Despite Good Friday dawning grey and wet, we were determined to start the school Easter Holidays with an adventure – so we decided to go explore one of London’s newest museums – the Postal Museum near Farringdon. I’ve wanted to go since it opened, so I couldn’t wait to check it out.
And I wasn’t disappointed – what a brilliant place! We were immediately impressed with the fascinating exhibits which were ideal for all ages. I loved reading about the origin of the national postal service and the impact it had on society. It was really thought provoking, imaging a society when the only person who could send a letter was the King, through to the revolution that was the introduction of the postage stamp! And the current exhibition displaying perfectly preserved letters recently recovered from World War 2 ship wreck was incredible. I loved seeing things like the stamp design for Edward VIII before his abdication and all the gorgeous poster art from the last century.
Meanwhile, the kids had a blast searching for different exhibits in their welcome pack – from different postbox designs to stamps on display.
Being such a new museum, I knew it would be interactive, but I was so impressed with the range and quality of the hands-on activities. Alex and Sophie were easily able to explore independently.
They adored designing their own stamps – and we all loved the results!
The museum is split over two sites – the main Postal Museum, and then the MailRail depot across the road. I had no idea that mail was transported on a special underground railway for 70 years until 2003! Again, there were some fabulous interactive displays to teach us all about it.
Here are the kids learning about pneumatic tubes and racing each other.
And probably our favourite hands-on challenge – a mail sorting challenge on a moving train (well, the floor was moving to simulate the movement of a train making it pretty tough to sort letters!)
Here’s Alex zooming in on a historical image of the room he was standing in to see how it had changed.
Visitors can ride the MailRail, but we sadly hadn’t booked tickets in advance, so tickets were sold out. But we still enjoyed clambering into different engines and watching the train head off down the tunnels.
We had such a fun trip – it’s rare to find something that’s both truly fascinating and unusual – and that’s really fun for little ones. We will definitely be back again soon, with better advance planning so we can actually ride the MailRail!
Oh, and I loved the living wall outside the entrance…