COVID-19 - FAQs for Visiting Beamish

We look forward to welcoming you to Beamish!

Following the Prime Minister’s update on Saturday, 27th November 2021 in response to the new Omicron variant, and measures due to come into place from Tuesday, 30th November. You may have seen that England’s COVID rules are being strengthened in response to concern over the variant.

As always the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers always comes first and it will be compulsory for visitors, staff and volunteers to wear face coverings in shops and on transport (unless exempt). We request that masks are worn within all of our indoor exhibits and on board our transport.

To find out more about about our exhibits and facilities, including catering and toilets, download our visitor map.

For information on the government’s COVID-19 measures, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

How do I book a visit to Beamish?

All visitors aged five and over will need to pre-book an entry timeslot online and also require a valid Beamish Unlimited Pass or Friends of Beamish membership (these can be purchased online with timeslot). Please note, Beamish Unlimited Passes and Friends of Beamish membership are not valid for Evening Events.

Timeslots for visits up to 24th December 2021 are currently available to book.

BOOK HERE> https://beamish.digitickets.co.uk/tickets – please read full information below before booking.

To find out more about Christmas at Beamish daytimes, click here.

Opening Times

  • 1st November to 17th December (inclusive): Wednesday-Sunday, 10am to 4pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
  • 18th December to 2nd January (inclusive): Open daily, 10am-4pm (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
    Timeslots are currently available to book up to 26th November 2021. Timeslots from 27th November to 24th December 2021 will be available to book online from 10am on Monday, 15th November 2021.

What you need to visit Beamish (all should be pre-booked online):

  • Each person aged five and over needs a free timeslot booking (subject to availability). Under 5s do not need a timeslot.
  • Each person aged five and over needs a valid Beamish Unlimited Pass/Friends of Beamish membership. Adult, child, senior/student and family passes available. Under 5s do not need a pass/membership.
  • If you wish to visit Father Christmas’ Grotto (27th November and 24th December 2021,  subject to availability), each child between 0-16 years needs a Father Christmas Grotto booking (£6 each). Accompanying adults do not need a Grotto booking. Grotto tickets need to be pre-booked online in advance and won’t be available at museum on day of visit.

Pre-booked timeslots are part of our COVID-19 safety measures to allow us to safely limit the number of visitors and enable social distancing. You can arrive any time during your timeslot, e.g. from 12pm-12.45pm. Once you’re inside the museum you can stay until closing, there’s no time limit on your visit.

Beamish Unlimited Passes and Friends of Beamish memberships are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Please note, Beamish Unlimited Passes and Friends of Beamish memberships are not valid for Evening Events.

The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers remains our number one priority and we have COVID-19 Secure measures in place across the museum.

A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone for your continuing support, it really does mean the world to us. Beamish is a charity and 95 per cent of our income is from our visitors, including ticket sales, retail and catering.

What COVID-19 Secure safety measures do you have?

As always the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers always comes first and from Wednesday, 1st December, it is compulsory for visitors, staff and volunteers to wear face coverings in shops and on museum transport (unless exempt). We request that masks are worn within all of our indoor exhibits and on board our transport.

For more information about your visit, download our visitor map.

Our COVID-19 Secure measures will be continuing after 18th July, in line with industry best practice and include:

  • Maintaining reduced visitor numbers to safely manage the number of people at the museum and allow everyone enough space to enjoy their visit.
  • Handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser stations located across the museum site for your convenience.
  • Glass screens installed where these will be most beneficial in keeping you, and our staff and volunteers, safe.
  • We’re asking visitors (unless exempt) to wear a face covering in all indoor spaces and on our transport (in line with Government statements that they expect and recommend that this remain the case).
  • Payments by card/contactless only.

If you or anyone in your party is feeling unwell we ask that you stay at home and ensure you follow all NHS guidance.

We’ve been awarded the “We’re Good To Go” standard, for organisations that are following government and industry guidelines, have a COVID-19 Secure risk assessment in place and have trained all of our staff and volunteers to make your visit a safe and comfortable one.

Our friendly staff and volunteers will be on hand to help with any queries you may have.

How do I find out more about the museum site?

Step back in time and discover life in The 1900s Town, 1900s Pit Village, 1820s Pockerley, The 1940s Farm and 1950s welfare hall.

For visits from 19th July, download our visitor map.

Is your transport running?

Yes, we have a number of our transport exhibits in operation. Our vintage buses are operating throughout the day on a circular route around the museum, calling at the Entrance, Pockerley, 1900s Town and Foulbridge. We are following government advice and recommending that face coverings are worn whenever on a vehicle, and that visitors respect each other’s personal space when waiting for or on board our vehicles.

Our wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) will also be available on-call and will be limited to its seated capacity. It will not be 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.

