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.
Our first stop was to the 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 and I just hoped that my children (2 and 5) wouldn’t be too bored.
I really needn’t have been concerned as the 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 asked to draw and questions they are asked to find the answers too, keeping them busy going from one station to the next.
Towards the back of the 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 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.
The 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 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 informative 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.
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.