Newest Review: ... in line with the theme of the place the gift shop sells an array of puzzles, Jigsaws, mind benders and gadgets. There is also a puzzle ar... more
Prepare to be puzzled!
The Puzzling Place (Keswick)
Member Name: Candyperfumegirl
The Puzzling Place (Keswick)
Advantages: Value for money and fun for everyone!
Disadvantages: In need of re-furbishment, some exhibitions not working.
A few weeks ago we booked a couple of nights away in the Lake District. It was ment to be a cheap and cheerful little break. Before going I set about researching the surrounding area where we were staying, to get some ideas of things to do and places to visit. I came across the town Keswick and thought it sounded like a really lovely place to visit. There is plenty to do there and lots to keep the family entertained. One of the places we decided to visit in Keswick was the Puzzling Place and this is my review on it.
The Puzzlng Place can be found in Keswick town center on Museum Square. Keswick does not have a train station. We travelled by car and found it easily by exiting the M6 at Junction 40 and then simply following the Keswick signs from there. As The Puzzling Place is in the City Center it does not have its own customer car park. However, the nearest car park is literally a 2-3 minute walk away at the most. I forget how much this cost now, but i remember is was not too expensive.
It didn't take us long to find The Puzzling Place, it is located above some shops. To access it you must walk up a very long flight of stairs. This may cause problems for wheelchair users or those with prams, so be prepared for this! At the top of the stairs is the gift shop, which is free to enter. Perusing around there are lots of exciting things to look at and buy. Some fairly expensive and some cheap things for around a pound or so. Obviously in line with the theme of the place the gift shop sells an array of puzzles, Jigsaws, mind benders and gadgets. There is also a puzzle area, which consists of a large wooden table running around one corner of the shop which had various puzzles displayed on them. Visiters are encouraged to have a go of them (again free of charge). We had great fun trying to complete the puzzles, but most of them completely baffled me and my partner, arg! My youngest daughter was quiet content to sit at the little desk area playing with bead maze toys, nice touch including something for the little ones.
To get into the main attraction visitors must pay at the counter. The lady behind the counter was very friendly and helpful. It cost us a little over ten pounds to enter, which I found very reasonable. The prices are as followed:
Adults : £3.75
Children / Concessions : £2.90
Family (2+2) : £11.75
Under 5's free
Entry to the main Exhibition area is located behind Some large heavy swinging doors. There are a variety of different puzzles, brain teasers and optical illusions on the walls. According to their website there are over 50 exhibits, many of which are very hands-on and interactive. A few of these exhibits were things you will have probably seen before, however some where very confusing and unique. Here are some of the main exhibitions that really stood out to us:
This is a small little room, the whole room is on a slant and gives the impression that gravity is no longer functioning! It seems like you are standing at an impossible angle and that you should fall over but you don't. There was a ball in the room and when placed on the floor it appeared to roll uphill, there was a similar idea this time with a chair on some tracks. It was really very bizaar, and did make us quiet dizzy and disorientated- but in a good way.
~Ames Forced Perspective Room~
I think that this one had to be our favourite! This was a small white room which looked perfectly normal. However, Once inside it seemed that people where growing or shrinking. I stood at one side and my three year old daughter at the other, and it seemed she was much larger than me! Brilliant little illusion. On one of the walls was a small window, an ideal place for someone to take some pictures, we got some really good ones.
A dark little room with a computer animated pond projected onto the floor, when you walk over the image the water seems to move and "splash" under your feet. Seen a few of these in various places but the kids loved it!
These included portraits (my favorite one being Marilyn Monroe), some horror ones (mummies that seem to move) relics and reptials. According to their website there are over 60 Holograms in the gallery, but unfortunately when we visited a few of them where not working, which was a bit disappointing.
It took us approx 45-60 minutes to walk around the whole exhibition. Luckily when we visited the venue was neither too busy nor too empty. However, I can imagine it gets quiet busy during rainy days in the school holiday. Since the Puzzling Place is on the small side I would suggest visiting at times when it may be quieter to get the full effect.
We really enjoyed our time at the Puzzling Place however I do have a few negative opinions. Firstly I think the place could do with a bit of a refurbishment, plus attention needs to be given to making sure all the exhibitions are in good working order (eg the hologram gallery which I mentioned before) Furthermore, I think more needs to be done in the way of access, the steep stairs leading up to the Puzzling Place could pose difficulty to many, so I think a lift would be a good idea. Lastly there are no toilets, which is a pain when visiting with small children. I have only knocked one star off my review for these problems. I believe on the whole the Puzzling Place is a great little place to visit, with lots going for it and above all I found it good value for money. I think this would suit and Interest a wide variety of people, young and old.
I don't think I would recommend making a special trip to specifically visit The Puzzling Place. However, I would certainly recommend visiting the picturesque town of Keswick and whilst there suggest you spend an hour at the Puzzling Place, you won't be disappointed.
The Puzzling Place
9 Museum Square
Summary: Great little place to visit if you are in or nearby to Keswick
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