The Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh, Northumberland, commemorates the life of Victorian Britain's greatest heroine and the story of the wreck of the steamship SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838.
It’s Grace’s 200th birthday soon. Take a look at our ‘what’s on’ section to find out how you can help us celebrate!
The Grace Darling MuseumRadcliffe RoadBamburghNorthumberlandNE69 7AE
Telephone: 01668 214 910
Nearest rail station: Berwick–upon Tweed
Buses connect to Berwick and Alnwick. The bus stop in Bamburgh is a couple of minutes walk from the museum.
The museum is situated in Bamburgh village, opposite St Aidan’s church and a short walk from the castle. Parking is at the opposite end of the village and public toilets are very near the museum.
The RNLI Grace Darling Museum illustrates Grace’s upbringing and life on the lighthouse, the events of the rescue that propelled her into the limelight and the nature of that subsequent fame. Her story is told through personal items, including letters, family portraits and the famous coble. Atmospheric audio-visual interpretation and a stunning model of the Longstone lighthouse are also on offer.
Originally opened on this site in 1938, today’s museum is in a stylish and environmentally friendly building that does justice to the displays, events and research that takes place here. This year we have been re-awarded the Visit England rosette and have been highly rated on Trip Advisor.
Christmas opening times: The museum will be closed from Monday 22 December to Friday 26 December and from Wednesday 31 December at 1pm to Thursday 1 January at 1pm.
The museum will also be closed for essential maintenance on Saturday 3 January until Tuesday 3 February.
1 October–Easter Sunday
Easter Monday–30 September
Tuesday–Sunday and Bank Holidays
10am–4pm (Last admission 3.30pm)
10am–5pm (Last admission 4.15pm)
The museum's Lantern Room is available for private hire.
It has excellent facilities and is fully wheelchair accessible.
Please enquire at the museum for further details or to book the room.
Grace Darling was 22 years old when she risked her life in an open boat to help the survivors of the wrecked SS Forfarshire on 7 September 1838. With her father, she rowed for over a mile through raging seas to reach them. The courage that Grace and her family showed on that day is now legendary.
Grace was the media celebrity of her day. She was celebrated internationally and was showered with honours, including the RNLI's Silver Medal for Gallantry. A museum was established in 1938 to commemorate her life.
Wednesday 22 July to Monday 31 AugustGrace’s People: An exhibition about Grace Darling’s family to help us celebrate her 200th birthday. Are you related to Grace?
Activities include a trail with Eddie the Teddy and making birthday cards for Grace Darling.
Tuesday 27 October to Friday 30 OctoberExciting family activities for Autumn half term.
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 NovemberGrace’s 200th Birthday - come and help us celebrate!
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 NovemberChristmas shopping at the RNLI Grace Darling Museum. Help save lives at sea while you stock up on festive gifts and treats.
All events are free, but donations are very welcome!
We welcome schools and groups to the RNLI Grace Darling Museum - but please remember to book first!If you’re booking a group visit, please see the section on groups below before enquiring about a booking. Our museum is a fun learning environment - come and visit, or book one of our exciting workshops. View our full list of workshops for schools and email or phone us on 01668 214910.All of our talks and workshops are run by volunteers. If you book a talk or workshop, we encourage a donation of £1 per head to support the work of RNLI.
Booking is essential - we want to give your group the best visit we can.
We’re a small museum and the site is very busy, especially during the Summer season. To book, please phone the museum on 01668 214910 or email us.
We can offer introductory talks of 15 minutes, or a more detailed 45 minute talk on Grace Darling.
Booking is essential, even for self-led visits. Please phone or email us to book a visit.
We have a full list of workshops for primary school groups. If your class has over 20 children, we will need to split the group, even for self-led visits.
Booking is essential, even for self-led visits.
Please enquire about our workshops that can be adapted to suit a secondary school audience.
Pupils aged 14–18 can take part in an exciting project about the history of saving lives at sea: Save Lives at Sea: Campaign! Make an Impact.
For Key Stage 3 pupils we offer a led Science Trail.
We also offer outreach sessions which bring Grace Darling or the RNLI into the classroom (donations welcomed). Please email our education team for more information.
You can also organise talks to adult groups outside of the museum about Grace Darling or the work of RNLI by emailing our community team.
The museum gets very busy, so booking is essential - even for general visits. Please email us or call on 01668 214910.
Bookable lunch space for school groups may be available. This is for a maximum of 30 pupils at a time.
We don't charge for admission, but if you would like to make a donation we suggest £1 per person.
If you’re planning a school visit to the museum, take a look at our Museum Education Pack. It’s got lesson plans you can use before your visit to make sure you make the most of your time with us, a risk assessment, worksheets to use at the museum, and suggested follow-up work. We want to make your visit as easy and valuable as possible. If you’d prefer us to post you a copy, do get in touch.
Teachers are welcome to visit the museum beforehand. Information to help with risk assessment is available in our Museum Education Pack.
Download a digital copy of our Museum Education Pack.
For a hard copy of our Museum Education Pack, please contact the museum.
For further teaching resources on Grace Darling, search our downloadable resources section.
Evaluation helps us to improve our service to you. If you have taken up museum workshops, please complete an evaluation form and send it to us.
Come and visit us for a fun day out! School groups can take our activity workshops which support a number of subjects. Please note: Groups of over 20 will be split up and rotated through consecutive workshops.
All of our workshops are delivered by volunteers.
Call us on 01668 214 910 or email to book.
Bringing the story of the rescue to life through costume and drama. Pupils become the main characters in the famous story, explore the emotions involved and gain an understanding of help and rescue.
Minimum duration: 45 minutes
Maximum pupil capacity: 20
Pupils will meet 'Grace Darling' or a member of her family to hear about their story and get a chance to ask questions. Find out about Grace Darling, her family and Victorian life in a lighthouse by exploring objects that tell us about their lives. Designed to inspire speaking, listening and responding.
Minimum duration: 45 minutes
Maximum pupil capacity: 20
Recreate the story of Grace Darling with a Victorian shadow puppet show. Pupils make their own puppets and then act out the story.
Minimum duration: 30 minutes
Maximum pupil capacity: 18
Find out how to create a story and use the museum displays to re-tell the famous story of Grace Darling with costume and drama.
Minimum duration: 1 hour
Maximum pupil capacity: 30
This led trail around the museum explores science in the context of the Grace Darling story. Pupils will learn about geology, the reactivity series, lighthouse engineering, states of matter, energy transfer and forces.
Maximum pupil capacity: 15
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Registered charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole, BH15 1HZ. Images and copyright © RNLI 2015.