Since we have spent half term visiting several museums, I thought I would write a blog promoting what wonderful places we have recently experienced in the north of England.
Weston Park, Sheffield
Found opposite Sheffield Children’s Hospital, near Sheffield Hallam University, this free museum is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. It has recently been renovated and I think displays link to nearly every topic a school aged child would cover. Our favourites are:
Arctic section with a giant polar bear and chance for children to build their own igloo.
The Egyptian mummies- amazing to read that the mummy belonged to a 14 year old girl, who was head of the household.
There are plenty of hands on activities and information to read, it’s a must for anyone visiting Sheffield. In fact I am having a night in this museum in May with my school- which will be a totally different experience! The decision now is shall I sleep in front of the polar bear or mummy?
Beamish Open Air Museum, County Durham
I first visited this open air museum before I had children and vowed I would bring them to this wonderful place. We came as a family for the first time last Eastet and revisited it again this week (the cost of a ticket lasts a whole year). Surprisingly when I have talked to friends about Beamish I was amazed at the amount of people who have never been and I urge people to visit! The sheer fact that it is actually outside, with places dotted around to travel to; you can experience life as it was in 1913, going into shops, houses and even down a coal mine!
When you arrive you have the opportunity to travel on a tram or bus to the Manor house, town, farm or pit village. All need to be seen during your trip. I love talking to the people in costume and can’t work out if the people are paid to work there or volunteer. I think if I had time and lived nearer, I would like to dress up for the day and attempt to make cheese and onion pie on an old range. I think it would be a lovely way to spend the day, although I am not too certain what the pie would turn out like!
The most popular shops in the town are where you can buy edible produce such as the bakery and sweet shop (I can recommend the rhubarb and custard sweets).
We also enjoyed the pit village- especially the school and coal mine. Unfortunately when we tried to visit the fish and chip shop was closed in this occasion, but I’ve heard that’s very good too.
So if you haven’t been it’s definitely worth a trip!
Discovery Museum, Newcastle
Newscastle has a wealth of free museums, this time we visited the Discovery musuem which specialises in history and science. My children loved the Science Maze where there are lots of hands on activities like exploring magnets, sound, electricity and light.
My favourite was the Newscastle story, which tells how Newcastle has changed since the Roman times. My husband and myself got fairly excited at the 1990s display-until our two children looked at us with a ‘You’re so old’ expression on their faces.
So if haven’t visited any of these places and get the chance – do it!