“ Address: Quay Road / Charlestown / St. Austell / Cornwall / United Kingdom / PL25 3NJ / Tel: 01726 69897 „
We visited the Charlestown Shipwreck Museum and Heritage Centre back in September when we were holidaying in Cornwall. I had wanted to visit last year when we were in the area but we didn't have time. However this time we knew it was somewhere we would definitely be visiting, my partner has just decided to join the Navy so it was something that was of interest to both of us.
The museum is situated in the small town of Charlestown which is near St Austell in Cornwall. The museum doesn't have its own car park as it is located in a small town but there is a pay and display right opposite which wasn't too highly priced. I would buy a ticket for about 3 hours in order to get a good look around the museum and the town.
Going into the museum we were greeted by a friendly lady who asked us how we were and if we were enjoying the weather etc. She got us our tickets and offered us a guidebook but she did emphasise that we didn't have to buy one if we didn't want to. We decided to buy one as we thought it was reasonably priced and would be nice to look at as we were going round. I think it was about £1.50 for a colour book.
We then progressed onto the museum, you go outside first where there are remote controlled boats to play on and also a lifeboat to have a look around. We then went inside and were greeted by a historical display of Charlestown, there was a small tunnel we went down which bought us outside giving us a brilliant view of the harbour.
Going back inside, we came to the RNLI display. This was huge and there was so much here to see. The lifeboats are really important to us and we found it great looking around here. There were some charity boxes dotted around should you wish to donate which we did.
You then progress through to a diving display. This was brilliant as it showed diving suits throughout time. It was really interesting and great to see how the suits had progressed.
We then went through to the World War section of the museum which was really interesting. There was so much to see in here and it was wonderful to see some of the things that would have been used all those years ago.
The next section was the Ocean Liners which included the Titanic. This was one of the areas I was most looking forward to as we are both really interested in the Titanic and it was wonderful to see some of the history from it. Things here included letters from passengers aboard the boat and these were truly fascinating to read, yet heartbreaking at the same time. One of the things the museum boasts it has is the necklace worn by Kate Winslet in the film, this was beautiful and it was really nice to see it among the other historical pieces.
The final section of the museum was dedicated to the Navy and shipwrecks. This part of the museum was of more interest to my partner than it was to me and he spent almost an hour looking over all the stuff and reading it all thoroughly (he never does this so it must have been interesting)!
At the end of the museum there was a small shop with some gifts in it, these were reasonably priced and the staff in the shop were very polite and friendly.
I really enjoyed my afternoon here, as did my partner. We both said it was one of the highlights of our holiday. Initially we thought there may not be much there as the admission fee's are very low however we were really surprised and impressed with what the museum had to offer.
There was so much to see here and look at and I found it all extremely interesting. I would happily visit again next year and think it is great value for money. We visited on a Sunday afternoon in September and it was very quiet, we saw perhaps 10 other people whilst we were there. I think this is a shame as it is such a lovely place and museums like this deserve support as what they have here is fantastic.
I'm unsure if the museum is open in winter as the website states it is open March - October so if you are planning a visit you should certainly phone ahead to check. Prices for 2010 were as follows:
Students and Disabled £3.95
Senior Citizens £3.95
Paying Child £2.95 (one child under 10 is free when accompanied by a full paying adult)
We loved our trip here and will certainly be visiting again, it was fantastic value for money and there was plenty to see and do here. I think families will also enjoy the museum and the staff were lovely.
For more information please visit http://www.shipwreckcharlestown.com/index.htm