Pickering doesn’t end at the bottom of the Market Place; venture over the bridge and wander down to the beck-side to find another hidden gem, Pickering’s Beck Isle Museum. Housed in a fine regency period Grade II* listed mansion with outbuildings, the museum encourages visitors to step back in time and experience what life was like in a thriving market town. With recreated shops from bygone eras including a chemist, hairdresser and on occasion, a working blacksmith in the yard, children and adults will be enthralled by the collection of over 50,000 objects documenting every-day life and can even try their hand at lace-making or printing at one of the rural art workshops.
Keen photographers may also find the museum of particular interest as it houses an impressive collection of portraits and landscapes by Sydney Smith, a local photographer who recorded all aspects of rural life. Marvel at the account of when Dolly Shepherd, the famous parachutist and fairground entertainer, came to town and discover why an elephant walked up Pickering Market Place. However, a warning to be on your best behaviour or you could find yourself incarcerated in the Pickering gaol.
The pretty grass area by the beck-side is also owned and maintained by the Museum where picnicking is strongly encouraged!