• Kelly

What to expect from a visit to South Shields Museum & Art Gallery




We visited South Shields Museum today for the first time and we were really surprised with what we found.

The building has tons of history and is now set over 2 floors bursting with Social, Industrial and Maritime history that stretches back thousands of years ago right up until the present day. I loved the little insights into Catherine Cookson's life with a replica of her childhood living room, there's even a glass display cabinet with her 2 pigtails of hair in it! I have been a fan of Catherine Cookson since I was little so I enjoyed this little section. You can also find a replica street with a replica shop front in this section.


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On the ground floor you can take a look around some of the collections and special displays. We found the story of William Jobling and how he ended up taking the blame for attacking someone, so he was sent into the Gibbet. However his body disappeared but the gibbet stayed up for 25 years. (A gibbet was a device that criminals were placed into, not a very nice thing with metal head holdings and it cages your body, they put people into them and left them in it, hanging up to warn others what would happen if they did something wrong) For those with younger kids, there is a replica of a body in a gibbet hanging up.

On the ground floor you can also find Creature Corner with Insects and Reptiles

You then head up an impressive staircase with beautiful Stained Glass Windows to the Second Floor. Also a lovely little Victorian Tearoom which looked great and was reasonably priced, we didn't go in today as it was a bit too early for lunch but do want to go back and try some of those cakes!




On the first floor there's an exhibition room and a small art gallery, currently it houses a John Peace collection which is fantastic and recommend to any art lovers. I loved the little touches of the sketch book left for the public to draw something. however most of the pages had been graffitied, which was a shame.




Good to know

Free to enter

Two Floors in the museum

Interactive play for kids (some were turned off)

Creature Corner

Small Shop

A lovely Victorian style Tea Room

Exhibition space

Art Gallery

Fully accessible to all with lifts

Wheel Chairs available (ask at the desk)

Plenty of photo opportunities

Toilets & baby changing

Breastfeeding friendly

Assistance dogs only

You can also access activities online HERE


Opening times

Monday - Friday 10-5

Saturday - 11-4

Sunday - Closed


How To Get To The Museum

Post Code - NE33 2JA

5 minute walk from South Shields Metro Station

10 Minute Walk from the Ferry

Don't forget, kids under 11 travel free with a paying adult (up to 3 per adult)

The Museum is located on the pedestrian part of the town centre so you will need to use one of the car parks in the area to get to it.


What else is in the are?

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park

Arbeia Roman Fort

South/North Marine Park

Marsden Beach

Souter Lighthouse ( National Trust)

The Customs House

NE Maritime Museum

Little Play Café


A little bit further

St Mary's Island

Tynemouth Priory

Seaton Delaval Hall (NT)

Tynemouth Aquarium


Check out these other posts

Our Family Guide To Seaton Delaval Hall NT

Northumberland Country Zoo - Our Latest North East Family Adventure

Morph's Epic Art Adventure Trail - North Tyneside (Includes spoiler photos)

Preston Tower & Woodland Walks Northumberland

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