21 September 2015

A Day Out to Beamish

This weekend Mark treated me to a lovely day out for my birthday! He planned it all himself and decided we should go to Beamish! I was SO excited when he suggested it! I'm a HUGE fan of museums and have not been to Beamish since I was at primary school.  I would just never have thought about going here....

In case you don't know what Beamish is, it's an open air 'living' museum in the North East, it was about an hour and a half drive from Carlisle.  There are different parts to wander round from different eras.

The collections are the actual buildings, it is like visiting a super pretty, cute little village where you get to go in all the houses and snoop round!

My favourite bit has to be the 1900s town! I could SO live there.  You get to go in the little shops and they are REAL shops, is there anything MORE exciting than that? In the bakers they are literally baking and selling the bread and cakes they bake.  Then there is a sweet shop and a pub! Mark loved the garage jam packed with original vehicles.

Some parts of the shops were just for show like the Co-Op general store, which had a haberdashery section.

The little town had a park with a band stand.  We sat here in the park to eat our lunch.  The day we visited was really sunny, there was also an event at the museum, a traditional agricultural fair so there were a LOT of people there!

The attention to detail in the museum is stunning! I loved all the old packaging etc.

I was SO excited to see that all vehicles on site were actual old vehicles, even the lady who went round emptying the bins was in costume and driving this little blue van.

There was a little stall selling Fentimans drinks, we thought that was cool!

I LOVED how all the staff were in costume, but not only in costume but in character! The museum does not have signs or interpretation boards as it would really distract things, instead it has people, who you can speak to and ask questions if you wish.  But they are not just 'gallery assistants' they all have jobs! The ladies in the houses were busy washing clothes or baking cakes, there were men out in the fields ploughing and some ladies bathing a horse and there was randomly a man driving round the place in a motorbike with his dog in the side car! We even saw a policeman patrolling round.

There were loads of animals around too, so the farm had pigs, chickens, horses etc.  There were cats allegedly living in some of the houses, but I didn't see them.

I found all the costumed people so exciting! Imagine if that was your job, I wouldn't want to go back to my real life at the end of the day! We saw a farm boy wandering past eating an ice cream! Dream job!

There were old vehicles everywhere, as I explained and you got to actually go in the old busses and trams! There were proper costumed conductors.

Whilst we were wandering round I kept asking Mark which buildings were 'real', Mark just 'knows' stuff, so I always ask him random questions! But even he couldn't figure out the history of the buildings.  I found this aspect of the museum fascinating. Two buildings, the Pockerley manor house and the Farm were original to the site and still in place, but all the other buildings like the whole town, the pit, school etc were all collected from other places and literally built back in place in the Beamish grounds brick by brick! This church above is a relatively recent acquisition for the museum and you can see that all the bricks have a number on, which shows how they re-built it.

All the buildings and their content look so authentic, but I couldn't figure out how the whole place must be original to the site, and have everything so perfectly near each other.  I think it is amazing that they 'collect' buildings, so much hard work has gone into making this place amazing.  We spent hours there wandering, exploring, visiting each building.... Absolutely brilliant place for a day out!

Pockerley Old Hall from the 1820s, what a stunning house! This one is original to the site.

I adore this kitchen, I could happily live here.

My favourite home was the Farm, was super cosy and the interior was pretty, they had crochet blankets and the place was decked out like a 1940s war time farm.

Another section was the pit village from the 1920s with a coal mine, colliery, school, cottages etc. There was even a real, working fish and chip shop in the town too! This is us ready with our hard hats to go down the mine.

The miners lamps.

The school, inside was all the school desks and a scary looking teacher!

We really wanted fish and chips but the queue was very long! The queue for all the food was really really long too! We also wanted to go to the tea rooms but ended up getting takeaway sandwiches. I loved everything about the day, but if they could improve things even more they could improve the food facilities.  Clearly they get a LOT of visitors so have to make things very large, but the tea room had no proper queue system and the food could have been more 'authentic'.  But it certainly did not ruin the day! We filled up on 'authentic' Victorian sugar mice and cinder toffee instead from the sweet shop.

If you are looking for an interesting and different day out then I can not recommend Beamish highly enough! Even if you are not into museums, it is fab! Such a pretty place and it rally appeals to 'nosy' people as you just get to poke around all the buildings. The place has such amazing attention to detail and authenticity that it really does feel like you are walking into people's homes.  

GO, you will not be disappointed!  Have you been to Beamish? What was your favourite part?


  1. Love Beamish - I think it's one of my all time favorite museums. I always love popping into the sweet shop and they do some amazingly tasty fish n chips in the cafe.

  2. I've seen so much about Beamish but I've never been. It looks like so much fun! I've heard they do some lovely things at Christmas so I'm really tempted to make a trip in the festive season. The 1820s house looks perfect, my dream house is definitely something similar!

  3. Ahhh, so cool to see the school which we didn't see! MMmmm, we liked the sweet shop!

    1. Oh the sweet shop was SO good!

  4. Itlooks very different in the summer to mid-winter!x
    P.S. Here are my posts with photos-

    1. Awesome, thanks so much for linking to your posts, I'm off to check these out right now. x


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