COVID-19 - FAQs for Visiting Beamish

*UPDATE: Following the government announcement of local restrictions in the North East.

The museum is open daily, 10am to 5pm, until 1st November. From 2nd November we will be open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am to 4pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers remains our number one priority and COVID-19 Secure measures in place.

Under the new restrictions, people must not socialise with anyone outside of their household or support bubble. This means visitors to Beamish must only come to the museum with their own household or support bubble and adhere to all other government rules and guidance on COVID-19 safety. You can find out more about the local restrictions here https://www.durham.gov.uk/localrestrictions.

Please read the visitor information below before you visit, we look forward to welcoming you to the museum.

How can I find out more about my visit to Beamish?

We are delighted to be open again and want you to enjoy your visit – please see our visitor information and map below before booking your tickets as some areas of the museum are still restricted.

Click here to download our Visitor Information Guide.

Click here to see our downloadable map of exhibits and facilities.

Click here to book timeslot tickets.

How can I book a visit?

For everyone’s safety, ALL visitors will need to pre-book a timed entry slot online in advance of their visit, including Friends of Beamish members and Beamish Unlimited Pass holders (see more information about passes further down the page).

Click here to book timeslot tickets. Timeslots for visits up to Sunday, 1st November (inclusive) are available to book. We will keep everyone updated about when tickets beyond this date will be released, please bear with us. See our website, social media and enewsletter, sign up here http://www.beamish.org.uk/sign-up-to-our-newsletter/ for updates.

When booking a visit online, you’ll need to select how many people are coming, then select your date and timeslot (subject to availability). You can then buy your Beamish Unlimited Pass or Friends of Beamish membership (or confirm that you already have one to be scanned when you arrive at the museum).

We’ve introduced pre-booked timeslots in line with government COVID-19 safety guidance to allow us to safely limit the number of visitors at the museum each day to 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.

Please don’t travel to the museum if you haven’t pre-booked a visit as we will not be able to admit anyone who arrives without a pre-booked timeslot, or those who arrive outside of the timeslot they have booked.

Who can I visit with?

Under new local restrictions, people must not socialise with anyone outside of their household or support bubble. This means visitors to Beamish must only come to the museum with their own household or support bubble and adhere to all other government rules and guidance on COVID-19 safety.

During your visit, please ensure social distancing and follow all other health and hygiene measures in place around the museum for the safety of visitors, staff and volunteers.

What do I do when I arrive at the museum?

We look forward to welcoming you to Beamish during your pre-booked timeslot. Our friendly staff and volunteers will be on hand to direct you through our Entrance and into the museum.

Please make sure you arrive during the timeslot you have booked – to allow us to safely manage everyone’s entry into the museum, we can only allow admission during this time.

For arrivals by car, please park as directed by our staff and make your way to the Entrance Building. Please have your booking confirmation (either on your phone or printed out) and tickets (if you already have them) ready.

Please don’t travel to the museum if you haven’t pre-booked a visit as we will not be able to admit anyone who arrives without a pre-booked timeslot, or those who arrive outside of the timeslot they have booked.

We can’t wait to see everyone, but if you or anyone in your party is feeling unwell we kindly ask that you stay at home and visit us another day.

What COVID-19 Secure safety measures have you introduced?

You’ll see additional health and hygiene measures across the museum site, in line with COVID-19 Secure safety guidance. We’ve been awarded the We’re Good To Go standard, for organisations that are following government and industry guidelines, have a risk assessment in place and have a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

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

During your visit:

  • Please follow the signs and information around the museum.
  • Handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser stations are located across the museum, please use them regularly during your visit.
  • For social distancing, please keep two metres apart from others.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes have been introduced across the museum.
  • Glass screens have been installed where necessary – but you’ll see the same friendly smiles from staff and volunteers.
  • Please wear a face covering in ALL indoor spaces, including our shops, food outlets and on our buses, as specified in government rules.
  • Our staff and volunteers have received additional COVID-19 Secure training.
  • You’ll be able to go into many of our museum exhibits and we’ve introduced one way systems to help the visitor flow and to ensure your safety. We will be opening up other exhibits as and when we are able to, with everyone’s safety as our top priority. Wherever possible, we’ll open up doors of exhibits you can’t yet go into, so you can still look inside.

