Even though we have been back in the North East for five years, Beamish Open Air Museum is somewhere I haven’t visited since being at school. However, we rectified that this week and I took the minimads for their first visit.
Beamish is a living museum and so completely different to anything the boys had experienced and we had a fabulous day with Imperfect Pages and her two boys. Firstly it is huge, so much green space for energiectic children to run in and it is far too large to get all the way round in one day, which is why they have the ingenious pay once and get entry for a whole year ticket. Beamish is a unique place, it is working museum telling of life in Northern England during the Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian era with a farm, town, allotments, school house, hall, pit village. train station and much much more.
We decided that we would take a picnic and enjoy a long walk from the entrance to the town, passing by a steam powered carousel, which the boys just had to have a ride on. We them took a look round the shops in the town and the boys visited the dentist, where a lady discussed dentistry of old with them and showed them the instruments. We chatted with a couple of the staff about cleaning the cottages and the work that they do. We then moved on to the sweet shop where we happened to purchase a few quarters of sweets before watching them make cinder toffee in the next room.
The fact that there is all this history there and accessibly for the boys, made it a joy to visit. The boys were filled with loads of questions and there were plenty of staff (all dressed up in period style costume) on hand to answer them We made a run for the tea room from the park area once the rain started and it was great to see that most of Beamish is accessibly to buggy and wheelchair users.
You do not have to walk round the 300 acre grounds, as there is plenty of other modes of transport available to you including trams and an accessible bus. We took the tram to our next destination, the Pockerly Wagon Way for a ride, which all the children loved. We then had a walk through the pit to the village past the new fish and chip shop (which serves between 12 and 3pm) and went to the school hall, where the boys tried out writing with ink. Then as it was nearly 5pm we decided to make our way home.
We had a fantastic day at Beamish. None of the exhibits are kept behind glass and it really is a truly interactive way to discover history and we will be going back shortly with MadDad and at £46 for an annual family ticket it is excellent value for money.
Disclosure: We were provided with free press passes for the day, but will be buying an annual family ticket