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Traditional Experiences

Ever fancied driving a tram or steam engine, learning the secrets of traditional baking, or having a go at blacksmithing?

Whether you’re looking for a new skill or a unique gift, try Beamish’s Traditional Experiences. From livestock, cookery and crafts to transport and expert talks, we’ve got amazing experiences to suit all interests.

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Events

£100.00 Have a Go at Driving a Steam Engine Experience the earliest steam railways first hand and have a go at driving one of our early 1800s replica steam engines, Puffing Billy or the Steam Elephant.

Experience the earliest steam railways first hand and have a go at driving one of our early 1800s replica steam engines, Puffing Billy or the Steam Elephant.

Our knowledgeable demonstrators will take you through the history and operation of the engine, after which you will be have a unique chance to drive the engine.

Please note: All participants must be aged 21 years and over, hold a full UK driving licence and wear steel toe cap boots to take part in our Have a Go at Driving a Steam Engine Traditional Experience.

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£85.00 Proggy Mat Workshop Be inspired by Beamish Museum’s collection of original and unique proggy mats!

Be inspired by Beamish Museum’s collection of original and unique proggy mats! Make your own proggy mat and take it home, along with your own mat making kit.

Equipment and materials will be provided on the day to make your proggy mat and attendees are welcome to bring any old clothes, sheets etc to add to their mat as would have traditionally been done!

Included in your experience:

  • Picnic lunch bag and refreshments
  • Felt, frame, hessian and homemade proggers
  • Guidance from our experienced staff

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.  

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£100.00 Christmas Cookery - Twilight Experience Christmas customs have changed over time but many are still popular today – during this Traditional Christmas Cookery Experience you will make customary Christmas dishes that you w

Christmas customs have changed over time but many are still popular today – during this Traditional Christmas Cookery Experience you will make customary Christmas dishes that you will be proud to add to any festive get together!

The perfect start to your Christmas season, spend an early evening making a range of delicious dishes inspired by the time periods presented around Beamish – all in the festive surroundings of our 1940s Farm kitchen.  From delicious hand-raised pork pies to warming Twelfth Night plum pudding, the goods you make are sure to delight!  Participants will receive guidance from our knowledgeable Food Team who will lead you through all the recipes, explain the history behind them, give hints and tips and, most of all, make sure you have a relaxing and enjoyable festive experience. You will take all food you have made home to impress your friends and family.  Included in your experience is your very own Beamish apron to take home as a memento.

Included in your Traditional Experience:

  • All equipment and ingredients needed to make a selection of seasonal recipes
  • Refreshments and a delicious supper will be provided
  • Expert tuition from our Food Team
  • The opportunity to wear period costume
  • A copy of the recipes used on your experience
  • Your very own Beamish apron
  • Participants take home all the items they have made

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.  

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£85.00 Traditional Bakery - Twilight Experience Come and experience the delights of making your own delicious traditional home baking in the period setting of our 1940s Farm.

Nothing beats the mouthwatering smell and taste of freshly baked goods from a coal-fired range so join us and take part in a spot of Traditional Baking!

Come and experience the delights of making your own delicious traditional baking in the period setting of our 1940s Farm kitchen.

Join members of our knowledgeable Food Team for this evening of enjoyable baking where you will be guided through the recipes and given hints and tips, all in a relaxing period setting.  Included in your experience is a Beamish bag, to help you carry all your delicious goods home.

Included in your experience:

  • Refreshments and a delicious supper
  • All equipment and ingredients needed to make a selection of baked goods
  • Expert tuition from our Food Team
  • The opportunity to wear period costume
  • A copy of the recipes used on your experience
  • Your very own Beamish Bag
  • Participants take home all the baked goods they have made

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated. 

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£225.00 Tram Driving Experience - Full Day This unique opportunity allows you to drive one of Beamish’s fleet of beautifully-restored trams, travelling on the 1 1/2 mile circular track around the stunning museum site, which

This unique opportunity allows you to drive one of Beamish’s fleet of beautifully-restored trams, travelling on the 1 1/2 mile circular track around the stunning museum site, which includes The 1900s Town.

To start the day off, an expert member of our Tramway Team will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the tram depot as they take you through the theory of driving a tram. You will then assist them with the safety checks and preparation of a tram before taking it out on the Tramway. We have a selection of trams for you to use on your experience, depending on availability on the day.

