At Beamish, The Living Museum of the North you can travel through time from the Georgian period of the 1820s to the pre-World War One years of the 1900s and the fabulous 1940s and now 1950s. 

With so much to see and do across the museum, we've picked seven of the unmissable experiences you must do on your next visit to Beamish Museum.  

Visitors and staff talking at the 1940s farm at Beamish Museum

Discover life on the Home Front during the Second World War at the 1940s Farm. 

Uncover the stories of wartime life in North East England at the 1940s farmhouse and cottages. Pop into the cosy farmhouse to smell what’s cooking on the Aga (you may even be asked to help prepare delicious meals using wartime rations). See “Make Do and Mend” in action and don’t forget to say hello to the friendly farmyard animals. 

Feel the fab 50s vibe at the new 1950s Welfare Hall 

Experience what community life was like in the 1950s at the newly opened Welfare Hall, the first of exhibit to open in the remaking Beamish 1950s Town. Join the 50s dances and games, dress-up in vintage 50s clothing and explore the story of the birth of the NHS at the drop-in clinic. 

You can also see engineering work on historic vehicles up close at the recently opened 1950s Northern General Transport Bus Depo, which will now be home to the museum’s ever-growing fleet of historic buses. 

Get a real taste of the past 

The magical world of historical food is brought to life at Beamish Museum. In the 1900s Town pick up freshly baked bread using Edwardian recipes at the Bakery, pop in for a pint at the Sun Inn and see sweets been made the traditional way at the Jubilee sweet shop. 

No visit is complete without a visit to Davy’s Fired Fish Shop. Try the famous fish and chips, made in coal-fired ranges using beef dripping and served the old way in specially-printed newspaper! 

Beamish Stores

Go behind the scenes 

Step into the Open Stores and see the museum’s fascinating collection of historical objects, including many donated objects from people across the North East and beyond. The collection started in 1950s, with the museum’s founder Frank Atkinson’s policy of ‘you offer it, we’ll collect it”. 

The Open Store’s unique items from across the eras are sure to spark memories for every visitor and feature amazing items including domestic, rural, transport and industrial objects. 

Family with a pit pony at Beamish Museum Drift Mine

Go Underground on a guided tour of the drift mine at the 1900s Colliery 

Did you know the site which the museum stands on was once at the heart of the Durham coalfield? 

Experience what life was like for generations of families who worked down the North East’s pits. Take a trip down the mine to see the reality of underground life for yourself, and don’t forget to call over to the 1900s Pit Village to meet the pit ponies who also worked down the region’s mines. 

people getting their photo taken in the 1900s photo studio at Beamish Museum

Pose for a family portrait 1900s style 

Head to JR & D Edis Photographers in the 1900s town to get your picture taken in period costume at the 1900s photography studio. Glam yourself up with countless vintage outfits and accessories before you strike a stern pose – 1900s style. 

A steam train on Pocklery Waggon way at Beamish MuseumTake a steam train ride at 1820s Pockerley Waggonway

Did you know Durham is home to the world’s first railway town? And at Beamish Museum you can discover the birth of the railways as you take a steam train ride through the 1820s landscape. Get up close to replica engines Puffing Billy and the Steam Elephant and see the latest innovations in Georgian technology. 

Click here to find out more about Beamish Museum >> 




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