Bowes Railway

Bowes Railway, Gateshead: Hours, Address, Bowes Railway Reviews: 4.5/5

Bowes Railway
4.5
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
The Bowes Railway is unique amongst preserved railways. It is home to the only standard gauge rope hauled incline still in operation. A visit to Bowes includes a visitor trail around our scheduled industrial monument, the rope hauled inclines, a three mile steam hauled train ride and refreshment facilities. All of this can be found at a small but friendly railway at the heart of the North East.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
47 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
12
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Graham S
1 contribution
Outstanding school trip
Nov 2021 • Family
We had an incredible few hours here on a school trip. The guides were very knowledgeable. The site is a great place to explore some fascinating local history. Highly recommended!
Written November 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

amandahep15
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK195 contributions
Excellent railway history museum
Aug 2021 • Solo
Excellent guided tour by Dave this morning. As an ex miner he can really tell you first hand about the work in and around a mine.
This was George Stephenson’s cable railway built 1826 for John Bowes. The museum is like a sleeping giant as when the pit closed everything was just left and made into a museum. Volunteers keep it going and demonstrate machinery. They are repairing engines and trucks.
Selling mini tubs as plant containers to help with funds.
Definitely recommend a visit as it’s extremely interesting.
Written August 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jack Rochestwr
Chester-le-Street, UK1 contribution
First time I’d been back since the 90’s. History is alive and very well in Wilfs hands.
Jul 2021 • Family
Took my 2yr old son here as he’s just started to take an interest in trains and I love history of the north east in its industrial ages of days gone.
Plenty of trains for him to see, pinky and perky defiantly his favourites, but it was our tour guide Wilf who truly stood out to me, if you get the chance have a tour with Wilf he is a well of knowledge and lived in experience.
Our tour started at the entrance and I was hooked on his every word for over 90 minutes and honestly I could easily listen to another 90 minutes, having worked in most industries on show at bowes and having personal knowledge and anecdotes about his own experiences made our visit a lot more interesting than if someone was just reciting what they’d read.
It may have been light drizzle when we went but don’t let that stop you, your not made of sugar come and see these pieces of history in rain or shine, a lot of indoor areas with great displays.
I’ll be honest once I learnt that the bowes joiner shop made their own tank engine planters I was sold on purchasing one, £15 is a bargain as far as I’m concerned, handmade in a traditional joiners shop with traditional joiners tools, for £15 I’ve purchased a beautifully made engine planter and a piece of handmade history.
If I can leave you with one last thing it will be that Wilf is a Genuine authentic gentlemen who’s passion and enthusiasm about not just the bowes railway but the industry in general is outstanding.
Big thank you to all volunteers we met Davey the electrician and we had been served in the gift shop by Lynn, again friendly and polite people who help cement bowes railway as a great place for visitors and will keep our local history alive and well for years to come.
But Wilf thank you I now can feel quite smug about the batter plates on coal trucks next time I get asked about the metal plates on the sides.

Amanda is continuing to do a great job, unfortunately I did not get to meet Amanda but all member’s of staff and volunteers speak very highly about Amanda and how hard she works to make sure bowes can continue to share history with future generations.

Thank you bowes I will see you again in the future and hopefully will be able to have another tour with Wilf.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Owen Smith
Gateshead, UK10 contributions
Really good
Dec 2019 • Friends
Really good and teaches you a lot about trains. My great great grandad was the manager here. Really nice place to visit in a lovely village.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joanne R
Dumfries, UK287 contributions
Mini mania
Sep 2019 • Family
Host to a mini car event. Fantastic lication and they offered plenty for children - colouring(they had tailored to cars) and construction/imaginative play - new addition from last year. Staff are so friendly and welcoming.
Written September 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Northern Mines & Collieries
Durham, UK30 contributions
A Great Place and not too busy so you get a more relaxed experience.
Oct 2018
We will go again, a great experience to see and learn more about the history of how the North east Labour force toiled for the rest of the country and landmark innovation that built the first railway so the future could be built, then they cast the working man aside after building their empire which is now turning on the descendants of all the real families of the country who own this land or did until we allowed them to take it away by using the Lisbon Treaty. We are now but slaves to these private families who have all the money and let us play with paper they print. .
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

280DavidC
Brookmans Park, UK110 contributions
Fascinating place found by accident
Aug 2019
A museum on the site of one of the first and last coal Railways in the North East. At £2.00 per person to enter with a free guided tour this has to reflect the fact that it is staffed entirely by volunteers. The railway dates back to the time when Newcastle and Durham were large mining entries (hence the expression carrying coals to Newcastle); that was before Scargill and Thatcher between them destroyed the industry and the lives and the communities of the people who risked their health and life down the mines.
Well worth a visit for anyone interested in history and especially for train buffs.
Written August 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Millie024
Llantwit Major, UK406 contributions
Very interesting and engaging visit
Jul 2019 • Couples
We were the first people to arrive, and a helpful volunteer immediately pounced on my husband and ensured we were visiting the museum, in a friendly way. He then took us around the site, for one and a half hours, far longer than we had expected to stay. The time went very fast, as what we were shown was so interesting. The Bowes railway museum commemorated a colliery railway down to the coal staithes on the river Tyne, that is the only remaining example of a standard gauge cable powered line. The small but highly skilled volunteer group have achieved a great deal, but the railway could really do with lots more help, vast injections of cash, and possibly more visitors. It was good to see the blacksmith's shop, the model of a collier's home, with the drop down bed in a cupboard, and the way that the rail system worked. Also to hear that an owl has begun to roost in the engine shed. There is a small cafe, staffed by a very pleasant lady. Both the volunteers we spoke to were infectiously enthusiastic, and it was a pleasure to meet them.
Written July 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

manxali
Milton Keynes, UK39 contributions
Wet Saturday overcome by Wilf!
Jun 2019
It was very wet, but we had a personal tour with Wilf as we were the only people there. This really brought the place to life with his personal experiences and knowledge of all of the exhibits. Such recent history which will be lost without the dedication of the volunteers. Interesting exhibits showing how it was and what difficulties had to be overcome. Hands on experiences available!!
Written June 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

edmund250150
Newton Abbot, UK37 contributions
A really good experience of mining railway history .
Apr 2019 • Couples
If you are interested in learning about the local mining history from real enthusiasts, many from a mining background, then this is the place for you. I went with my 8 year old grandson and the guides spent ages explaining everything from the miners lamps (brilliant little show)to wagon restoration and did so very readily. This is the best place I have ever been to for listening to our history from really knowledgeable people but you need to listen to get the best out of it and its a VERY reasonable price. Good little cafe too. Not really suitable for little ones though, better for older ones who have an interest already.
Written April 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bowes Railway

Bowes Railway is open:
  • Thu - Sat 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM