When I was little we had a school visit to Beamish and I remember thinking it took forever to get there so must have been miles away… turns out we lived around 20 miles away! lol
These days Beamish is almost on our doorstep what with living in Durham and this village that is stuck in the past being in Stanley! That being said we generally only visit if we have company or if there is a special event being hosted – ie Halloween or Christmas.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to see the new additions to the town, those being the Chemist and Photographers studio which are situated side by side. W Smith’s Chemist and JR & D Edis Photographers. The chemist and photographers include a dispensary, aerated waters section and a photography studio where visitors can have a picture taken in period costume.
Unfortunately they were super busy when we called so we weren’t able to get our pictures taken but we will be back to have them done. I can remember a photograph of mum, dad, me and my sisters, hanging on the wall when we were growing up where we were all dressed in fancy frills and dapper suits taken at one of these kinds of studios and it brings back some lovely memories.
The chemist was a collectors heaven and I was in serious drool mode over all the fancy bottles and potions on the shelves. The lovely girl behind the counter, dressed in pharmacy uniform, explained how they would grind down the chamomile to soothe upset tummies and how they would make others into a paste to press into little patties for pills. The rich had quite an unhealthy diet so would need these homemade recipes to settle their stomachs after a diet of rich meats, fats and sugars.
Beamish was just starting its decoration for the Dig For Victory 4 day event so we got to see some of the decorations being put up and it brought a real sense of life to the village and made everything seem that little bit more ‘war time if that makes sense. We would have loved to call back when the festivities were in full swing but unfortunately were unable to due to other commitments. I really do hope they do this every year though and will be something we will revisit to see.
There is so much to see that you really do struggle to fit it all in to one day so we skipped going into the old houses and mines as we did that last time and focused on seeing the bits the kids wanted to see this time.
The school is always a firm favourite and since it was Amelias first time visiting she loved being able to sit at the desk ‘like a big girl’
The Home Farm section is always a must see as the kids love the animals (just not the smells!) and to be honest they have some of the biggest pigs I have ever seen! They look really well cared for and are quite happy to pose for pictures should you grunt at them respectfully 😉 In the farm is also a blacksmith who is always working on horse shoes or tools and its great to see a trade that is still valued today.
Walking around you get to see the trams, horse drawn carriages and old fashioned busses which stop regularly for you to hop on board and see the sights. We did a lot of walking this time so didn’t ride any, but every time one went past the kids would wave and Amelia would squeal with delight at the ‘funny busses’!
Of course, no visit to Beamish would be complete without popping in to sweet shop for a bag of cinder toffee and some black bullets! The kids chose sherbert with a dipping stick which brought back memories from when I was little and hubby chose fudge….me… I went for liquorice torpedos! Mmmm!
Beamish is a world famous open air museum, telling the story of life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. Pay once and visit free all year!
We were supplied a family pass to visit the new sections of Beamish. All opinions and views are my own.