On Saturday 6th April we had a family day out in Greenwich to visit the Maritime Museum. It was lovely to be able to spend the day out as a family with the kids as this is something that we tend to struggle balancing with our busy schedules but definitely intend to do more often.
The Maritime Museum is a place where you can discover the history and treasures behind the associations with the sea and navigation which helps you to understand how these events help shape and change the world we live in today.
The museum itself is free entry and consists of 2 floors with lots to see with the layout being split into various wings allowing easier navigation. It is very child friendly including those with babies and buggies; with easy and spacious access to lifts.
We didn’t get to see everything (as we were with extended family members so had to be sensitive of their time) but was fascinated and entertained by all the painting, figures and activities that we participated in. We walked around and visited 3 main areas which was The Cutty Sark Figure Heads, Sea Things, Polar Worlds and lastly The Great Map/Great Map Café.
Cutty Sark (Figureheads and Decoration)
Cutty Sark is home to the largest collection of Merchant Navy figureheads in the world.
Figureheads are the carved wooden sculptures that decorate the prows of sailing ships. It was thought to be that the figure heads were the spirit of the vessel and offered the crew protection from harsh seas and safeguarding their homeward journeys.
The superstitions of the figurehead meant that the crew would go to great lengths to protect it with most figureheads being ‘females’ probably because of ships being referred to as ‘she’ and as women were not often allowed to board the ships, the figurehead could have been a representation of the sole company on a ship.
We enjoyed leisurely walking around and looking at all the different types of colourful figureheads. There was lots of space for all of us so it didn’t feel overcrowded with a buggy and Nia-Mae also had room to explore.
Sea Things allows the experience of visual spectacles of over 600 objects, where you can also get involved in hands-on-activities such as a maritime personality quiz and interactive share and discovery Maritime memories. Many of the objects are open display so you get to observe and touch close up.
We didn’t get to experience everything in this gallery as there was so much to see and everyones attention span was different with it being a larger group but this is definitely something we would want to participate in at a future date and would recommend for a family with children especially the interactive part.
The Polar regions have been a focus for British exploration and scientific enquiry for centuries and continues to do so especially with the era of climate change. This also paved the way for mythical characters and hero’s, where some were lost and some carry on today.
It was lovely to see all the paintings and videos capturing the cold and dangerous climates that explorers bravely faced. Yet being amazed how communities survive in freezing conditions and observing some of the Arctic and Antarctic wildlife.
The Great Map
Lastly we visited the Great Map area where there was a huge floor atlas which you can explore the world, join in with events and play interactive games for children of all ages with it all being free!
Nia-Mae enjoyed using the tablet that allowed her to explore different parts of the world while going on her voyage searching for requested treasures.
There was also 3 toy ships where children could play around on them independently or assisted by an adult by being pushed on the floor atlas (like Nia-Mae was by her daddy)
It was also a way for us all to relax, and for me to feed Josiah with lots of space for his buggy as the Great Map is located next to the Great Map Café where you can sit while kids play all within eyesight.
There was so much more to explore and experience and this is something that can easily be a whole day out. We would definitely want to come back and look at the other areas that we didn’t get a chance to see.
Thank you for having us Greenwich Maritime Museum!