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What with it being international museum day tomorrow and there being a half term holiday just around the corner, here at Sykes we thought we should do a couple of blog posts about some of the best museums in the UK. Today, we’ll be focusing on those which have free entry and so present a great value day out for the whole family. So read on if you’re stuck for ideas of where to go to keep the kids occupied when the schools break up.
Since it’s opening in November 1948, St Fagans, ‘The Museum of Welsh Life’, has become one of Wales’ best loved museums. Spread out over 100 acres in the grounds of the beautiful St Fagans castle, a 16th century manor house, this open air museum has inspired and educated generations of visitors. At the museum you can expect an insight into the local history of South Wales with exhibits such as an 18th century smithy and a working corn mill. There is also a throwback to the agricultural heritage of the area with an array of native livestock in the fields and farmyards and also regular demonstrations of the typical tasks that were faced by the people of days gone by.
With the World Cup just around the corner, we couldn’t leave out the National Football Museum! Situated in the buzzing heart of Manchester in the stunning Urbis Building, this museum has enough exhibits and memorabilia to keep any fan interested, no matter what team they support. Add to this more interactive games and quizzes than you can shake a stick at and you’ll never get bored; for example, you could test your nerves in the penalty shootout or even have a go at lifting the FA Cup! Or if you’re more interested in the history of the game, don’t forget to have a look at the Game Changers exhibition that showcases the 125 year story of the Football League.
The world’s first University Museum, The Ashmolean was created to house the curiosities donated to Oxford University by Elias Ashmole way back in the 17th Century. Now open to the public and having undergone vast renovations, the museum has become one of the top attractions for Oxford’s visitors. Amongst it’s many treasures you’ll be able to find the ceremonial cloak of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas’ father, as well as the death mask of Oliver Cromwell and the Posie Rings, part of JRR Tolkien’s inspiration for the Lord of the Rings books!
So there you have it, a Sykes round-up of the UK’s best free museums, however if you don’t really fancy any of them don’t forget that there are plenty more options open to you- and make sure that you take a look at tomorrow’s blog post for some more museum fun! Or if you fancy you could always book yourself in for a break in one of our cottages that are right by an English Heritage property so that you can soak up a bit more history when on your next holiday.