This is a hands-on day where you take the controls of the tram, driving around site and exploring the four passing loops and token system. Please bear in mind that you may be open to the elements so weather appropriate clothing is essential. Sturdy footwear is also necessary. Participants must be reasonably fit and have a reasonable level of upper body strength. 

"Very knowledgeable tutor, very well presented. Great experience, everyone must try." 

Included in your experience:

  • Delicious picnic lunch and refreshments.
  • Tour of the Tram Depot.
  • Expert tuition from members of our Transport Team.
  • Preparation of a tram, including safety checks.
  • The chance to drive at least two of our beautifully-restored trams.

Please note: Participants must be aged 21 years or over, require safety boots or shoes and hold a full UK driving licence to take part in our Full Day Tram Traditional Experience at Beamish.

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£65.00 Sweets and Treats Indulge your sweet tooth and have a go at making your own traditional confectionery in the perfect period setting of The 1900s Town.

Indulge your sweet tooth and have a go at making your own traditional confectionery in the perfect period setting of The 1900s Town.

Our experienced Period Food team will teach you everything you need to know to make a selection of delicious, traditional sweets and treats including cinder toffee, coconut delights, Scottish tablet, rum truffles or sweetmeats.

If you manage to resist eating them as soon as they are made, you can take them all home to impress friends and family!

Included in your experience:

  • All equipment and ingredients to make a selection of sweets.
  • Tea/coffee and a slice of cake.
  • Tuition from our Period Food Team.
  • Option to wear costume.
  • Copy of recipes used on the day.

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.  

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£85.00 Traditional Bread Making This relaxing and enjoyable experience is suitable for beginners who want a gentle introduction and is the perfect opportunity to discover more about the history of bread making.

Freshly baked bread straight out of the oven is a now considered a treat. After attending the Traditional Bread Making Experience you will have the skills and confidence to be able to produce delicious bread at home whenever you fancy.

This relaxing and enjoyable Experience is suitable for beginners who want a gentle introduction; it is the perfect opportunity to discover more about the history of bread making while you create a wonderful variety of breads, all in the beautiful period setting of Herron’s Bakery in the 1900s town.

You will learn how to prepare various breads in the traditional manner using different types of flours and techniques, all under the guidance of our Period Catering team who will share their knowledge and best tips. Learn the five stages of bread making – mixing, fermenting, shaping, proving and baking. When you have finished you then take home what you have baked to impress your friends and family.

Included in your experience:

  • All equipment and ingredients to make a selection of breads
  • Refreshments and a delicious lunch will be provided
  • Tuition from our Period Catering Team
  • Option to wear costume
  • Copy of recipes used on the day
  • Participants take home all the items they have made

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.

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£100.00 Have a Go at Tram Driving This unique opportunity gives participants the chance to drive one of Beamish’s fleet of beautifully restored trams.

This unique opportunity gives participants the chance to drive one of Beamish’s fleet of beautifully restored trams. Spend the evening travelling around the 1 1/2 mile circular track through the stunning Museum site, which includes The 1900s Town.

Your experience starts with a member of our expert Tramway team giving you a behind the scenes look at the tram depot as they take you through the theory of driving a tram before taking it out on the Tramway.

This is a hands-on experience where you take the controls of the tram, driving on the Tramway and exploring the 4 passing loops and token system.

Please bear in mind that you may be open to the elements so weather appropriate clothing is essential. Sturdy footwear is also necessary. Participants must be reasonably fit and have a reasonable level of upper body strength.

"The whole experience was made more enjoyable with the excellent tutoring from Beamish staff".

Included in your experience:

  • Expert tuition from members of our Transport Department.
  • Tour of the Tram Sheds.
  • Preparation of a tram including safety checks.
  • Drive a tram along with a maximum of 1 other participant under guidance of a Tramway Engager.

Please note: Participants must be aged 21 years and over, hold a full UK driving licence and wear steel toe cap boots to take part in our Have a Go at Driving a Tram Traditional Experience.

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£35.00 If Transport at Beamish Could Talk Take a behind the scenes look at our Transport and Industry collection as our Keeper of Industry takes you around the areas of Beamish not on view to visitors.

