Beamish is Bloomin’ Brilliant

For our anniversary this year we decided to take N to Beamish (link here). I’ve been once before many many years ago so couldn’t remember it that well, but Clare has never been, so on thinking of Newcastle for a city break (see here for those details) we thought spending some time in Beamish would be great.

What Is Beamish?

Methodist Church at Beamish
Methodist Church at Beamish

Beamish is an open air museum which shows life in the North East in the periods 1820s to 1940s, complete with appropriate transport.

In essence there are many different zones to the place, and you travel or walk between the zones. By travel I mean an authentic bus or tram from the period. Or you can walk if you wish. There is also a bus to get around for those with disabilities which is pretty good.

There’s a pit village, 1940s farm, railway station and 1900s town, plus some beautiful views.

Busy Busy Busy

A Grand Beamish Entry
A Grand Beamish Entry

There were so many people in Beamish when we went there. Thankfully we got there quite early (you’re always up early when you’ve got a baby!) so when we arrived it was quieter, but it got busy pretty quick so I’d suggest doing the same and getting there early.

At about 11:30 we were in the 1900s pit village and I queued for Davy’s Fried Fish Shop. The fish and chips here are made in the traditional way with beef dripping and a coal fired oven. As I was in the queue I noticed a board outside that said if you’re at this board you will be waiting for an hour. Wow, an hour! That’s incredible. However, it’s a long wait for two reasons. Firstly cooking the fish and chips in this way takes longer. Secondly there was a massive queue. All the while standing there I thought to myself “wow, I’m not even at the board yet so how long will this be?” Well, it took 45 minutes standing in the queue (in the sun which is not all bad), but not great if it was chucking it down. The fish and chips were pretty reasonable though at £6.95 for fish and chips, or £4.95 for “don and chips”, which is apparently half a fish. Add salt and vinegar and that’s it other than drinks. No mushy peas, curry sauce etc which is more traditional I understand. They tasted really nice too, and were pretty sizeable, just get there early when the queue is shorter.

1900s Pit Village

The Pit
The Pit

We spent most of our time in the pit village as even in this location there’s plenty to see and do. There’s the pit area and equipment to see firstly. It’s essentially a load of mining equipment along with railway equipment such as sleepers, railway lines and engines. You can go inside the building I’ve photographed here and go across a bridge, but we didn’t do it when we were there. There’s also an area that contains some steam engines (including a cute tiny little engine on top of another engine that’s actually a crane).

There’s also a church which you can see a photo of higher up in this post. There’s a school too which we walked through. It was a warm day and we were taking N around in the pram which he made very clear he didn’t like. When we got to the school I got N out of the pram and carried him around which he thoroughly enjoyed. There were a few classrooms moving from very young kids in small chairs and a room for the bigger children. I actually sat N in a chair in the room for the smallest children and he fitted right in! No harm in starting early. His hands were stuck on the table and he was ready for his first lesson.

Pit Ponies
Pit Ponies

We also had a wander around the stables here where there were three pit ponies. It’s only a small area for the ponies but I imagine that was what it was like in the 1900s. N seemed to enjoy looking at them.

Finally in this area we also looked at some of the houses and the small bedrooms that they had. Even the small beds too, no good for someone of my height! We also saw a couple of people cooking on an Aga and baking various goods. It was good to see what it would have ben like in the 1900s. Hot and smoky is the answer!

The Practicalities

So it’s £19 per adult to get in which is not cheap at all. Children aged 5-16 can get in for £11, and there are a variety of family tickets available too to help you save money.

Baby changing facilities are unisex and very well presented and clean.

In terms of terrain it is quite hilly in some areas, and there is a bit of a walk between the different areas, but it is all tarmac. You can see the different areas here. To get to the different areas you can walk, and each distance is signposted in how long it would take you to walk which is pretty good. You can however get a tram or a bus between the different areas, and they’re very frequent. There’s also a bus for those that are disabled which is good. Also, for those that are disabled there is a fantastic extra guide that you are given when you get in which contains loads of information such as where ramps are, which buildings are restricted etc. It really is a great guide. Here’s a link to the accessibility page on the website.

Parking is good, and getting there is very easy, it’s not far from the A1. In the summer months it’s open 10am to 5pm, but check the opening times before you go, you don’t want to get there too early or it won’t be open!

In Summary

We didn’t get much chance to go to other areas in Beamish but that just means we have more to visit the next time we go (and I believe your ticket lasts for a year of entry). I would highly recommend going here but understand that some of the areas are going to get very very busy, positively filled with people. There’s still plenty of room to move around of course as it is outside, but you may end up queuing for certain places.

If you’re in the area I would go. It’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it is worth it as you will literally have hours and hours of fun.

See here for my other days out reviews.

Also, this website ( is good for reviews written by bloggers of attractions all over the UK. Check it out for days out near you.


    1. It was fab, thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a very interesting place to see. Imagine those from 2100 visiting somewhere showing life in 2018! Mind blowing!

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