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Grace Darling Museum

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 on 24th November.

The museum will be closed during December 2015 and January 2016.

The museum is always looking for volunteers. Click here or phone the museum to apply.

How to find us

The Grace Darling Museum
Radcliffe Road
NE69 7AE

Telephone: 01668 214 910

Email: askgracedarling@rnli.org.uk

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.

VisitEngland Quality Assured Visitor Attraction rosette
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.

Opening times  

The museum will be closed for essential maintenance from Monday 30 November until Tuesday 9 February.

1 October–Easter Sunday

Easter Monday–
30 September​

Tuesday–Sunday and
Bank Holidays

(Last admission 3.30pm)​


(Last admission 4.15pm)​



Room hireThe Lantern Room at the Grace Darling Museum. Photo: RNLI

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.


Painting entitled Grace Darling by Thomas Brooks, c.1866

​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.

Events 2015

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November
Grace’s 200th Birthday - come and help us celebrate!

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November
Christmas shopping at the RNLI Grace Darling Museum. Help save lives at sea while you stock up on festive gifts and treats.

Events 2016

13th – 21st February

Family activities for half term. A different activitiy each day.

25th March – 10th April
Easter exhibition : From Our Collections
Items from the stored collections.
30th April - 2nd May
Mayday. Lighthouse Activities for Mayday.
27th May – 5th June
Family activities for half term.
29th May
Bamburgh Fair. Come and join the museum at this popular local event.
23rd July – 3rd September
Our Dangerous Seas. Exhibition on coastal dangers, and how to Respect the Water.
28th August
Bamburgh Fair. Come and join the museum at this popular local event.
29th August
Seahouses Fete Day. Come and join the museum at this popular local event.
22nd – 30th October
Family activities for half term.
17th Dec – 23rd Dec
Christmas Activities : Lantern Making


All events are free, but donations are very welcome!

Children enjoy a Grace Darling Museum Friday Family Fun session. Photo: RNLI

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.

Group Visits

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. 

Primary Schools

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.

Secondary schools

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.

Outreach & talks outside the museum

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.

Before your visit 

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.

Inspection visits

Teachers are welcome to visit the museum beforehand.  Information to help with risk assessment is available in our Museum Education Pack.

Grace Darling teaching resources

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.


You to the rescue 

PSHE, Citizenship, History and Drama through role play

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

Meet Grace Darling/ the family 

Literacy and History through object handling 

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 

Puppet power 

Art, Design, Literacy and History through puppetry

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

What's your story 

Literacy, History and Drama through creative writing

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

Key Stage 3 Science Trail 

Science through an expert guide

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.

Minimum duration: 1 hour

Maximum pupil capacity: 15