets of coffee, biscuits and soap from the general store.

The most popular shop by far is the traditional sweet shop and the queue for this place is very often out the door and up the street. At the back of the shop you can actually go and watch the sweets being made and there are usually samples, unfortunately we timed it wrong this visit and whatever had been made that morning was all gone and the next lot was bubbling away in a pan and going to be some time so we left.

Some of the rollers used for shaping the boiled sweets

While the shops are manageable with a pushchair the houses aren’t as they have very narrow passages and stairs so you may need to take it in turns. I’ve seen everything plenty of times so my mum took M in while I tried to persuade a very tired L to have a nap (it didn’t work, she didn’t want to miss anything).

M loves the old car garage

There are some stables behind the shops where you can visit the horses and look at some of the old carts and you very often see them out and about around the museum too.

At the Railways you can have a ride on a steam train. We did it a couple of years ago while I was pregnant and it’s a bit of a squeeze getting everyone on board and it usually ends up as standing room only. I’m glad we did it but I don’t think we’re in any rush to go on again. Although it is good to stand on the bridge and watch it go underneath.

Just past the railway there is an events field where they have a few traditional fair rides, including the steam powered carousel. M has been on this every single visit but this was a first time for me and L (at the time of writing it cost £1.50 per horse so if you have to hold a younger one on you don’t need to pay for yourself as well).

1940s Farm

The farm is great. There a couple of small cottages you can go into and see how people lived and then over the road is the farm itself. There are usually a number of pigs and chickens but this time we didn’t see any. Also, on a weekend there is usually someone cooking in the farm kitchen and you can sample some biscuits. I didn’t realise till I was sorting through my many many photos, but for some reason I didn’t take any at the farm this time.

1900s Pit Village and Colliery

In the village there is a community centre, a church, the pit pony stables, some more cottages to explore and everyone’s favourite, the school. Its crazy how kids can hate school but get them here and they love it. Sometimes there are even lessons going on with very strict looking teachers. In one classroom you can try your hand at writing with a quill and ink and in another you can use an old chalkboard and charcoal.

In the school playground everyone tries their hand at an old fashioned game of hoop and stick, and generally fails to work out how to get the hoop moving. It is so much harder than it looks!

L found a small slope to run up and down and found it hilarious

In the colliery you can explore some of the coal mining machinery and some more trains. Everyone was worn out by this point so we didn’t get anymore pictures and headed home having had another brilliant day out.

If you are ever nearby I can highly recommend a visit to Beamish (you can find out more here). Our next visit will be Christmas. We have been the last two christmases and they put on the most amazing Santa experience complete with real reindeer you can feed. You generally have to queue for a long time but they put on some craft tables to entertain the kids while you wait.

Have you ever visited Beamish or somewhere similar? What did you think?



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18 thoughts on “Our Visit to Beamish Open Air Museum

  1. Looks like a great day for the whole fam. Beautiful scenery and even more beautiful kiddos!


    Posted on 6 September, 2016 at 2:31 pm
    1. Thank you x
      It really is a great day out there

      Posted on 6 September, 2016 at 2:36 pm
  2. Looks like you had a great day out. I live in Manchester so MOSI is a favourite of ours especially the steam hall. #TwinklyTuesdays

    Posted on 6 September, 2016 at 3:05 pm
    1. Ooh I’ve not heard of that, I’ll have to check it out, thanks x

      Posted on 6 September, 2016 at 3:14 pm
  3. Ahh! I haven’t been to Beamish since I was at school….
    It is such a fun day out….You have made me want to visit and take my girls. They would love it x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Fantastic treats from the North East.My Profile

    Posted on 6 September, 2016 at 9:50 pm
    1. The first time I went was with school too, many many years ago. Then never went back till about three years ago, and now we go all the time. My daughter is a bit young to really understand any of it but my son loves the place x

      Posted on 6 September, 2016 at 9:57 pm
  4. Wow there seems to be a lot of stuff going on at Beamish! I have heard of it before and it certainly looks like somewhere my other half would like to take our son one day. We went to a transport museum while i was pregnant, I can’t remember the name! Could catch trams there. it was good fun. Looks like a fun day was had by all! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun. Hope you can come back next week!
    Karen : TwoTinyHands recently posted…#FamilyFun Week1My Profile

    Posted on 7 September, 2016 at 11:45 pm
    1. Thanks, it really is a great day out x

      Posted on 8 September, 2016 at 6:49 am
  5. Your photos are just gorgeous! Great photography skills! This looks like an amazing day out, and I know my children would be enamoured-it’s also something I know my dad would love too! There’s so much there! I’m not surprised your children never get bored of it. I love a place that gives you a years ticket too, once you’ve paid for entry. I don’t think we have anything quite like this near us! We have loads of adventure farms, that have play barns, a few rides, and animal talks, but nothing quite like this! My husband would also love the traditional sweet shop-he can’t walk passed one without going in!
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…The #pinklinker Instagram Community RoundupMy Profile

    Posted on 8 September, 2016 at 5:42 pm
    1. Oh wow, thank you x
      It is such a lovely day out, you’ll have to keep it in mind if you ever visit the north east. I also can’t walk past a traditional old sweet shop without going in, there’s something very magical about them.

      Posted on 8 September, 2016 at 6:15 pm
  6. I loved reading this post and looking at your pictures. We really like Beamish and go there quite often. My little girl is only 21 months but she loves to go an see the animals, particularly the horses, and she’s a huge fan of the carousel. It’s a bit pricey, but as you say if you live locally and can make use of the annual pass, as we do, it’s great value. We’ve also found the staff working on the trams to be really accommodating when we’ve tried to get on with a pushchair, which is really handy! #familyfun
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    Posted on 8 September, 2016 at 9:58 pm
    1. Thank you, that’s really kind. Once you’ve already paid it becomes a cheap family day out (apart from the sweet shop as we always buy a ton!) and is always high on my sons list of places to go. That carousel is a bit special isn’t it?

      Posted on 8 September, 2016 at 10:51 pm
  7. Wow that really does look like a great day out, to be honest I think I would enjoy just as much, if not more than the kids. Love me some history. I think that’s a great tradition having your photo taken on the same bench, it will be great to look back at over the years to compare your little ones to and watch how they’ve grown! Glad you such a fab day. Thanks for sharing at #familyfun. Hope to see you again next week xx

    Posted on 9 September, 2016 at 7:09 am
    1. Thanks. The pictures are great to look at, started out as just me and my son, then the addition of a bump then a baby and now a toddler. Poor hubby is always either away at sea or behind the camera! x

      Posted on 9 September, 2016 at 8:01 am
  8. I had never heard of this before. Looks like there’s loads to do and great fun! Love the photos. #familyfun

    Posted on 9 September, 2016 at 9:28 pm
    1. Thank you. There’s so much to see and do, it’s a great day out

      Posted on 9 September, 2016 at 9:34 pm
  9. I love Beamish! I have family who live close by to Beamish! It looks like you had a fun day. I love the cinder toffee demonstration store lol! Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes Janet
    Janet recently posted…#AnythingGoes Linky Week 61My Profile

    Posted on 11 September, 2016 at 1:27 am
    1. We did, thank you. Yes, the cinder toffee is to die for, yum!

      Posted on 11 September, 2016 at 6:49 am