Accessibility

Beamish is a large open air museum with many historic buildings to experience.

Beamish Unlimited

Beamish is a large open air museum with many historic buildings, some of which are not always completely accessible to visitors. 

To create an authentic feel, there are a variety of ground surfaces, some of which are uneven by nature. There are steep slopes in places, and some buildings and exhibits have stepped access.

We are now operating our Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle every day that the museum is open. This is available on-call and is limited to its seated capacity. It is not operating in general service and is solely available for those who require its adaptations, including the wheelchair lift at the rear of the vehicle. The crew have been inducted and trained to look after you and enable you to enjoy your visit to the museum. See more here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-CumQm0X0E.

If a disabled visitor requires another person, as their companion or carer to enable them to access the museum, then this person is admitted free of charge. If a parent is visiting the museum with a disabled child under 5 then the parent and child under 5 do not have to pay admission. If there are several adults accompanying the disabled child under 5, then only one adult can be admitted for free. All other adults and children need to pay full admission or show their annual pass.

For more information about visiting the museum please click here.

Click here to download a copy of our Access Guide for visitors.

Wheelchair Hire

Free wheelchair hire is available from the Entrance Building. As numbers are limited and available on a first come, first served basis, please contact the museum in advance to reserve to avoid disappointment: Tel. 0191 370 4000. We are able to reserve wheelchairs for visitors with 24 hours notice.

Motorised Scooter Hire

Visitors can hire motorised scooters for a £12 charge and a refundable £25 deposit. Deposits will be refunded following return of the hired scooter in the expected condition at the end of your visit. To book a mobility scooter please click here. Bookings are on a first come first served basis. Guidance maps will be provided on arrival.

All motorised scooters must be used along pedestrian routes, taking care to avoid collisions and blocking paths. Visitors are not permitted to use motorised scooters on the roads around the museum or within buildings on the museum site.

We are not able to carry motorised scooters on the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles due to their weight (for the lifts) and incompatibility with the wheelchair anchor points inside the buses.

You must give us at least 24 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend the museum for your motorised scooter booking. If we do not receive at least 24 hours’ notice we will be unable to refund the deposit. In the event of inclement weather, we may be required to cancel scooter bookings on the day of use with little notice period. In this event, deposits will be returned in full

Motorised Scooters

Visitors are welcome to use personal motorised scooters to help them get around the museum. As Beamish is a large open air museum, we encourage visitors to fully charge their scooters before arriving at the museum, as you could expect to cover up to three miles during the visit.

There are no charging points at the museum.

We are not able to carry motorised scooters on the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles due to their weight (for the lifts) and incompatibility with the wheelchair anchor points inside the buses.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the museum.

Accessible Parking

Free accessible parking is at the lowest level of our car park to the left of the Entrance Building. This area may also be used as a drop-off and collection point for accessible minibuses. Ramps lead from this car park into the Entrance Building and further ramps are situated at the rear of the building providing access to, and exit from the museum site.

Accessible Toilets

There are accessible toilets and baby changing facilities in the following areas:

  • Entrance Building – Accessible toilets with Invacare Reliant 350 Stand Assist*, baby and adult changing facilities also available.
  • 1900s Pit Village – Toilets and accessible toilets at the band hall.
  • 1900s Colliery Yard – Gender neutral toilets, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities in the lamp cabin.
  • 1940s Farm – Toilets and accessible toilets.
  • 1900s Town – Toilets in the Masonic Hall. Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities in tram shelter. Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities in the Tea Rooms.
  • Fairground – Gender neutral toilets, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
  • Pockerley Old Hall – Toilets and accessible toilets.
  • 1820s Pockerley Waggonway – Toilets and accessible toilets.
  • Regional Resource Centre – Toilets and accessible toilets.
  • 1950s Welfare Hall – Changing Places Facilities, accessible toilets, accessible baby change and feeding facilities.
  • 1950s Town – Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are available in John’s Café. An accessible toilet is available at Spain’s Field Farm.

* The Invacare Reliant 350 Stand Assist is a compact and manoeuvrable mobile lifter that provides safe and comfortable assisted transfers for those with limited mobility or rehabilitation needs. The Invacare Reliant 350 can be used to transfer a client that cannot transfer unaided, but has some level of weight bearing ability, from one seated position to another.

Changing Places

Changing Places Facilities at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Our 1950s welfare hall features Changing Places accessible facilities. These include:

  • A wash and dry toilet.
  • Overhead room coverage hoist system.
  • Height-adjustable changing bench with a shower.
  • Height-adjustable basin.
  • Privacy screen.
  • Non-slip flooring.

For Health and Safety reasons we do not provide slings. Customers are asked to bring their own which should be compatible with the loop system.

Find out more about our Changing Places facilities.

Sensory Bags

Beamish sensory bags including headphones, sensory book, lavender bag, football rattle, Beamish top trumps and Jacobs ladder.

We have sensory bags available to use during your visit, guided by our Access Panel and designed to support visitors with sensory needs. The bags include; headphones, sensory book, lavender bag, football rattle, Beamish top trumps and Jacobs ladder.

The bags can be collected from our Entrance gift shop and requires a £10 refundable deposit.

Quiet Space

A quiet space is available in our 1950s welfare hall for any visitor who needs to use it. The room is sensory-friendly and is equipped with a washbasin, chair, sensory-friendly lights and toys and books for children.

Access to the quiet space is on a first come, first served basis. Please speak to a member of staff in the 1950s welfare hall for access to the room.

Group Rates

Admission concessions are available for groups of 15 or more people. Please telephone the Bookings Team on 0191 370 4026 for more information.

Max Cards

Max Card holders are entitled to 25 per cent discount on individual Beamish Unlimited Passes, maximum of two adults and two children (this is not available on passes bought online and not available on family passes). Please note, the Max Card discount can only be applied on presentation of a valid Max Card.

Click here to download a copy of our Access Guide for visitors.

Download our inclusive trails, designed by members of our access panel, here:
1900s Town Trail
1900s Pit Village Trail