During a family visit to Newbury we decided to go and have a look around West Berkshire Museum which is free to visit. It was a lovely museum to explore which is a short walk from Newbury Wharf and the Kennet and Avon Canal.
What’s at the Museum?
The museum is split over two floors, on the ground floor you will find a cafe and gift shop plus the welcome desk.
You then follow the museum along the ground floor where you will find a permanent exhibition which tells you all about the story of West Berkshire past to present. From the landscape of the land, to the people of Newbury and you will even find a mammoth tusk!
What I really liked about the museum was that there were activities dotted around the exhibits for the children to engage with. In the first room there were trial sheets and ‘Explorer Activity’ bags which included games and tasks for visitors to complete – they are great for keeping little minds active, learning and busy. Later on during the ground floor exhibit children can also have a go at getting dressed up in historic costumes and each item of clothing has a label explaining the costumes from different historical periods.
After exploring downstairs in the museum we headed upstairs to the second floor galleries which had a series of individual exhibits and more activities for the children. These exhibits change so might be different if you visit.
The first exhibit was called ‘Peace Camp’ marking the 40th Anniversary of the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp and in the next room you could then learn all about about Hungerford a West Berkshire town.
After this the next room showed up all the ‘treasure’ found underground through the ages and you could also have a go at a brass rubbing.
Then there was a bottles and barrels exhibition which showed lots of different measuring devices.
At the end there was an exhibit called ‘Together’ which shares a persons heritage and culture through courtship and matrimonial traditions.
Upstairs there was also a reading corner for the children and some opportunities for them to draw and write with some inspiration from Blaze the museum dragon! I also love the fact that there were steps for the children to use to get a better and closer look at the exhibits.
Finally, on the way out there was a wonderful piece of artwork by Knitted Newbury which was a wonderful knitted map of Newbury. The map was made by 20 passionate knitters in 2018.
What else is at West Berkshire Museum?
There is a gift shop and coffee shop at the start of the museum.
How much does it cost to visit West Berkshire Museum?
It is free to visit West Berkshire Museum.
When is West Berkshire Museum open?
The museum is open Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm. This information was correct to the best of my knowledge on 20.02.2022, however please double check before travelling on the museum website.
What is near the museum?
From the museum you can walk into Newbury. There is also Victoria Park nearby and Newbury Wharf with walks along the Kennet and Avon canal.
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