Museums and Living History

The past brought to life

The value of a good quality museum cannot be overstated when it comes to furthering our knowledge of history. The best places will spend time and money analysing how their visitors interact with the exhibits - what they stop to look at, which information boards they read, where they stand and perhaps whether they make any notes. If the museum does not understand what people are taking away from their visit, they were either really lucky in getting everything exactly right to begin with, or else they don't care about their visitor's enjoyment, and will quickly suffer declining attendances.

The museums listed below are examples of venues who have worked hard to give their visitors the best possible experience, and more than that, they cater excellently for school groups in particular. Whether you visit somewhere big enough to get lost in, like the British Museum, or a small regional venue like Gladstone Pottery, you will find a wide range of subjects including national railways, aeronautical, waterways, and heritage.

As a child I wasn't particularly fond of museums. After I had gazed into the hundredth glass display case and read the faded yellow postcard notes about the objects on view, I quickly started to lose interest. I didn't really understand the value of what I was seeing. Thankfully, the people who run such places these days are more aware of how to engage the younger generation in particular and some venues even bring the past to life in the form of living museums, complete with people in period costume and real shops displaying or selling goods that would have been available at the time. What could possible inspire your students more about the subject than standing them in a street as it would have been one or two hundred years ago and letting them explore with all of their senses.

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National Science and Media Museum


The National Science and Media Museum is free to enter and provides unique opportunities to learn about the science of light and sound. We offer a range of free hands-on interactive learning sessions led by our team of experienced Explainers; which can be booked as part of your visit. All sessions are designed to be lively, engaging and memorable. We also offer regular events for teachers to support their work in the classroom....

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National Science and Media Museum






The Mechanical Art & Design Museum, or 'MAD Museum' for short exhibits around 90 interactive pieces of kinetic art and automata made by inventors from all around the world. This is where art meets movement and where engineering has humour. ...

The MAD Museum



At the National Science and Media Museum your class can be inspired; experiment and learn about the principles of light and sound and the science and technology behind photography, film and television. ...

National Science and Media Museum



Gladstone is the only complete Victorian pottery factory from the days when coal-burning ovens made the world's finest bone china. Explore the cobbled yard, with huge bottle kilns and take part in daily worksho ...

Gladstone Pottery Museum



You can create your own visit or let us do it for you. We offer you a range of stimulating workshops which explore parts of our collections in more detail. All workshops are linked to the National Curriculum. ...

National Museum Cardiff





The National Waterways Museum brings together a unique fleet of historic boats with rich collections and archives to tell the story of Britains canals and waterways. The historic docks at Ellesmere Port provide...

The National Waterways Museum



The Scottish Maritime Museum contains exhibitions and collections that tell the story of that great maritime tradition. The sites have a collection of vessels that represent 150 years history. ...

Scottish Maritime Museum



Explore the story of Wales's past, present and future contributions to industry and innovation, via cutting-edge, interactive technology married with traditional displays. ...

National Waterfront Museum



RAF Museum Cosford tells the story of man's successes and failures in flying and missile development from the early days of aviation through two world wars to the present day. ...

Royal Airforce Museum Cosford



Explore the science, technology and history of the railways with the NRM's Learning Team. We offer a range of workshops for all ages to help you get the most out of your visit, all FREE....

National Railway Museum



Big Pit explores all aspects of mining, from strikes to disasters, from women in mining communities to the children forced to work underground in the nineteenth century. ...

National Coal Museum Wales
★★★★★

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