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City museums now open for free summer fun

Published on Monday, July 12, 2021

Narrow gauge railway at Abbey Pumping Station

LEICESTER’S museums are open once again – just in time for the school holidays.

The dinosaurs and mummies at the city’s flagship museum on New Walk make it a popular destination for families, but this summer there’s even more reason to visit.

From now until the end of August, Leicester Museum & Art Gallery is hosting a major touring exhibition of extraordinary photographs on loan from the Natural History Museum in London.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year features more than 100 images taken by photographers from all over the globe, showcasing the breathtaking diversity of the natural world.

It’s supported by Nature on Your Doorstep – a digital exhibition of photographs taken during the year-long lockdown, when many people rediscovered their local parks and open spaces, and the plants and wildlife that live there.

There’s outdoor fun to be had at Leicester’s Abbey Pumping Station tomorrow (Tuesday 13 July), when the museum hosts one of its regular Railway Days. Trips on the narrow gauge railway cost just 50p, with the train running from 12-4pm. A further Railway Day will take place on 27 July.

Newarke Houses Museum takes a look at the holiday habits of generations of Leicester people in a brand new summer exhibition called Wish You Were Here.

Featuring everything from day trips to Bradgate Park and weekends in Skegness to exotic holidays in the sun, Wish You Were Here will be a joyous look back at 100 years of holidays. The exhibition opens on Saturday (17 July).

The holiday theme continues at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, which hosts a new exhibition inspired by the Victorian travel pioneer whose global business started in Leicestershire.

Round the World with Thomas Cook features items from the museum’s collections and the Thomas Cook Archive.

A rickshaw from Japan, early travel tickets, recent brochures and items never on public display before all help tell the story of Thomas Cook and the business that became one of the most recognised travel companies in the world.

The exhibition is on now and continues until 14 September.

Archaeology provides the theme for a family fun day at Leicester’s Guildhall on 21 July. Part of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology, the event will include activities such as making your own tools for archaeological digs, having a go at making clay pots, and joining in with medieval games and puzzles. A small charge of £3 per child applies.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “Anyone who looks after children will know how difficult it is to find things to do in the school holidays that are both fun and affordable.

“If you’re looking for a great family day out that won’t cost the earth, Leicester’s museums are a great place to start.”

Admission to Leicester’s museums is free of charge, although there may be a small charge for some activities.

Visits to Leicester’s flagship museum on New Walk must be booked in advance. Timed tickets are free of charge and can be booked online or reserved by calling 0116 225 4900.

Pre-booking is not required for the city’s other museums.

More information about the city’s museums can be found at www.leicestermuseums.org/

Please remember your face covering when visiting Leicester’s museums.