The trams are running in a horseshoe between The 1900s Town and Foulbridge. The impact of COVID-19, and the museum closures, is still being felt with the backlog of maintenance work required on The Tramway tracks and the railway track at Rowley Station. The current priority is to return the tramway to operation in phases, starting in early September, and to ensure that the staff and volunteers who operate The Tramway undertake refresher training and examination before they resume their duties once again. We will be continuing the maintenance work to the track at the station and will provide updates as this progresses. Our priority is, of course, safety, and such a long interruption to services has brought about the need for a rigorous approach to restarting them once again.

Pockerley Waggonway is operating on weekends from 27th November for a ride through the Georgian landscape.

We’ll be keeping everyone updated on our website and social media, so please look out for news and developments on this, or see the museum’s transport blog at www.beamishtransportonline.co.uk where more technical information on the transport collections, tramway/railways and transport infrastructure can be found.

What catering options do you have?

We have sit-in and takeaway options available. For visits from 19th July, download our visitor map.

  • The 1900s Town: The Tea Rooms (sit-in and takeaway), The Sun Inn pub (sit-in and takeaway), Herron’s Bakery (takeaway), ice cream kiosk (weekends, takeaway).
  • 1950s welfare hall (sit-in and takeaway, weekends).
  • Fairground catering stall (weekends).
  • The 1900s Pit Village: Davy’s fish and chip shop (takeaway), Sinkers’ Bait Cabin (takeaway), Miners’ Institute (takeaway, weekends).
  • The 1940s Farm: British Kitchen (takeaway, weekends).
  • Entrance: Coffee Shop (sit-in takeaway, open 1pm)

Will I need to pay by card for any purchases during my visit?

Yes, as part of our safety and hygiene measures, all payments will need to be by card/contactless only, with no cash transactions across the museum. We’ll continue to keep this under review.

Is your photography studio open?

The chemist and photographers are open as an exhibit to walk through, however we are not currently able to offer photography sessions.

Will I need to provide details for NHS Test and Trace?

The NHS QR code is displayed at our Entrance to enable people to scan it on arrival, using the NHS COVID-19 app. The NHS Test And Trace Privacy Policy can be found here.

How can I help Beamish during this time?

Thank you very much for your support! Beamish is a charity and 95 per cent of our income is from visitors, including tickets, catering and retail – our closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic are continuing to have a significant impact on the museum.

Donations can be made by clicking here – we really appreciate your support!

You can also help us by becoming a Friends of Beamish member click here, buying or renewing a Beamish Unlimited Pass or giving a gift voucher, please click here.

You can also make a purchase from our online shop, with unique Beamish items, inspired by our exhibits and collection click here.

Your donations and purchases are supporting the museum and helping to secure our future, thank you!

What happens if I already have a Friends of Beamish membership or Beamish Unlimited Pass?

Thank you for supporting the museum by becoming a Friends of Beamish member or purchasing an Unlimited Pass. As a charity, 95 per cent of our income comes from our visitors, including ticket sales, catering and retail – we really appreciate your support.

For everyone’s safety, all visitors will need to pre-book a timeslot for entry online, including Friends of Beamish members and Beamish Unlimited Pass holders, in line with COVID-19 safety guidance.

If you have further enquiries relating to your pass, please email entranceteam@beamish.org.uk.

I am a carer, how do I get a ticket?

If a disabled visitor requires another person as their carer to allow them to visit the museum, then this carer visits free of charge (and does not need to purchase an Unlimited Pass or Friends of Beamish membership). Carers will still need to pre-book a time slot in advance, along with the person they are accompanying.

For more information about accessibility, please visit our Accessibility page http://www.beamish.org.uk/accessibility/.

What if I have a gift voucher?

To redeem your Unlimited Pass gift voucher, you will need to pre-book a timeslot for your visit via our website and you will be able to redeem your gift voucher at our Entrance when you arrive.

If you have a query about an expired gift voucher that hasn’t yet been redeemed, or any other gift voucher enquiries, please email entranceteam@beamish.org.uk.

100 Things to See and Do at Beamish!

How many of our 100 Things to See and Do have you completed… and how many can you do? CLICK HERE to find out more.

What events do you have planned?

We’ve got exciting events and activities coming up, see our What’s On page and social media for more information CLICK HERE.

We continue to follow government and public health COVID-19 safety guidance and reserve the right to alter our facilities, operations and opening times without prior notice.

Beamish Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members can gain free entry to Beamish during normal daytime opening hours (last admission 3pm) for 12 months from the date of purchase. There are a small number of days and events when the Beamish Unlimited Pass is not valid, including special evening events such as Halloween Evenings or Christmas Evenings. Admission information will be included in the event details, however please telephone the museum or visit our website for details if you are unsure.

Thank you to everyone for your support, which is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to welcoming you to Beamish soon.