Last month my family and I had the pleasure of staying in the Lake District for the weekend. One of our all-time favourite places in the UK. Whilst we were there we visited a few different attractions as well as soaking up the outstanding scenery that the Lakes has to offer. Below you will find our Pencil Museum Review from a family perspective.
Our Derwent Pencil Museum Review
Our first stop was to the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick. Now I know what you’re thinking, a pencil museum? Wow how dull! And to be honest the prospect of spending the morning looking at pencils didn’t fill me with excitement either but when in Rome and all that. I just hoped that my children (2 and 5) wouldn’t be too bored.
As it turned out I really needn’t have been concerned as the pencil museum was catered for children from the minute we entered. We were greeted at the desk by a lovely lady who spoke not only to my husband and I but also to the children, giving them some work sheets and explaining to them that they could look for clues on the way round. We entered the museum and the colours from the pencil crayons immediately captivated both children and my five year old was eager to read (with some help) all about how pencils are made.
The museum is only small yet they have done a brilliant job of not only telling the story of the pencil but also keeping children interested whilst adults can read more about the history. There is a colouring station, a dressing up area, hidden clues that the children are encouraged to draw and there are questions they are asked to find the answers too. It was brilliant for keeping them busy going from one station to the next.
Towards the back of the Derwent pencil museum there is also a video room showing a short film about how pencils are made and about the factories that have been used. My five year old was glued to this and I must admit I was slightly blown away by the amount of work, care and consideration that goes into producing a pencil, I certainly developed a new appreciation for them that’s for sure! At the end of this video there is a showing of The Snowman, again ensuring that the children are catered for.
On leaving the pencil museum you exit through a shop, this always annoys me but of course it makes good business sense, so who can blame them. Except in this shop as well as having the option to buy many beautiful books and of course pencils, the children are also gifted two lovely colouring pencils for completing the treasure hunt, such a lovely touch. I think this really helps parents out as you don’t then feel pressured to buy anything as the kids are leaving with something anyway.
The Derwent pencil museum also has another colouring corner in the shop so if your children haven’t had enough of pencils they can enjoy them for a bit longer whilst mum and dad enjoy a coffee from the coffee shop.
Overall Derwent Pencil Museum Review
Overall I was really impressed and would urge anyone who is up that way to stop rolling their eyes at the prospect of a pencil museum and pop in and take a look for yourself. It’s a lovely, relaxed, educational way to spend some family time. It’s also worth having a look at what they have going on as there are a number of activities that take place throughout the year such as fun days and tuition workshops.
Top tips for getting the most out of your trip to the Derwent Pencil Museum
Plan for a two hour (ish) stay. It is not a full day outing so see what else is going on in the area and plan your day accordingly.
Check the website in advance. They have a number of activities on at various times so check this first and incorporate your visit with these activities, or avoid them if you don’t fancy them as they will make the place busier and it’s not very big.
If you are looking for more inspiration for days out in the North West then check out our A-Z of days out post or if you want something specifically in the lake district then check out our review of the Lakeland Maize Maze.