Back in the 1990’s Pam’s family went a trip to Beamish and all absolutely loved it. 20 years on Pam could only remember the cobbled streets and getting a family portrait photograph taken, so we thought another visit was well overdue. This time in our thirties, we took Shannon’s parents along to get different age perspectives, as the open-air museum is a fun day out for all ages.
Beamish is an open-air museum, located in the North of England, near the town of Stanley in County Durham. The museum is set up as an example of everyday life in urban and rural North East England at the climax of industrialisation in the early 20th century. Most of the restoration and interpretation is specific to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, together with portions of countryside under the influence of industrial revolution in 1825. On its 350 acres estate it utilises a mixture of translocated, original and replica buildings; a huge collection of artifacts, working vehicles and equipment; as well as livestock and costumed interpreters.
Arriving at Beamish you will be transported into different eras, board the old tram and head to the first stop along the countryside, the tram follows a loop track, hop on and off as you wish. You can walk around the site, but it is much more fun hopping on one of the electric trams or replica Edwardian motor buses or trolley buses.
The first stop is the 1940’s Farm where you will discover how life was on the Home Front during the Second World War. You can enter a house styled in keeping with the era and see animals and perhaps the Land Girls and the Home Guard!
Then walk down to the 1900’s Pit Village and Colliery here you will visit the school where you can play hopscotch and iron hoops in the school yard and join a class. Visit the pit ponies in their stables and try some Fish and Chips. Here you can also visit inside the row of Miners cottages. Nearby is the Colliery, here you can take a guided tour to the drift mine and experience the reality of life underground, in darkness for the miners.
Next up you will arrive at the cobble stone 1900’s Town where you can explore and see how families lived and worked in the years leading up to the First World War. It is here you can enter terraced houses, the bank, Co-op, chemist and 1900’s car and bike garage. You can also stop in for food and drinks at the bakery, pub and sweet shop. There is also a working chemists and fairground. Be sure to get your old-fashioned photograph taken in the photographers too!