Photos of Beamish Museum
What will students see and do?
Beamish is a world-famous open-air museum, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s.
It was founded by Dr Frank Atkinson – Frank had visited Scandinavian folk museums in the early 1950s and was inspired to create an open-air museum for the North East. He realised the dramatically-changing region was losing its industrial heritage, and that coal mining, shipbuilding and iron and steel manufacturing were disappearing, along with the communities that served them. Frank wanted the new museum to illustrate the old ways of life and bring the region’s history alive.
There are several areas of interest, including the 1900s town, where you can see how families lived and worked in the years leading up to World War I; the 1900s pit village, where you can see what’s cooking in the pit cottages, practise your handwriting in the school and visit the chapel; the 1940s farm, where you can discover how life was on the Home Front during World War II; the 1900s colliery, as no recreation of the history of North East England would be complete without a colliery and the people who worked and lived around it; 1820s Pockerley, where you can take a ride on Pockerley Waggonway and wander through the glorious Georgian landscape; Rowley Station, which looks just as it did in Edwardian times with its signal box, waiting rooms and goods yard; the Beamish Tramway, opened in 1973 to re-create the experience and atmosphere of tramway operations from an earlier generation while providing an essential means of transport for visitors around the site; and the 1950s welfare hall.
Teaching resources provided
Beamish Museum has a selection of learning resources to help you during your visit, including KS 3-4 resources to support the Suffrage Rally workshop, KS2 resources to support the Just One Spark workshop, and information on coal mining and local history to support the James White KS2 workshops.
The website also supplies a link to The People’s Collection, an archive of digitalised photographs, oral history recordings, books and trade catalogues from the vast collection at Beamish Museum. The founders plan to digitise even more of the collections, and more content will become available over time. There are also plans to enable visitors to upload their own photographs and memories, to help us save the past for future generations.
Minimum and maximum group size
Each activity is designed to suit a full class of around 30 students.
Details of risk assessment
Beamish Museum has a risk assessment in place – contact directly to request.
Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment
Beamish is a large open-air museum with many historic buildings, including a 1900s town; a 1900s pit village; a 1940s farm; a 1900s colliery; Pockerly from the 1820s; the Edwardian Rowley Station; the 1973 Beamish Tramway; a 1950s welfare hall; and some behind-the-scenes open stores.
If you have disabled students, take note that many surfaces on the historic site are uneven by nature – there are steep slopes in places, and some buildings and exhibits have stepped access.
Wednesday to Sunday: 9am-4pm
Monday to Tuesday: Closed
Each activity: £35 – £100 per class
One accompanying adult goes free for every five children over 5 or three children under 5.
The Beamish Museum is located in Beamish, County Durham. If driving, take exit 63 from the A1(M).
Buses run from Newcastle City Centre, Gateshead, Birtley, Ouston and Chester-le-Street every 30 minutes on Monday to Saturday daytimes, and hourly in the evening and on Sundays.
The closest train station is located in Chester-le-Street, which regularly travels from Newcastle, Durham and Darlington.
Regional Resource Centre
Book your school trip to Beamish Museum
For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.