Hadrian's Wall - Museums

Picture of the Centre for Life

NEWCASTLE AND GATESHEAD

The Great North museum

Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PT.

Admission : Free

Open : Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm

This is the museum to visit for a background on Hadrian's Wall. This new £26million museum include a large-scale, interactive model of Hadrian's Wall as well as major displays showing the wonder and diversity of the animal and plant kingdoms, spectacular objects from the Ancient Greeks and mummies from Ancient Egypt, a planetarium and a life-size T-Rex dinosaur skeleton.

The Living Planet display houses hundreds of creatures and by using a mixture of touch screen technology and hands-on investigations. Live animal tanks and aquaria are all integrated into this major display.

The flagship visitor attraction incorporates collections from the Hancock Museum and Newcastle University’s Museum of Antiquities, the Shefton Museum and the Hatton Gallery.

The Centre for Life

Times Square, Newcastle.(Next to Central station)

Admission : Charges apply - Family tickets are available

Open : Monday to Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm

This museum explores science and tries to inspire curiosity and uncover new things about life. There are exhibitions, live demonstrations and shows in the dome theatre. There are many changing exhibitions, (recent ones have included Human Body and Myths and monsters - does the Loch Ness monster exist?)), and the planetarium. There are many exhibits aimed at both children and adults and the emphasis is on entertaining learning as well as education.

The Discovery museum

Blandford Square, Newcastle.

Admission : Free

Open : Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 2pm - 5pm

A firm favourite with children. The Discovery museum covers maritime history, science and technology, with loads of interactive displays and hands on exhibits. The ground floor is dominated by the Turbina, the first steam turbine powered ship and once the fastest in the world; but also make sure you visit the interactive displays on the top floor. It's also all free!

HEXHAM

Border History Museum, Hexham

The old Gaol, Hexham

Admission : Adult £3.95. Child £2.10. OAP £3.20. Family £10.50

Open : March to October: open daily ** February and November: Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, Opening hours: 10am to 4.30pm (Last admissions 4pm).

The oldest purpose built prison in Britain, it was built by the Archbishop of York in 1333 and was used until the 1800's. Inside you can find out the turbulent times of the Border Reivers, whose feuds and raids made the borders a very dangerous place to live.

CARLISLE

Tullie House museum

Castle Street, Carlisle.

Admission : Admission charges apply - see website for details

Open : November-March: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12pm-4pm ** April-June and Sept-Oct: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm ** July and Aug: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm

The Tullie House museum exhibits many of the finds from the western half of Hadrian's wall . The museum covers the history of the region right through from prehistory. As well as the archaeological displays it also has galleries with displays on the wildlife and geology of the area and an art gallery with a number of Pre-Raphaelite paintings paintings

Solway Aviation Museum

Carlisle Airport, Carlisle.

Open : Limited opening - Check the website for opening.

The museums has a number of aircraft including a vulcan, lightning and canberra on display, many are undergoing restoration by the volunteers who work at the museum. The museum features an exhibition on the Blue Strak rocket programme. Check the website to see when the museum is open.

OPEN AIR MUSEUMS

Beamish Open Air Museum

Beamish Open Air Museum, Beamish, Chester-le_street, County Durham.

Admission : For Admission price see the website, check out the Beamish Club.

Open : 1st April - end of October 10.30am - 5.00pm, last entry to the Mine is at 3.30pm.

Beamish is the premier Industrial museum of the North of England, and one of the best in the country. The museum main focus is on life in 1913. There's a pit village with a 1913 school and a mine (and pit ponies!), the 1913 village includes a bank and a dentist as well as a sweet shop where you can see sweets being made (one of the highlights). There's also a farm and manor house to visit. The site is spread over a wide area and you travel between them on trams or a 1913 bus. There's a lot to see in one day and if you live in the region you should look into joining the Beamish club; it will probably nearly pay for itself in one visit.

Bede's World Open Air Museum

Bede's World, Jarrow, Tyne & Wear (buses from Jarrow metro)

Admission : For Admission price see the website. Family tickets available.

Open : April-October Monday - Saturday: 10.00 - 5.30 Sunday: 12.00 - 5.30 ** November-March Monday - Saturday: 10.00 - 4.30 Sunday: 12.00 - 4.30 Last admission to Museum/Farm 1 hour before closing time.

The museum is dedicated to the extraordinary life of the Venerable Bede (AD 673-735). Jarrow was where Bede lived and worked 1300 years ago. The museum includes an interactive Age of Bede exhibition in the stunning new museum building, a recreated Anglo Saxon house, a herb garden and rare breeds of farm animals.

Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre

Nenthead Mines, Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria.

Admission : For Admission price see the website, discount if you don't tour the mine. Family tickets available.

Open : 1st April - end of October 10.30am - 5.00pm, last entry to the Mine is at 3.30pm.

The highlight of a visit to Nenthead is Carrs Mine where visitors can follow tunnels and tramways, along which horses once hauled the ore. There is also an extensive network of self guided walking trails through the 200 acre site. The heritage centre has a cafe, shop and a picnic site.