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.

Are your toilets open?

Yes, we have toilet facilities open across the museum, with enhanced cleaning regimes and hygiene measures, including our Changing Places facility. Please see our Visitor Information Guide above for more information about which toilet facilities are open.

Will catering outlets be open during my visit?

You can still enjoy your favourite Beamish treats.

  • 1900s Town: Tea Rooms (table service, daily, view menu), Town park stall (takeaway, weekends only), The Sun Inn pub (takeaway, daily), Herron’s Bakery (takeaway, daily), Ice cream kiosk (takeaway, weekends only).
  • 1950s Welfare Hall: Table service, weekends only, view menu. Takeaway, daily.
  • 1900s Pit Village: Davy’s fish and chip shop (takeaway, daily), Sinkers’ Bait Cabin (takeaway, including ice cream, daily).

Table service only for eat-in catering (subject to availability, no pre-booking). Visitors must wear their mask indoors, unless they are seated at their table.

Picnic bags and takeout afternoon teas can also be pre-ordered online (must be booked at least 72 hours before your visit). Information will be emailed separately after you have made a timeslot booking, and orders can be collected from our 1950s welfare hall during your visit. Please note, pre-booked catering is non-refundable.

Kids Activities

  • Follow the clues as you make your way around the museum. Can you solve the murder mystery? Click here to download the activity sheet.
  • During October Half Term (24th October to 1st November), can you spot the creepy cast of not-so-cuddly bears in our Halloween Haunting Teddy Bear Trail? Click here to download the activity sheet.
  • Where in The 1900s Town did the Suffragette leave her toffee hammer? Click here to download the activity sheet.
  • Can you find all of the Green Man faces around our 1820s Landscape? Click here to download the activity sheet.
  • Where are the leek gardener’s tools? See if you can find them around The 1900s Pit Village! Click here to download the activity sheet.

Is your transport running?

We are operating a vintage bus service around the museum using examples from our historic fleet of 1950s Daimler buses and also our replica 1913 Daimler D-Type bus. These operate a circular service calling at the Entrance–Pockerley (for Pockerley Old Hall and the Georgian landscape)–1900s Town (park stop)–Foulbridge (for colliery area and bus depot)–Entrance only.

The vehicles are crewed by our trained staff, who are there to ensure that you enjoy your journey and are kept safe at all times. We are implementing social distancing rules on the vehicles and the conductors will manage this as you board. Please inform them of your group size and please remember to keep a two metre distance from other groups when queuing. The conductor will allocate you seats within the vehicles, and create the appropriate distance from other groups on board. Face coverings must be worn in line with government rules. Please note, there will be no capacity for standing passengers. We are currently unable to run a bus service to the colliery area.

The Tramway remains closed for now, as do the railways operations at the museum. With regards to transport, we are faced with a twofold challenge – the need to ensure the highest standards of safety for passenger-carrying transport around the museum and the high operating costs of these activities. Our closure for four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the museum.

For more information about the transport collection and operations at the museum, please see the transport blog at www.beamishtransportonline.co.uk.

I am a wheelchair user, what provision is there for me to get around the museum?

We are now operating our Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle every day that the museum is open. This is available on-call (please request it via any member of staff who will radio for it to attend) and is limited to one household or support bubble per trip. 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. Please note that we are currently unable to run a bus service to the colliery area.

Will your Museum Shop be open?

You will be able to purchase unique Beamish items and souvenirs in our Museum Shop at our Entrance, as well as W Smith’s Chemist, Jubilee Confectioners and our stalls in The 1900s Town.

Guidebooks are available from the Entrance and also The 1900s Town stall.

