Places to visit in Europe

Beamish open air museum

Beamish welcomes you to the heaven on earth for history and English teachers! Because Beamish Open Air Museum is an amazing world, winner of the "European Museum of the Year" title. The word "museum", is not really appropriate, however. At Beamish, visitors find themselves on another planet, and in another age…

Beamish is a real town where visitors can see how people in the North of England lived and worked at the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries. Here, they can experience the industrial, social and rural history of the region. Let us say straight away that we cannot describe everything, the entire site would not suffice.
But we can make a comparison. Beamish is to 19th century daily life what Pompeii is to the daily life of the Romans, but better, since everything is in working order:

the Mining Village, where visitors discover the way the miners lived, and can take a guided underground tour to see how an early 20th century coal-mine worked.

the Farm, where traditional harvesting techniques are demonstrated and where cattle, pigs, and poultry are still raised. Visitors can even buy cheese made before their very eyes according to time-honoured methods!

the Town, which is a re-creation of part of a typical town of around 1903, sheds light on the development of urban industry, trade, and commerce. The streets, with their red-brick houses contain a sollicitor’s office, a dental surgery, a music teacher’s house, a grocer’s, a draper’s, and a hardware shop.

the Railway Station, built in 1867, comes from a village in the hills of County Durham, about 25 km from Beamish. The ladies’ waiting-room and the ticket office have been furnished and equipped as they were in 1913. The carriages and steam engines are also on display. And as for the trams used to take visitors round this amazing site, they too are genuine… 
Preparing for your visit
It is easy to see why this outstanding open-air museum receives so many school groups each year. Your preparatory visit is FREE and an Education Officer is there to help (by appointment).

A detailed guide, which takes account of the school syllabus, is available (guides intended for teachers on each of the 6 exhibitions, 6 information sheets are also available in French, and 4 brochures describing a typical working day at the beginning of the century in 4 different trades). The following can be reserved at the same time as your visit: the study room, audio-visual equipment, the guided tour, the presentations, and the discovery workshops.

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