Newest Review: ... of the ship that you can ring loudly! All the little rooms such as the galley kitchen, the hospital room etc are done to give an impre... more
Free family fun!
Glasgow Transport Museum (Glasgow)
Member Name: rachlcake
Glasgow Transport Museum (Glasgow)
Advantages: Free, good transport links, easy disabled access, friendly staff, lots to see.
Disadvantages: Ship isn't really good for wheelchair access. Cafe was really busy when we went.
The Transport Museum has recently relocated to the Riverside Museum on the banks of the River Clyde. There is a bus available every 20 minutes from Glasgow City Centre, and it takes about 10 minutes at the most to reach the museum, stopping at the S.E.C.C on the way, and then the bus travels on to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
The bus stop is located next to a generous car park, and the main entrance is visible straight away. However, we decided to head towards the riverside first, and take a look at The Tall Ship, docked next to the museum. It costs £5 per adult to board the ship, and the first child is free, with each subsequent child paying £3. They give you a fold out map at the entrance office so that you can navigate yourself round the ship, but there are staff on board willing to help you. Entry was via a ramp onto the main deck of the ship, where there were little buckets of water and brooms for kids to scrub the deck. There is a bell at the front of the ship that you can ring loudly! All the little rooms such as the galley kitchen, the hospital room etc are done to give an impression of what they were like back in their day. The stairs up onto the top decks, and to the lower ones are very narrow and steep, so not the best for small kids. There is a cafe and a soft play area on one of the lower decks, and there are some interactive activities for kids to get involved in. We spend about 40min-1 hour just exploring the ship, entering the engine rooms, and posing with the steering wheel. There is quite a lot to read but my partner was with us, and because he couldn't get on board in his wheelchair, I was very aware of not wanting to keep him waiting on the banks by himself, so didn't take all of the information in.
We entered the museum itself from the south entrance and straight away your attention is drawn to the wall of cars. There are three rows of cars on the wall, which is good from far away but I missed being able to look closely at all the vehicles. There are lots of touch screen interactive points where you can find out more information and look at old photographs of the vehicles in use. One thing we found good was at one of the massive old steam trains, there were levers and things to muck about with, representing stoking the fire and releasing the steam to power the engine - this sent pistons moving and circuits lighting up, but if you didn't do it properly, they would stop and the screen would tell you that the boiler was about to explode. Moving on!
My favourite part has always been the old fashioned street, and this has been improved on. Before, you could only look through most of the windows, but now you can actually enter the shops. There are goods in most of the shops, but I feel that this could be improved even more by staffing the shops with people "from the day".
Another highlight was going on the old-fashioned Subway train, and my daughter turning the wheel to 'drive' it - you can see the mechanisms under the floor, which can make you feel a tad queasy!
There are more things like clothes, toys and games from the past as well, so it is not just limited to transport, even though there is plenty to see transport wise. Bicycles, trains, trams, boats, cars, caravans...
There is a cafe that we did not try out, as the queue was out the door. The whole place was quite busy, but even though we had the wheelchair with us, it didn't limit too much of what my partner could see. He couldn't get into some of the old-fashioned shops, and he couldn't get up into any of the trains, but there was still a lot that he could take part in. The old building had stairs to the front entrance and a small lift, but this building is level access, and everything was on the ground floor.
Considering that the museum itself is free, it is a great day out. Because it is so near the city centre and the buses are so frequent, it means that you could spend half the day here and still be able to visit the shops, or Kelvingrove.
Would definitely recommend this museum - very interesting, interactive, fun and free!
Summary: Fun, free, family-friendly day out.
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