Beamish is a large open air museum with many historic buildings, some of which are not always completely accessible to visitors. It is a hands-on museum. Many sounds, smells, tastes and textures can be experienced; and objects, surfaces and textiles handled making for a multi-sensory experience.
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.
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.
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: 0191 370 4000 (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9am-4.30pm).
Visitors are welcome to use personal motorised scooters to help them get around the museum. These should be used along pedestrian routes with due care for pedestrians and not the roads 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. Please note we are not able to hire out motorised wheelchairs. Please note the Accessible Bus is not able to securely anchor and transport motorised scooters, please see below.
The Accessible Bus, with a rear tail lift, can securely carry up to four wheelchairs. Please note the Accessible Bus is not able to securely anchor and transport motorised scooters. A weight restriction (250kgs) also applies to the use of the tail lift. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the museum.
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 Mini-buses. 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.
There are accessible toilets and baby changing facilities within the following areas:
- The Entrance Building – Accessible toilets with Invacare Reliant 350 Stand Assist*, Baby and adult changing facilities also available.
- 1900s Town – Accessible toilets in Masonic Hall. Accessible Toilets and baby changing facilities in tram shelter and Tea Rooms.
- 1820s Pockerley Old Hall – Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
- 1820s Pockerley Waggonway – Accessible toilets only.
- 1940s Farm (British Kitchen) – Accessible toilets only.
- 1900s Pit Village – Accessible toilets only in the band hall and Davy’s Fish and Chip Shop.
- 1900s Colliery – Accessible toilets only in the Lamp Cabin.
- Fairground – Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
- Regional Resource Centre – Accessible toilets only.
* 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.
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.
Within historic areas we have files of photographs and information which can be viewed by visitors unable to access an exhibit.
Induction Loop Systems
Induction loop systems are installed in the following exhibits of the Town: The Sun Inn, The Garage, Barclays Bank, Number 2 and 3 Ravensworth Terrace, The Co-op, The Masonic Hall, the Sweet Shop and the Print Shop.
Our staff undertake disability equality training and seek to provide honest, helpful advice.
Admission concessions are available for groups of 15 or more people. Please telephone the Bookings Team on 0191 370 4026 for more information.