Preceeding a R.S. Scotland Tour in Sept. we will be in Edinburgh for 5 days. One day I would like to take a day trip by train to Durham to see the Cathedral and then continue on to see the Beamish Museum. I have to return to Edinburgh the same day . I understand that there is a direct bus (no changes) from Durham to Beamish only on Saturdays. During the week there are buses but only with connections. Questions: (1) Is 3 hrs a reasonable amount of time for the Beamish Museum, (2) Would a taxi from Durham to Beamish Museum be a better transportation choice given my limited time available. (3) Is there a preferred train line from Edinburgh to Durham? Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions. Frank
Beamish is big - it easily fills a day - you could spend three hours there and still not see everything. By the time you get to Durham and explore I don't think you have time to travel onto Beamish and get the best out of the site - but of course you can always decide on the day. Bear in mind Beamish is open-air, so if the weather is against you that might decide things.
A taxi is perfectly possible.
In that neck of the woods why not visit Washington Old Hall - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/washington-old-hall
Newcastle is worth visiting if you decide against Beamish.
There's only one train line down the east coast - you can track tickets down on this site https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/
Factoring in travel time to and from Edinburgh, I would not try to do Beamish and Durham in one day. We spent most of a day at Beamish and could have used more. it's really a fun place to visit.
I've not been to Beamish, but I did visit Durham and the cathedral and town are really lovely. I do think that it makes a good day trip out of Edinburgh. It is nearly two hours down to Durham. If you've not found it yet, Scotrail makes it easy to check train times.