Take a behind the scenes look at the Beamish Transport and Industry collection as our Keeper of Industry takes you around the areas of Beamish not on view to visitors.

During your experience you will take a guided tour of our tram sheds, see the trams not in service and view the vintage vehicles currently being restored for use in the museum, while a member of the Beamish Transport Team tells you about the history behind them.

You will also have a look around our workshops where items are restored to their former glory. During the course of the experience you will take a walk down to the Regional Museums Store next to Rowley Station and see the hidden machinery and transport stored here such as the Doxford Engine. A unique insight into the transport here at the museum which is not to be missed!

Arrive at the museum for 10am opening, and spend the morning seeing our historic transport in action, before making your way to meet our Keeper of Industry.

Find out some of the fascinating stories behind these objects and the work that not only goes into preserving them, but also bringing them into daily operation.

Included in your Traditional Experience:

  • Day admission to the museum
  • Talk by Beamish Museum’s Keeper of Industry
  • Tour of the Tram Shed, Workshops and Regional Museum Stores
  • Opportunity to see transport not on display at Museum
  • A refreshment voucher to the value of £3.50 redeemable for a freshly baked scone and hot drink from either the Tea Rooms or the Coffee Shop

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.  Tram and steam engine driver experiences are limited to those aged 21 and over, who hold full UK driving licence.

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£35.00 Georgian Hawk Walk Enjoy the ultimate hands on experience as you take a stroll with a Georgian Falconer and her hawk through the stunning 1800s landscape.

Enjoy the ultimate hands on experience as you take a stroll with a Georgian Falconer and her hawk through the stunning 1800s landscape, giving you the chance to fly and handle the bird as you learn about the life of a falconer in the 1800s.

Each session has a maximum of 6 participants and will last approximately 1 to 1½ hours.

Before and after your Georgian Hawk Walk you are welcome to explore the rest of the museum with day entry included within the experience.

"I had a wonderful time with the hawks, and our guide Becca was marvellous. It was a very rewarding experience, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Beamish for making these events possible".

Included in your experience:

  • Learn about falconry and birds of prey while out for a leisurely stroll through our 1800s landscape with our knowledgeable Falconer, including the opportunity to handle and fly a hawk.
  • After your walk you have the opportunity to meet an owl, as well as other birds of prey, and there will be plenty of photo opportunities during your experience.
  • Explore Beamish Museum – day admission to the Museum included (open 10am – 5pm).

We recommend that visitors wear sturdy footwear and are able to walk for up to one hour including some hills and rough terrain. Please note we are not able to accommodate spectators on the Georgian Hawk Walk. Georgian Hawk Walks are available for those aged 13 and over, under 18s must be accompanied by a paying adult.

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£35.00 Have a Go at Blacksmithing A fantastic opportunity to have a go at the ultimate hands on experience of blacksmithing!

A fantastic opportunity to have a go at the ultimate hands on experience of blacksmithing!

Ever fancied turning your hand to blacksmithing? Join our skilled Blacksmith in the Colliery Forge as he takes you through the history of blacksmithing and its role within a colliery. You will then learn the basics by forging your own decorative coat hook which you can then take home with you.

Included in your experience:

  • One to one tuition from our Blacksmith who will take you through the history of the Colliery Forge and teach you the basics of blacksmithing.
  • Opportunity to take home the decorative coat hook which you have made yourself.
  • Costume – we will provide you with overalls and safety equipment, and would recommend you wear old clothes you wouldn’t mind getting dirty!
  • Bottled water.
  • Explore Beamish Museum – day admission to the Museum included.

Please note: Participants must be aged 18 years and over, and require safety shoes or boots.

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£65.00 1940s Wartime Cookery Spend the evening in The 1940s Farm kitchen cooking for the war effort on our coal fired range!

Spend an evening experiencing 1940s Wartime Cookery at The 1940s Farm kitchen, cooking for the war effort on our coal fired range!

Join members of our knowledgeable Food Team for an evening of cooking where you will learn all about rationing and how important the kitchen was to the war effort.

You will bake a variety of classic wartime recipes from our 1940s ration book, including Mock Apricot Tart and Mock Goose.

Our Food Team will guide you through the recipes, giving you an explanation of the history behind 1940s Wartime Cookery and will share hints and tips. For supper, you will enjoy a spam sandwich and a cup of tea in front of our coal fired range. Afterwards you can take all the food you have made home to impress your friends and family.

