What do you do on a wet day midweek on your holiday in Cornwall? Head to the indoor sanctuary of the Maritime Museum in Falmouth of course!
This was guaranteed to satisfy the men in the family, from my Dad, my brother-in-law to my 2 year old nephew. There would be something for everyone, whether obsessed with boats, history or the sea in general.
The Maritime Museum is situated right on the harbour in Falmouth and only a short walk from multiple carparks. If you are organised enough you can do the park and ride by train, or the park and float by boat! We arrived at Discovery Quay at lunchtime and grabbed lunch at The Shack whilst the rain came in sideways. When the rain lessened up a little we made the dash down the Quayside to the National Maritime Museum.
Once you are inside you enter the vast space of the main hall, hung with boats of all shapes and sizes:
Through the doorway from the main hall you enter The Hold, where the current exhibition is Viking Voyages. Having just read all of Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom viking series, I know all about this period of history (albeit in the form of fiction!)
I loved looking at all the information and the museum really tries to bring the history alive. There are lots of interactive exhibits, like the boat you can walk around and lots of demonstrations of what viking life was like.
The history of the local area includes the more modern history too:
They focus on the Victorian period, as this is when Falmouth had the most influence as the main connection between England and the colonies of the Empire.
The packet ships would sail out of Falmouth and all over the world delivering post and packets. They were the quickest way to get messages around the Empire. It was only the invention of steam ships that saw the traditional sailing ships being replaced.
Things for kids of all ages!
There is a great kids area on the first floor. The whole museum is accessible to buggies or wheelchairs, with a massive ramp winding around it and lots of lifts.
My little nephew enjoyed dressing up as both a viking and a dragon and spent ages in the kids area (I think they had to bribe him out!)
The museum is known for being one of the best interactive museums in the UK – there is literally something for everyone to do there:
Maritime Museum from top to bottom
As I mentioned earlier the museum has a lookout on the top floor of the tower. It actually spans 5 floors in total, from the top:
To the bottom, where you can be underwater at high tide!
Verdict and cost
Our visit was fairly brief (due to the 2 year old only having a certain attention span!). We could have spent a lot more time in the museum.
It costs £12.50 for adults and £5 for children (under 5s free) and makes a great day or afternoon out!