Following our visit to Beamish earlier in the year, where we had only managed to get round half of the Museum because little legs was tired, I was over the moon to be invited back to see what delights there were to be found at their Christmas Celebrations.
One weekend in December when we had Liam and Caitlin, we decided that we would have ride up after I finished work at 12pm. Having never been on a weekend, especially at Christmas, I was unsure of how busy it would be.
The car parks were full but travelling in two cars we managed to find a space.
I was really hoping that we would get in to see Father Christmas but as we approached the main desk they had put up a sign to say that he was fully booked for the day. I was disappointed but I thought this could be the case with us not going until later. Luckily the kids knew nothing about what we had planned.
Entering through the main doors we walked past Santa’s Sleigh and you instantly felt the presence of Christmas. As we wandered down for the tram the smell that was being created from all the open fires hits you, you are instantly drawn back years (I say years as I remember these smells from coke fires when I was little and that was not as far back as Beamish goes).
On our last visit we had visited the 1820’s side of the Museum and decided that this time we would head off in the other direction so we could visit the 1940’s Farm, 1900’s Pit Village and Colliery. We hopped on the Tram and off we went.
None of us had visited this bit before and as we wandered in to one of the houses the children were very excited to have a good look around. I find it amazing to think that this was less than 100 years ago, to think how much the world has moved forward in those years is simply astonishing. Mark and looked at various items in the houses that we remember our grandparents having in their houses. The likes of furniture and kitchen items were very recognisable, it brought to life that actually this wasn’t that long ago.
The Christmas decorations were so traditionally pretty, and as you wandered from house to house the fires warmed you up before you moved on to the next one.
We stumbled across the ration coffee shop and Mark was overjoyed by the prospect of a Bovril (his addiction still has a strong hold of him) and while ordering him that, I may have ordered a cheeky hot chocolate (the day was cold so I was allowed).
Wandering through The Farm, Penny was overjoyed to see the cows, and all the kids were loving the free roaming chickens.
The boys were very interested in The Blacksmith and the farm vehicles that were out to be seen.
As we held on to our drinks for warmth, we had a walk over to The Pit Village, there we were greeted by a warm sound of carols and brass instruments. Brass bands and I are not generally compatible as they remind me of my late Grandfather, inevitably I end up in tears but hearing them along with the people that were singing was lovely, filling me with Christmas Spirit.
One place that the kids had seen before was the school house, but none of them had been given the opportunity, when visiting with the school, to have a good look around. It had been many years since Mark an I had been in so we were only too keen to have a look around.
There were activities on all over, but the children were very keen by this point (time was ticking) to get up to The Fairground.
The initial plan was to go and see Santa and then take the bigger ones ice skating, but with Santa being fully booked they were determined they were not missing out on the skating.
Penny being too small for the skating, I took her on the “Merry go Round”, she wasn’t the biggest fan of the round and round motion (will remember that when we go to Lighwater Valley later in the year) and while we were on, Mark and the kids went down and got themselves some skates on and waited to take to the ice.
I would love to show you pictures of them all but I spent most of the time laughing, and completely forgot about pictures. I can reliably inform you however that Mark can skate, Liam and Caitlin were amazing considering it was their first time on the ice and Libby and Regan gave it a good go. Libby seemed to enjoy it, so much so she asked Santa to change her Christmas List to include a pair of roller skates.
When they came off the ice, The Museum was closing so we didn’t get chance to venture to The Sweet Shop, but we will save that for next time……
The 1900’s town was so pretty as waited for our transport back to the Main Entrance.
We had yet another lovely visit to Beamish and again there was so much to do that we didn’t get to complete the visit to the extent we would have liked. Next time we will be starting at The Colliery and having a look down the mine.
Christmas is such a magical time and visiting Beamish at this time of year brings celebrations and the values that Christmas holds back to a time when things were so much more simple, a time when everything revolved around family life. I simply love visiting and will be doing so again in the coming year.