While the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery and Railway Museum might top the lists on TripAdvisor and rake in the most visitors year on year – there are a great many other lesser-known museums across the UK that are well worth a visit. Here are seven of our favourites.
Previously known as the Cuckoo Clock Museum, Cuckooland in Tabley, Cheshire is home to a magnificent collection of clocks. Curated by horologist experts and master clock restorer brothers Roman and Maz Piekarski it includes models going back as far as 300 years. The collection also boasts a Cuckoo & Echo clock which uses bellows and whistles to make fascinating and realistic sounds. Visitors can call 01565 633039 for information on admission which is by appointment only.
British Lawnmower Museum, Merseyside
The British Lawnmower Museum can be found in the grounds of Trerice House, a National Trust property in Southport, Merseyside. The museum was made famous in the BBC One comedy show Would I Lie To You? after comedian Lee Mack explained he had donated hand tools to the attraction – and fellow panelists had to guess whether this was true or not. The Museum also contains items purportedly owned by the likes of Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Eric Morecambe, Queen’s Brian May and of course famous TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh. Admission is £3.00 a ticket and includes an audio tour.
Derwent Pencil Museum, Cumbria
The home of the first ever pencil factory in the UK using graphite mined nearby in Borrowdale, the Southey Works pencil museum is a fun day out for all the family. Visitors enter the museum through a replica graphite mine and can take part in fun and interactive exhibits along the way. Highlights include WW2 pencils with hidden maps, the Queen’s diamond Jubilee pencil and one of the largest pencils in the world. The museum costs £4.95 for adults and £3.95 for children, with some concessions available.
Bubblecar Museum, Lincolnshire
For motor enthusiasts the Bubble Car Museum is a must-visit. It is dedicated to micro-cars, tiny and often uncomfortable cars built in the 1950’s which had engine capacities of less than 700cc and look rather peculiar. There are over 50 cars on display at the Boston museum, along with memorabilia, a gift shop and a café for tea and cake. Admission is £4 for adults and £1 for children.
Museum of Witchcraft, Cornwall
Founded in 1951, the Museum of Witchcraft in the picturesque coastal village of Boscastle claims to house the world’s largest witchcraft-focused collection with over 3,000 items on display. The items include sections on Paganism, charms, curses, Cornish mythical creatures and much more. The museum is open daily from April 1st until November 3rd and entry costs £5 adults and £4 for children (6-15) with family tickets and concessions available.
The Locksmith’s House, West Midlands
The Locksmith’s House in Willenhall is the former home of a small family of lock makers whose home-business flourished over a century ago. Visitors can view belongings and furniture owned by the Hodson family, tour their workshop building with its forge and machinery and take a look at some of the intricate and impressive locks crafted through the ages. Costumed guides escort visitors around the property and offer rag rug and toasting activities. The house is only viewable on special open days and pre-booked trips. You can email [email protected] to find out more.
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