We have also launched an online shop, where you’ll find Beamish items inspired by our exhibits and collections, to visit click here.

Beamish is a charity and 95 per cent of our income is from our visitors, including ticket sales, catering and retail. Our closure due to the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the museum – your purchases are supporting the museum and helping to secure our future, thank you!

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 closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact.

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 click here.

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

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, we really do appreciate it.

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.

As a charity, 95 per cent of our income comes from our visitors, including ticket sales, and our closure due to the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the museum. We have launched a fundraising appeal for support to help us get up and running again from the severe impact caused by COVID-19.

We hope you have enjoyed visiting Beamish and we are asking our passholders whether, as a way to support us due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, you can stay with the original expiry date on your pass – this would really make a huge difference for the museum. The cost of the Beamish Unlimited ticket is the same as a day ticket for entry to the museum, the Beamish Unlimited ticket does however allow free entry to the museum for 12 months from the date of purchase of this ticket (excluding evening events at an additional charge). The admission prices for Beamish Unlimited tickets we feel are very good value, and we strive to keep any increase in prices to a minimum. We are therefore requesting, with the impact of COVID-19 on the forced closure of the museum, that existing Beamish Unlimited ticket holders who have benefited from a visit, continue with their existing Beamish Unlimited ticket and expiry date. This will greatly assist us as we progress towards a full reopening of the museum as quickly and as safely as possible, for all visitors, staff and volunteers.

However, we do understand that this may not be an option for some Beamish Unlimited ticket holders, and that they wish to make a further visit(s) to the museum on their existing ticket and that some would like to apply for an extension for the period lost during closure. If you require this extension and would like to apply for this, please email entranceteam@beamish.org.uk with your full details, including the named passholders, address and pass expiry date. Enquiries may take longer than usual due to the coronavirus situation. Extension requests must be processed and confirmed in advance of your visit and cannot be requested or processed at our Entrance on arrival. Thank you for your support.

What if I have a gift voucher?

If you have not yet redeemed your gift voucher, please be assured that you will still be able to use it.

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 any further enquiries about gift vouchers, please email museum@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/.

Is wheelchair hire available?

We are not currently able to offer a wheelchair hire service due to safety restrictions. However, as soon as we are able to operate this facility safely, we will reinstate this service.

My child is a Max Card holder, how do I get my Beamish Unlimited Pass?

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).

To receive this discount you will need to pre-book timed entry slots on our website and, at checkout, confirm that you have a valid Max Card. When you arrive at the museum, you will need to show your Max Card and purchase your passes. Payment must be by card only as we cannot accept cash payments due to our COVID-19 safety measures. Please note, the Max Card discount can only be applied on presentation of a valid Max Card.

Are other discounted ticket schemes still running?

Unfortunately, we’re not currently able to offer any other discounted ticket schemes. We’re sorry for any inconvenience and we will be keeping this under review and providing updates.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, well-behaved dogs are welcome at Beamish. Dogs must be kept on a lead and accompanied at all times. Only assistance dogs are allowed into buildings and catering outlets, for more information click here http://www.beamish.org.uk/plan-your-visit/dogs/.

Will your events be running as usual?

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, we are currently unable to hold our planned events. The continuing COVID-19 restrictions mean that they still cannot take place, so our late summer and autumn events and traditional experiences (those up to 31st October) will not be able to go ahead.

We are currently working on our Christmas plans, in line with government COVID-19 safety guidance, and will keep everyone updated. Please keep checking our website and social media for latest information and you can also sign up to our e-newsletter here http://www.beamish.org.uk/sign-up-to-our-newsletter/.

Can I donate an item to the museum’s collection at this time?

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are currently unable to take donations into the museum at this time. We will be keeping this under review and will give updates on our website here http://www.beamish.org.uk/donating-objects-to-beamish-museum/. Thank you very much for thinking of us, we really appreciate it, and hope that when we are through these exceptional times you will once again think of us for your donation.