Beamish celebrates national Visitor Welcome Award!

May 17th 2024

We are delighted to have won the national Visitor Welcome Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards 2024.

Beamish beat off competition from venues around the country to be named winner of the prestigious award at a ceremony in London.

The Visitor Welcome Award celebrates “the greatest visitor experience and the most welcoming atmosphere”.

We welcomed 801,756 visitors last year and are the region’s most visited attraction, committed to providing a first-class visitor experience.

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish Museum’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious national Visitor Welcome Award, which recognises our first-class visitor experience and the warm welcome from our brilliant team of staff and volunteers. It’s great to see that our friends at The Bowes Museum were also recognised in the Café of the Year category.

“It’s an honour to receive this award, particularly among such strong competition from fantastic organisations across the country.

“We were delighted to welcome over 801,000 visitors to Beamish last year, as the North East’s most visited attraction. We’re proud to be part of our region’s amazing heritage and tourism offer, as an anchor cultural institution. We’re a charity that is committed to continuing to make a social and economic impact and we will continue to work with our regional partners, alongside the newly-formed combined authority, to attract visitors to the North East.

“We’re looking forward to many more exciting times ahead, with the opening this summer of our 1950s cinema, toy shop and electrical shop, along with our Georgian tavern, pottery and self-catering cottages.”

The global Museums + Heritage Awards celebrate the best in the world of museums, galleries, and cultural and heritage visitor attractions. The awards ceremony took place at the Hilton Park Lane in London on 15th May.

The judges’ comments about the museum said: “This winning organisation ensures a warm welcome for everyone from the moment they arrive, extending across the entire visitor journey. The judges regard it as a benchmark for what the sector should strive to achieve.”

The museum is a self-reliant charity that preserves heritage for future generations, while supporting today’s communities including award-winning health and wellbeing, and education work.

At Beamish, visitors can ride on a tram and steam engine, go underground in a mine, get a 1950s hairstyle, brave the Edwardian dentist, taste traditional fish and chips, enjoy bakery treats and sweets, meet the 1940s Land Girls and stroll around the beautiful Georgian gardens, and much more.

The museum has around 2.5million objects and photographs in its collection, ranging from steam engines and sewing machines to entire buildings.

The museum is nearing completion of its Remaking Beamish project which includes a 1950s Town, 1950s Farm and expansion of the Georgian landscape, including overnight accommodation in self-catering cottages. This summer will see the opening of a 1950s cinema, toy shop and electrical shop in The 1950s Town, as well as the Drovers’ Tavern, pottery and self-catering cottages in The 1820s Landscape. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Remaking Beamish project was awarded £11.8million by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.