National Maritime Museum
Cornwall, Discovery Quay,
Cornwall, TR11 3QY
under 18 £5.00 – under 5 free
The National Maritime Museum has 15 galleries set over five floors.
The main hall has a very impressive hanging Flotilla display over your head, which is a great way of getting the amount of boats they have in, and also a great way of seeing the underside of the boats. Once you start the climb up the floors you can see these boats from the side and the tops. I found this a really good way to display them.
A little way up this gallery is the survival zone were Edna Mair can be seen. The Robertson family five people, and a friend survived in this tiny dinghy for 38 days in the Pacific ocean after their yacht had been holed. They survived by eating raw fish and taking liquid from the fish eyes to stay hydrated.
At the far end of the Main Hall you can see the shipwrights workshop and at times you can see them at work restoring and building boats.
The Hold also on the ground floor is a large single exhibition space where major exhibitions are shown. 2017 to January 2018 exhibitions are Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed and Captain Bligh: Myth, Man and Mutiny. Some very interesting Tats going on here, some are like works of art.
Falmouth’s maritime history can be seen in the Falmouth Gallery objects, journals, listening posts, interpretation, photographs and interactive displays galore.
A part called Cornwall and the sea tells the stories of rescues off the Cornish coast, how local crafts were built and the development of Cornwall’s migratory links around the world
The Tidal Zone is fun for young and old, take the steps or the lift down below the sea. Here you look out into the harbour through two large windows. Look out for King Canute’s throne as you listen to his story. There are also some nice little interactive bit’s for you to play with.
A climb or the lift to the top of the Lookout Tower gives breathtaking views over the harbour, docks and estuary. From here you can find out about historic buildings, local landmarks, and coastal features. There are binoculars, telescopes and maps to use to build up the histroy of the harbour. You can see Custom House Quay to the west where contraband used to be landed, and to the north the village of Flushing, the former home of Packet Ship captains.
The Navigation Station was quite fun, lots of hands on things to play with. You can have a go at steering a boat through a narrow channel, see how are charts made and how to us them, and listen to a shipping forecast.
There’s also a Pontoon directly in front of the building, here you can view the boats on the water.
The museum also has a reasonably priced cafe with great views across the harbour.