Beamish Museum reopening grounds only for festive visits under Tier 3 restrictions

December 4th 2020

Beamish Museum reopening for grounds-only festive visits from this weekend (5th December) under COVID-19 Tier 3 restrictions.

The museum, which was closed during November under the national lockdown, will be able to open its grounds only from Saturday, 5th December. Due to the Tier 3 rules, Beamish is unable to open its indoor attractions and exhibits and run its transport, (except its wheelchair accessible bus).

Visitors will be able to enjoy a stroll around the open air museum’s grounds, with festive food and Edwardian stalls in The 1900s Town. In line with government COVID-19 rules, people can enjoy takeaway treats from Herron’s Bakery, Jubilee Confectioners sweet shop, The Sun Inn, Davy’s fish and chip shop and the Sinkers’ Bait Cabin.

Families can take a stroll through Elf Wood and also complete the Christmas Elf Trail by spotting the mischievous hidden elves around the museum. The gallopers ride at The Fairground will also be open on weekends and school holidays.

Timeslot tickets for visits to the museum from 5th to 18th December are available to book now, click here to book your timeslot ticket. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm (closed Monday and Tuesday) during these dates. Timeslot bookings are required for all visitors, under COVID-19 Secure guidance. The government is due to review the tier system by mid-December and the museum will be keeping everyone updated about tickets for later in December.

Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s Deputy Director, said: “Being in Tier 3 was a huge concern and devastating for attractions unable to reopen, however we are fortunate that we are an open air museum and are able to open our grounds. This is excellent news for Beamish although we are mindful that our friends and colleagues in other hospitality businesses may not be in the same position.

“We have closely examined the restrictions within Tier 3 and visitors to Beamish will be able to enjoy a festive walk around our beautiful site.

“This is great news for the museum and our people and we can’t wait to welcome visitors again this weekend.”

Although Beamish is unable to open its indoor Christmas Grotto under Tier 3 restrictions, it will be able to offer a limited number of outdoor Father Christmas visits in Rowley Station yard, from 12th December.

Father Christmas will be in a splendid railway carriage, from which he’ll greet children. Father Christmas visit tickets are £6 per child (includes a small gift) and must be pre-booked online. Tickets can initially be booked for 12th, 13th and 18th December on Beamish’s website from 10am on Tuesday, 8th December. Visitors aged five and over will also need timeslot tickets and Beamish Unlimited Passes/Friends of Beamish memberships to enter the museum.

Father Christmas will also be making an appearance in a period vehicle around the museum this weekend (5th and 6th December). Mrs Claus can be spotted travelling around Beamish in a period vehicle on weekends from 12th December.

Additional health and hygiene measures are in place across the museum site, in line with COVID-19 Secure safety guidance. Beamish has been awarded the “We’re Good To Go” standard, for organisations that are following government and industry guidelines, have a COVID-19 risk assessment and have a process to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. please read our essential information before booking.

Beamish is also extending its popular Father Christmas video calls during December, where children can chat to Father Christmas from their own homes, while inviting family and friends to share in the magical moments. Father Christmas video calls for 8th to 13th December can be booked on the museum’s website from 10am tomorrow (Friday, 4th December).

Beamish is a charity and 95 per cent of its income is from visitors, including admission, retail and catering. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating effect on the museum – every visit and purchase supports the museum and is greatly appreciated.

Beamish launched an online shop during the first lockdown and has added a range of unique Christmas gifts inspired by the museum’s collection and exhibits, Click here to visit the online shop.

For full information about visiting Beamish, please read our Covid-19 FAQs.