Festive day out offers a step back to Christmas in Edwardian times – and you can visit

The world-famous Beamish museum in County Durham offers visitors the chance to experience how people celebrated Christmas in Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian times

Visitors can see what Christmas was like in the 1800s and 1900s
Visitors can see what Christmas was like in the 1800s and 1900s

One North East museum offers a Christmas day out with a difference by allowing its visitors the chance to step back in time.

At Beamish , an open air museum in County Durham, visitors can experience what it was like to have Christmas in decades and even centuries past, from Georgian times right through to the 1950s.

The museum is famous around the world for its unique way of showing what life was like in the North East from the 1800s, with replicas of shops, buildings, transport and even whole villages as they would have looked in their time.

Now the museum has been decorated for Christmas, and is open every day throughout the festive period with a programme of bespoke seasonal events that give visitors an idea of what Christmas looked like for their ancestors.

Beamish has a host of Christmas events with a historic twist



Visitors to Beamish can experience a traditional Georgian Christmas in Pockerly, an authentic replica of an 1820s village with an old hall, church and cottage, where there’ll be festive food and drink from the 1800s on offer.

Fast forward a century and they can visit Francis Street in the museum’s 1900s pit village to find out more about how miners celebrated Christmas in Edwardian times, while enjoying a hot chocolate and wishing a merry Christmas to the village’s resident pit ponies.

Over in the museum’s 1900s town yuletide treats are up for grabs in the old-fashioned sweet shop and bakery, and traditional festive decorations are strung up along Ravensworth Terrace, a replica of an 1900s terrace that originally stood in Gateshead.

Visitors can also pop into the 1900s town’s tea rooms for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, while live music plays at the bandstand on weekend afternoons all throughout the festive season.

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They can even get a sense of what Christmas was like during wartime, by stopping off at Beamish’s 1940s farm to learn how the season was celebrated when rations were in place during World War II while listening to music and news broadcasts from the decade.

And finally, the welfare hall in the museum’s 1950s town shows how festive celebrations went down decades ago.

Aside from its historical events, there are also plenty more festive celebrations for families to enjoy – including Santa’s grotto, an elf trail through the neighbouring Birch Wood, and fairground rides.

Time slots are available to book for Christmas visits to Beamish up until Christmas Eve.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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