Included in your Traditional Experience:

  • All equipment and ingredients needed to make a selection of wartime recipes
  • A supper of spam sandwiches and a cup of tea in front of our coal fired range
  • Expert tuition from our Food Team
  • The opportunity to wear period costume
  • A copy of Beamish’s 1940s ration book to take home with you
  • Participants can take home all the delicious goods they have baked

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated. 

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£35.00 Have a Go at Candle Making Join a member of our staff at Pockerley Old Hall and make candles and rush lights in an 1820s home. Learn who had what lighting and why (and why you might be breaking the law!)

Join a member of our staff at Pockerley Old Hall and make candles and rush lights in an 1820s home. Learn who had what lighting and why (and why you might be breaking the law!).

Spend time at Pockerley Old Hall in this unique experience making real period candles and rush lights.  Learn how important they were to the people of the time and afterwards take them home as a special souvenir of your experience.

While candles were available from chandlers in the 1820s, many people made candles in their own homes using fat residue from cooking. With our Have a Go Candle Making Traditional Experience, you will learn more about the history of candle making and try your hand at making your own candle.

Included in your experience:

  • Guidance from staff at Pockerley Old Hall, who will take you through the history of rush lights and period candles. 
  • Opportunity to take home what you have made. 
  • Bottled water.
  • Explore Beamish Museum – day admission to the Museum included.

 Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.

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£65.00 Observe and Draw Come and view the Pit Village with an artists’ eye and learn the techniques of Observational Sketching!

Come and view The 1900s Pit Village with an artist's eye and learn the techniques of Observational Sketching during the Observe and Draw Traditional Experience.

Whether you’re a complete beginner looking to learn how to draw or a more experienced artist who wants to brush up on your artistic skills, our Observe and Draw Traditional Experience will provide a creative environment in which to develop your talents.

Join artist Yvonne Williamson in The 1900s Pit Village and learn how to see the museum through an artist's eye.

During the Observe and Draw Traditional Experience, you will see examples of work by local artist Norman Cornish. Born in Spennymoor in 1919, Norman Cornish was passionate about drawing and sketching and joined his local sketching club at the Spennymoor Settlement as soon as he was able to on his 15th birthday. He was advised to “paint the world you know” leading Norman to expertly capture the everyday lives of the people of Spennymoor and familiar places. As well as seeing his work, you will learn more about Norman and his techniques so that you can begin to realise the ability of recreating what you see before you.

Included in your Traditional Experience:

  • All necessary materials will be supplied
  • Expert tuition from artist Yvonne Williamson
  • Picnic lunch and refreshments
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£35.00 Have a Go Print Shop Mind your Ps and Qs on this Traditional Experience and have a go at printing your own piece of work on our Columbian printing press!

Mind your Ps and Qs on this Traditional Experience and have a go at printing your own piece of work on our Columbian printing press!

Join our expert Printer in our 1900s Town for this unique experience where you will learn about the role of an Edwardian compositor and printer, set your typeface and print a piece of work that you can take away with you!

Invented in America in 1813 and built in 1837 by Clymer and Dixon of London, the Columbian press at Beamish is used to produce posters for events and performances at the museum.

Included in your experience:

  • Expert tuition from our Printer who will take you through a brief history of printing and teach you the basics of compositing and printing on our Columbian Press.
  • Brilliant opportunity to take home a poster bearing your name that you have printed yourself!
  • We will provide you with an apron to wear (you will need to bring a pair of safety boots or shoes and old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty).
  • Explore Beamish Museum – day admission to the museum included (open 10am-5pm during summer and 10am-4pm during winter).

Please note: This Traditional Experience will take place on the first floor of the print shop in The 1900s Town. We regret that, because of the nature of our historic buildings, this experience may not be suitable for visitors in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Participants must be aged 18 years or over and will require safety boots or shoes (not supplied).

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£65.00 A Day in the Life of a Georgian Maid Join a member of our costumed team in this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of a Georgian Maid.

Discover a Day in the Life of a Georgian Maid as you immerse yourself in the world of the Georgians.

Come and join us for a day at beautiful Pockerley Old Hall as we go about our work and discover what life was like as a Georgian Maid.

