Family Days Out: Wellingborough Museum

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If you’re looking for something to do that’s free, where better to start than at a local museum!

Wellingborough Museum is home to several permanent and temporary exhibitions – including Roman Britain, the present day and a First World War Centenary exhibition.

And throughout the school holidays and at key times of the year, there are various events held here.

When I visited here recently with my two eldest children and my friend and her two boys, there was a falconry display taking place which was very educational – and that was free too!

The display was put on by Icarus Falconry in the outside area and they showcased their barn owl, tawny owl, Chilean eagle buzzard and a hawk called Horizon.

The kids (and adults alike) were hooked on watching the birds of prey fly overhead as we were given interesting facts about them.

For instance, did you know a barn owl can hear the heartbeat of a mouse from over a metre away, while a hawk can spot a rabbit 1.5 miles away! Certainly interesting stuff.

Obviously we were not able to stroke the birds or get too close to them, but there were several occasions that they whizzed over our heads as they flew from one handler to another, showing off their impressive wing span as they did.

The display lasted for about half an hour – and afterwards we headed inside to the museum to explore a bit more.

Dotted throughout the museum are some seaside arcade machines dating back to the 1950s.

The machines only work with pre-decimal currency which can be purchased at the front desk – they’re 10p each or you can get 12 for £1.

The children had fun playing them – and even won some sweets from them too! Great fun for very little money.

Once you’ve explored downstairs and taken in the displays on Roman Britain and the special First World War exhibition, head upstairs to the upper gallery to experience what it was like during the war.

There’s information on rations that were available as well as old school desks and blackboards depicting what it was like to be a child at the time.

Kai even got to try on a real gas mask in an air-raid shelter!

There are also a lot more ‘modern’ artefacts on display including examples of some of the very first mobiles – which are far from the slim design you see today.

Also here is a model train display of Wellingborough’s Midland Road Station which opened in 1858.

It was actually running on our visit but if it isn’t when you go, just ask a member of staff and they’ll aim to get it working for you (dependent on resources).

And once you’ve looked around the exhibitions and played on the arcade machines, there is always the museum shop and cafe.

All in all this was a great visit – and one that was kind on the purse!

It’s worth noting though that although there is no entrance fee, donations are welcomed to help the museum continue to provide free events for all.

Where to find it

12 Castle Way, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 1XB.

The satnav postcode for the museum is NN8 1XB.

It’s located between the Swansgate Shopping Centre’s multi-storey car park and The Castle theatre. Parking is free.

Visit www.wellingboroughmuseum.co.uk or call 01933 276838 for more information on what’s on.

Opening times

Monday to Saturday 10am to 4.30pm

Closed Sundays

Open Bank Holiday Mondays

Admission is free.