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“In a class of its own.”
Review of Beamish Museum

Beamish Museum
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Beamish
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience amazing sights, sounds, smells and delicious tastes as the past comes to life. Beamish is unique - our objects aren't locked away in glass cases, this is hands-on history! Step into the past and explore our 350 acre site, as Beamish tells the story of the people of North East England in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. Taste traditional food from a coal-fired range, hop on board a tram or steam train, play schoolyard games together and pop into the Co-op shops. Come back time and time again with your Beamish Unlimited Pass, which allows 12 months free entry to the museum from your visit - including all day time special events!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed March 30, 2014

The main word that springs to mind with this museum is vitality. Its alive with its own population of staff, dressed in period costumes, and the transport system is a delight. Its a circular track of just under 2 miles and the trams are authentic and I for one would visit this place just to look at the trams. The tram system provides the access to the numerous places on the circular route. Each has its own flavour, and individual delight. There is the town, with a railway station, which is permanently in 1913. A well chosen year, prior to the horrific world war. The staff make it really quite special. They are very knowledgable, and the atmosphere they create is uncanny. Its so authentic that its almost disturbing to the point where you feel like you are really back in time. There are shops where you can buy things, like authentically made sweets, or bread, and a pub which serves real beer, and much to my delight, pickled eggs. A rare treat, and if you havent had a pickled egg and a pint of real ale then you havent lived.

The drift mine is superb. Its a mine set into the hills which surround Beamish. Inside the mine, its cold, wet, dirty and low head height. This makes it a superb experience as its as authentic as you are going to get without actually being a miner.

The pit village is fascinating. The staff there dress in period costumes, and have real fires, real cats, and almost live the life of a miner in 1913. The school there actually had a class of real pupils being taught there.

There always seems to be something happening. Sometimes its a miner's gala, sometimes its a parade of vintage cars, but its never still.

Beamish is a place to wander around. There is always something fascinating around every corner, be it a pig in sty or a shed full of old horse carriages (and they arent for show either, the horses there arent for show. They work there too.) Or a fish and chip shop, which serves chips as they should be, cooked in beef lard. Not for the vegetarians I suppose, but again authentic.

The only thing that is not old is the toilet and disabled facilities. Considering the size of the place, there is no mess, no litter, and the toilets are spotlessly clean, and there are plenty of them, at each place on the map.

The attitude of the staff is worth a mention. They are as interactive as the museum is lively. They just dont stand there and wait, they will talk to you, ask if you are having a good day, and are delighted if you ask questions about the trams, or the dentist, or the care of the animals, or anything. I spent a good half an hour on a wet March afternoon talking to the tram drivers.

I have a ticket which allows me access for a year, and it was not horrifically expensive either, so its superb value. Its good because you cannot possibly experience everything this museum has to offer in one day. I have visited it about 5 times and I still find something new.

They do packages such as learning to drive a train, or a tram, or even to make Edwardian food! I would love to do the full day of learning to drive a tram, but at £175 per day its a bit beyond my pocket, but as a gift, I cannot image anything better.

1  Thank harveyt252
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,336 - 4,340 of 5,829 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2014

Loads to see and do. Moving trams and ancient buses to move about the site that's been developed as separate "villages/attractions". Disabled access is good around most of the site. Don't forget to visit the drift mine the atmosphere is something else. You can spend a full day here but buy a yearly ticket for little more than the day pass and come back again and again all year round.Every time you visit you will find new attractions and they are always having special events so remember to check the Internet for whats on!! Great on a sunny day to take a picnic as there's loads of places to stop and sit outside and soak up the atmosphere.

3  Thank RobertMurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

We weren't sure what to expect but from the start to finish it was brilliant!
Something for all ages and great reminiscing about the things we remembered from our childhoods. Especially my childhood on the farm !

highly recommend!

1  Thank sylviaYorkshireDales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

I visited Beamish with 3 other adults. I`ve seen it advertised on TV but I didn't know what to expect. It was far more interesting than I imagined. The staff were so welcoming, the young man on the admission desk explained the various tickets available, ensuring we purchased the best for us. The museum itself was well set out and interesting. we spent 5hrs there and didn't see everything. The day included a lot of walking so wouldn't be ideal for less able people. Wheelchairs can access most of the areas although there are several hills to encounter. There are plenty of places to eat & drink. I`m not sure what age children I would take, (under 5`s are free) I think younger children might be bored if the weather wasn't nice enough for them to run around on the grass.

3  Thank yorkshirelass86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Visiting the Yorkshire Dales for a week holiday we planned a visit to Beamish. From the moment we arrived we felt welcomed by the people working there who were most informative and knowledgeable and obviously loved their work. Hhowever our visit was spoilt tenfold bythe other visitors. queuing seems to be a no no for the people of this part of the north east with children whether being in the control of teachers or parents being completely disrespectful to others around them whether queuing for the tram or buying sweets in the sweetie shop although this is not surprising as general manners of "excuse me" "please" "thank you" are not within their vulcbulary whether 5 or 55. Queuing to buy our tickets locals thought they had a right to jump the queue until staff sent them to the end of the queue we went through to the hall to listen to the "welcome video" we gave up as their were six mums chatting whilst their various broods ran riot screaming around the enclosed area - no control at all. We loved the whole concept of the museum but will not return until people are asked to follow the rules laid down by. The "good Manners" notice as displayed in the museum. Sorry perhaps when a school books a trip you should send them a copy of this and ask them to ensure their party is able to respect other visitors to the museum.

4  Thank BobbieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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