What will students see and do?

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery celebrates the rich heritage of South Tyneside and the people who shaped it.

The museum is spread over two floors and tells the story of the borough’s social, industrial and maritime history from 4,000 years ago to the present day through a range of displays, exhibitions and nationally significant works of art.

On the ground floor of the museum, visitors can peruse a collection and treasures of South Tyneside. There’s also a creature corner, home to reptiles and insects. Up on the first floor, there’s an art gallery that holds regular exhibitions.

The building that the museum currently occupies has also had a long and interesting history – it was constructed in 1860 as a home for the South Shields Literary, Mechanical and Scientific Institution. In 1873, it became the town’s first free public library, before finally opening as a museum in 1876.

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery is dedicated to supporting all learners, including those who have special educational needs and disabilities. It offers a range of SEND workshops that encourage children to build their practical, visual and cognitive and communication skills, and there are resources on site that may help some children cope with the busy museum environment. If you would like to borrow these resources during your trip, simply let a member of staff know.

Teaching resources provided

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery has several activities on its website inspired by its museum collection. These can be completed at students’ own pace and enable them to focus on their creative process, develop their senses and try something new.

The activities include recreating museum objects in drawings, mixed media collages, poetry and prose; arranging images to create a story; and playing pretend with the painting Red Groyne by Sheila Graber.

Minimum and maximum group size

Varies depending on the workshop, but the maximum is typically 30 students.

Details of risk assessment

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery offers preliminary visits and a hazard identification sheet can be downloaded from the website.


Don't miss our downloadable A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

icon for A-Z guide on completing a risk assessment

Facilities On-Site

As well as the museum, there is a cafe called the Victorian Pantry that serves both hot and cold food and drinks, and a gift shop in the reception area selling books, souvenirs, small toys and South Shields merchandise.

Opening Times

Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-4pm



Entry and self-led visits: Free
Introductory talk or tour (30 minutes) followed by a self-led visit: £40
Facilitated workshops: £75 for one hour, £90 for one and a half hours

Travel arrangements

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery is located in the South Shields town centre on the pedestrianised part of Ocean Road.

The site doesn’t have a car park but coaches can drop off in the lay-by on Anderson Street or at nearby Mile End Road.

The museum is also less than a five-minute walk from South Shields Metro and bus station. If travelling by train, up to three children aged 11 and under can travel for free with a fare-paying adult – see the website for details.


South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, Ocean Road, South Shields
NE33 2JA

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Book your school trip to South Shields Museum & Art Gallery

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

Book your school trip to South Shields Museum & Art Gallery

For information on booking your school trip to this venue, click below.

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