Don period costume and step back in time. Help with the seasonal daily tasks that would have formed the job of a maid in a house, such as Pockerley Old Hall in the 1820s.

Learn how to light the parlour fire, make the Master’s bed, bake on the traditional range, as well as making tallow candles and gathering herbs to name just a few activities. Bring along your camera as this is a photo opportunity not to be missed!

"The best birthday gift ever!"

 “I have had the most amazing day thanks to Susan, Yvonne and the rest of the maids.  Everyone is so friendly, knowledgeable and caring.  I loved their passion.  Thank you ladies!” 

Please note: activities vary depending on the time of year.

Included in your Traditional Experience:

  • A dedicated member of our costumed team with you throughout your experience
  • Picnic Lunch Bag and refreshment
  • Costume provided
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£65.00 A Day in the Life of a Pit Wife Join a member of our costumed team in this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of an early 1900s Pit Wife.

Have you ever wondered what life was like as a 1900s Pit Wife? Join a member of our costumed team in this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in 1900s life with our Day in the Life of a Pit Wife Traditional Experience. 

Don period costume and join us for the day as we go about our daily work and discover what a day in the life of a pit wife would have entailed.

Keep the home fires burning while you partake in the seasonal activities that a Pit Village woman would be  involved in daily – activities such as creating delicious home baked goodies for your family coming home from work, needlework and mat work and cleaning the home to name just a few.

Bring along your camera as this is a photo opportunity not to be missed!

Included in your Traditional Experience:

  • A dedicated member of our costumed team with you throughout your experience
  • Picnic Lunch Bag and refreshments
  • Costume provided

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.

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£85.00 1950s Curls & Pearls Learn the looks and styles of the 1950s woman in this unique Traditional Experience!

Learn the looks and styles of the 1950s woman in this unique Traditional Experience!

Learn how to emulate the looks of the stylish 1950s woman.  Join us to don 50s costume, have your hair styled while learning the tricks of the trade, and learn the make-up skills to boot – all while savouring the experience with delicious afternoon tea.

You’ll finish looking like you have stepped straight out of a 1950s salon but, more importantly, will have learned the skills and expertise to recreate the looks at home with your own fair hand!

 Included in your experience:

  • Expert tuition from professional stylist Michelle Brown, who will style your hair and tutor you so you can replicate the style at home!
  • Expert guidance in how to apply your make-up in the styles and colours that were popular during the 1950s
  • Delicious afternoon tea in one of our 1950s venues
  • 1950s Beauty Booklet to take home
  • 50s costume provided for the duration of experience – this is a key feature of the day, so please complete and return your measurement forms at least three weeks prior to the experience, to ensure we can have costume ready for you on the day
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£35.00 Learn about the Beamish gardens: If Gardens Could Talk Join a member of our Gardening Team to discover the historical secrets of the Beamish gardens. Perfect for the gardener who has everything!

Leave the bustle of modern life behind and join a member of our Gardening Team to discover the historical secrets of the Beamish gardens. Perfect for the gardener who has everything!

Gardens can be many things – ornamental, working, sensory, but we rarely stop to think about how they have changed through time and why.

Focusing on the beautiful gardens at Pockerley Old Hall, you will join a member of our knowledgeable gardening team to learn how the Beamish gardens have been painstakingly re-created as they would have been in the past.

Why were they styled in the way that they were? What plants were grown and why? And how do we know? Find out all of this and more in this fascinatingly unique talk!

Enjoyed the whole experience, the staff as always were knowledgeable and friendly, well worth the money.

Your experience includes day admission to visit the museum; and a refreshment voucher to the value of £3.50 redeemable for a freshly baked scone and hot drink from either the Tea Rooms, or the Coffee Shop, during your visit.

Please note that the walk to Pockerley Old Hall involves a fairly steep gradient and that we recommend that Participants wear weather appropriate clothing for this talk.

Please note: Courses are only available for those aged 18 and over unless otherwise stated.

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Ever fancied driving a tram or steam engine, learning the secrets of traditional baking, or having a go at blacksmithing?

Whether you’re looking for a new skill or a unique gift, try Beamish’s Traditional Experiences. From livestock, cookery and crafts to transport and expert talks, we’ve got amazing experiences to suit all interests.

Available Tickets