North East tourist attractions closed due to storm damage

ADVERSE weather across the weekend and into this week has forced some of the region’s most popular venues and tourist attractions to close their doors while they deal with the aftermath of damaged property – with some saying that it would be a ‘threat to life’ if they chose to open.

The latest in a long line of varied weather brought Storm Corrie and 70mph wind to the North East of England late on Sunday.

This followed Storm Malik that blew down trees, damaged power lines and ripped roofs off homes on Saturday.

Read more: Storm Malik: Kevan Jones calls for inquiry into power grid

Due to the weather conditions, homeowners have lost electricity and heating in parts of the region, with some tourist attractions also falling victim to the weather.

On Saturday and Sunday, Beamish: The Living Museum of the North was closed to visitors, due to debris at the site.

In a statement, the tourist attraction took to social media on Sunday (January 30) to say: “After assessing the museum site for damage from today’s severe weather conditions, for safety reasons we will be unable to open on Sunday.

The Northern Echo: Beamish Museum was closed on Saturday and Sunday, due to adverse weather conditions at the facility in Stanley.  Picture: BEAMISH MUSEUM.Beamish Museum was closed on Saturday and Sunday, due to adverse weather conditions at the facility in Stanley. Picture: BEAMISH MUSEUM.

“With fallen trees and debris around the site, we’ll need to spend tomorrow carrying out a full assessment and clean-up operation. We’re sorry for any disappointment – the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers always comes first.

“We’ll be contacting ticketholders by email. Thanks again for everyone’s patience and support, stay safe everyone.”

Elsewhere in the region, Raby Castle will remain closed today (Monday, January 31) to give staff at the venue time to clear felled historic trees and other damaged property, caused by Storm Malik.

Read more: 4,000 in Tyne & Wear and County Durham have no electricity

A statement from the castle reads: “The estate team continue to clear the damage caused by Storm Malik. Sadly, many historic trees have fallen which have stood in the park for many years.

“Our estate team are working hard to clear the damage and make the park safe for visitors to return as soon as possible.

“We will hopefully reopen tomorrow, a further update will follow.”

The Northern Echo: Felled trees and damaged property resulted in Raby Castle closing on Sunday and into today (January 31).  Picture: RABY CASTLE.Felled trees and damaged property resulted in Raby Castle closing on Sunday and into today (January 31). Picture: RABY CASTLE.

It is not just inside venues that are impacted by the weather conditions, after Hamsterley Forest in County Durham announced that it would also be closing on Monday to assess the damage caused by Storms Malik and Corrie.

Forestry England, who look after the green space, have said that this measure has been taken, due to the ‘threat to life’ of visitors, and have warned visitors against traveling to the beauty spot.

A statement from the agency said: “Due to a further forecast storm into Monday morning, we have made the decision to close Hamsterley Forest on Monday. This will allow us time to assess the damage caused by the storm.

Read more: Storm Malik: Compensation for County Durham power cuts

“During this time, please do not access the forest as there are likely to be unsafe and dangerous trees on the trail network. There will be a further update on Monday regarding potential re-opening of the forest.”

A similar closure notice is also in place at The Botanic Garden in Durham to allow staff to clear up, as well as a temporary closure of the reception to Palace Green Library, Durham, due to storm damage.

However, access to The Archeology Museum, The Durham Light Infantry Collection gallery, and the Barker Research Library (Researchers and Students only) will remain.

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