National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Cornwall, Discovery Quay,


Cornwall, TR11 3QY


adults £12.50

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.
Tilly Travel

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St Austell Brewery

St Austell Brewery

St Austell


PL25 4BY

Admission free

Brewing Experience £12

St Austell brewery has been a brewery since 1851 but only got it’s name in 1939. It was founded by Walter Hicks and was run and still is run as a family concern. They produce some of the best cask ales as well as bottled/canned beers and larger’s along with wines and sprites.

The brewing experience is a good way to find out about the brewing process right from the water to the casking and the history of the beers.  On arrival we were given 2 beer bottle tops each,  these could be exchanged for the tasting experience or a pint in the Hicks bar who also do very nice food, or a bottle  to take home.  We were greeted with a glass of beer to sample and drink at our leisure throughout the first part of the tour. Then it was a trip to watch the beer casks being filled and plugged before going on to the tasting. I have been on tasting experiences before but never on one were so many products were sampled or so much information given about each one. We were also given a copy of the history the brewery. Not a bad deal really for £12.


Tilly Travel


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Golitha Falls

Golitha Falls

Golitha Falls is a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Golitha Falls are a series of cascades and waterfalls along a section of the River Fowey as it passes through the ancient oak woodland of Draynes Wood. The falls are situated just over a mile west of the village of St Cleer and about a mile and half from the market town of Liskeard. If you don’t want to walk the river there is a car park at Draynes Bridge with toilets. From here you can walk to the first fall quite easily in around 30 minutes, but to see the prettier parts a bit of a scramble over and between large boulders is required.

This place has a very spiritual and calming feel to it,

Tilly Travel

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Birmingham Library

Free admission

The Library of Birmingham on Centenary Square was  opened in 2013  and replaced the Birmingham Central Library which used to sit on Chamberlain Square. Although the old library wasn’t a nice looking building (see link above for photo), I don’t consider the new one that nice to look at either. The new Library was designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo and built by the Council’s construction partner  Midlands-based Carillion. The interconnecting circles on the front of the building…well depending on who you listen too  either have something to do with the canals, (more canals than Venice supposedly), or something to do with the long history of the jewellery quarter.

The library is big and spacious, with a cafe, plenty of clean toilets, lifts and escalators to all floors. The ten floors home the lending library, the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography, rare books and an outdoor amphitheatre. There are two  roof terrace gardens which give fantastic views across Birmingham and beyond, on the top floor  the enclosed Skyline room and the Shakespeare Memorial room  can be found.
Tilly Travel

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More From Flatpack

The Shared Individual

Small charge

The Shared Individual is created by Makropol based in Copenhagen, they teamed up with Swedish performing arts organisation, Bombina Bombast, which makes this project  a genuinely pioneering example of augmented reality. Mixing film, theatre, performance, and technological trickery, this is a VR experience which is so different to any other.

The write up for the show says-

The show begins with two presenters and a mannequin on stage. Sporting a specially-made helmet with a custom built camera, the mannequin delivers a panoramic field-of-view-video stream, which broadcasts live to the audiences headsets. Through a calibration process, the audience then becomes ‘the shared individual’. What follows is an out-of-body experience in which things aren’t always as they seem.

and they weren’t kidding, great fun. Although I did feel a bit of a twit, I was the last one to remove my headset at the end. 🙂 I was enjoying myself far too much, far too short a performance in my opinion.


Kino Train


Following the Russian Revolution, ‘agit trains’ were an important tool for spreading the Bolshevik gospel to workers across the land, their carriages functioned as printing presses, libraries and cinemas

The flatpack team had dreamt of taking to the rails with a mobile film unit, and so the Kino Train was born. The show consisted of short films, I loved Chickens/The elephant in the room and Paws. The planets were another favourite. Films included-

Colour Box
Globe-trotting selection of family shorts, including highlights from this year’s Colour box and some greatest hits from past festivals.

A Taste of Flatpack
If you’re trying to work out what to go and see at Flatpack 11, this lucky dip of shorts and trailers might come in useful.

The Iron Road
Compendium of archive railway footage including the thrilling Let’s Go To Birmingham (1962), which will take you from Paddington to Snow Hill in under 6 minutes.




5  dioramas with holographic images of 5 different films created by  Jeff Desom. Wonderfully done.

Not sure if Flatpack is traveling  around but if it does and comes anywhere near you, give it ago.

Photos and videos

Tilly Travel

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Segundo De Segundo

Its that time of year again, the return of Flatpack an annual advent in Birmingham, lot’s of things going on, some free, some ticketed. Look at the website.


So off we went on Tuesday evening to see Segundo – De – Chomon a night of old (1900’s) silent films. The night started with short films of famous people who had stayed or visited the Grand. Then the films by Segundo who  started out in Barcelona and then in 1905 based himself at Pathe in Paris. Segundo  happily  roaming across genres from Gothic horror and trick-film to slapstick and travelogue, and the selection of films that were shown gave a good representation of all of these I loved electric hotel. Stephen Horne  accompanied the films playing a variety of instruments.

These old films always amaze me, the stunts, stencil colour and magic acts are fantastic.

The films were shown in  The Grand Hotel which is a grade 11 listed building The building, by Thomson Plevins, is principally of French Renaissance style, which as been closed since 2002 due to the risk of crumbling stonework and has been under scaffolding and protective plastic  since then. It is due to be renovated so  this was a good opportunity to take a last look at the Grovenor Room before works starts as well as see some brilliant films.



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The Lock Inn to Watermill and Brinton Pak

This is a nice little walk of around 6 mile. We picked up this canal walk at the Lock Inn in Wolverley Worcestershire and followed it to Watermill Kidderminster. The walk has good towpaths (can be muddy in bad weather) and at one point you walk with the canal on your left and the river Stour on your right. On summer days lots of boats can be seen meandering along the canal and navigating the locks, and there are always birds and squirrels to watch. Just before the first sign of Kiddy comes into sight look out for the carving of the king fishers across the bank, just around the bend from this is your first glimpse of an old chimney, used when carpets were still made in Kidderminster. Not long after this the towpath widens out into a tarmacked path and smart houses can be seen on the opposite side of the bank. Continuing along the path and under an old bridge and you catch the first glimpse of Kidderminster, the steeple of one of its churches. Not long after this you pass St. Mary’s and All Saints, an imposing sight and at the time we passed it’s bells were ringing. It is the largest parish Church in Worcestershire and dates mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries. (We intend to visit again to take a look around later in the year).

Just a few yards further on and you cross over the canal, and drop down under the bridge and back onto the towpath into the town center. It’s worth going into the town to look at some of the old mill buildings that now house shops and cafés.  Back onto the towpath it’s an easy walk to Watermill. At this point there are several choices, continue on to Stourport, turn around and walk back, pop into the Watermill for light refreshments or a pint or two, or visit Brinton Park just over the road from the Watermill. We have done this walk many times, sometimes carrying on to Stourport, other times just retracing our steps or dropping into the Watermill, but we have never been to the park. So this trip we decided to take a look.

12.067 hectares of open land it could be called beautiful if it wasn’t for all of the rubbish laying around and the graffiti.

The park boasts Public and Disabled Toilets, Bandstand, Bowling Green, enclosed play area, tennis courts, basketball courts and five-a-side, ornamental beds and gardens and sensory garden, paddling pool and skate-park, although we could only find one garden and wasn’t all that sure whether it was the sensory garden or one of the others and the padding pool as gone. We found an old map of the park and would have loved to have seen it in its heyday with it’s cannons and ornamental pools.


Tilly Travel

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