Newest Review: ... these were for children but had a go anyway (the less said about this the better, turns out I'm not very artistic!). What's there? In s... more
A pencil musuem.....yes such a thing does actually exist!
Cumberland Pencil Museum (Keswick)
Member Name: Kat1987
Cumberland Pencil Museum (Keswick)
Advantages: A good way to pass a few hours, you do learn a fair amount about the pencil making process.
Disadvantages: A small museum and the information is not presented in the most interesting manner.
The moment I found out I was going to the Lake District I knew I had to go to the pencil museum, I'm a bit of a 'nerd' and my favourite part of going back to school was always getting new stationery so I figured this place would be right up my street.
The pencil museum is situated in Keswick town centre and being a key attraction it is well signposted and easy to find. The outside doesn't look particularly like a museum though so keep your eyes peeled. The museum does have parking but we had parked in town so I cannot comment on the parking charges all I would say is if it is by the hour, you won't need many! We arrived prior to opening time and found several sheltered tables outside with paper and pencils, we assumed these were for children but had a go anyway (the less said about this the better, turns out I'm not very artistic!).
In short, not a lot. The museum itself is very small. We arrived at reception and paid the entrance fee. I have to say how wonderful the staff are here, we were greeted by a very friendly woman who gave us each a children's activity sheet (we are 23 and 25!) and a pencil museum pencil. I would advise people of all ages to get an activity sheet as it is fun to do and makes you pay more attention to the exhibits. I think if we weren't trying to fill in the activity sheets we would have skimmed through the museum in no time.
To get from reception to the exhibits you walk through a 'mine' complete with dummy miner, who to be honest, has seen better days. The museum takes you through the pencil making process, the history of the pencil and insight into the materials needed for pencil making in thorough detail. There are a few 'hands on' activities for children to do but nothing spectacular. The museum is also host to the worlds largest colour pencil, exciting isn't it? The downside is that the pencil is almost on the ceiling, you could potentially miss it and I really wanted my picture taken alongside it as I'm really small but that isn't possible how it's currently displayed so all in all a bit of a disappointment. There is a small darkened room in which a 10minute video on pencil making is repeatedly played, this isn't particularly entertaining but I thought it was interesting that the pencils made here were used to illustrate 'The Snowman'. There is also a 'drawing corner' which is a table and chairs with paper and pencils for children to do a bit of drawing.
You leave the museum via the shop, a crafty move to get some business but I found the products to be overpriced unless you are an artist and want to pay for the quality of course. There is also a small café on site which we didn't stop at but appeared to serve the usual tea and cake.
Overall this isn't a day out, it's an hour or two at most. I'm not sure if children would find this place entertaining but as adults with a childish sense of humour we really enjoyed it and I do know a lot more about pencils now!
9.30am - 5pm
Open everyday except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Family Ticket £10.00
(2 Adults and 3 Children aged 5-16)
Adult £3.75/ Students £3.00
Concessions and children £2.50
Under 5's go free.
Summary: Worth it if your in the area, especially if it's raining!
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