I'd been meaning to visit the Discovery Museum in Newcastle for quite a while and earlier this month, on a cold and rainy day, I finally managed to spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon wandering around an impressive array of collections and exhibits in this iconic Newcastle building.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: (0191) 232 6789
Textphone: 18001 0191 232 6789
Like all public museums in the UK, entry to the Discovery Museum is free. It's open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm and 11am-4pm at weekends. According to their website the museum houses "the finest collections of scientific and technical material outside London and keeps important collections of maritime history, social history, regimental militaria and costume."
My favourite exhibition was 'When the Lamps Went Out - Life on Tyneside in the First World War.' The displays were rammed full of really interesting paraphernalia and the information signs were captivating and just long enough to be informative but not boring. I even learnt that there was a whole village set up to house Belgian refugees not far from where I live that I knew nothing about before now!
Another favourite was following the development of Newcastle from a Norman settlement to modern day. It was a bit odd once I reached the 2000s to find issues of Heat Magazine and Pot Noodles in the display cases but I guess the lives we're living now will be the history of tomorrow. Scary stuff, especially when you think a culture immersed in reality TV and social media is what we're passing on. Yikes!
The museum has a cafe with a wide range of hot and cold snacks (man, I'm sounding like a brochure now!) I had a coffee and walnut cake with an Americano for £3.99. The cake was nice but half way through I started to wish I'd had a scone instead! Elsewhere in the building there's an FX simulator, children's play area and of course, a gift shop (which has a lot of 'Geordie' related
I spent about 3 hours at the museum and didn't actually manage to see everything, so I'm sure I'll go back and finish the tour at some point. The only negative part of the day is that some of the interactive features weren't working and a lot of the activities for children, including items for playing dress up, were missing.
Have you been to the Discovery Museum? What's your favourite museum in your area?