Tiverton Museum is a wonderful hidden gem, with so much to see and do. Home to the iconic steam train, the ‘Tivvy Bumper’, it also has several galleries related to local history and rural life.
Entry is free for children, and adults pay a minimum of £5 per visit or £14 for a year’s membership. Included in this is the current (until October) ‘Trash or Treasure?’ quiz trail in which visitors can take part in archaeological activities around the museum and answer questions on what they find to claim a sticker at the end. My children loved donning the hard hats and digging and dusting in sand trays to identify various hidden objects. the metal detecting activity was especially popular and occupied them all for a good while.
There are many interactive exhibits around the museum and we had lots of fun with the dressing up and hands-on play opportunities. There is a lovely area for younger visitors with foam shapes and a toy box too.
The ‘Tivvy Bumper’ is housed in a separate shed (that is also jam packed with interesting exhibits) and my children simply LOVED pretending to drive the train (with requisite flat cap) and setting off all the various sound effects available (sorry people of Tiverton!) It was very hard to coax them away and the toddler went to bed chatting of ‘trains, choo choo!’
We spent a couple of very busy hours here, and could easily return and find lots we didn’t get to fully explore on this visit. There are additional and events in school holidays and other trails and explorer packs available too.
There is a small gift shop with some well-chosen toys and books, and clean, well-stocked toilets with lovely baby changing areas. The Tourist Information Office is located in the reception area
We parked in the Phoenix Lane multi storey pay and display car park situated very close to the museum (£2 for all day parking) and this made a trip to the fantastic Tiverton Library easy. The town centre of Tiverton with a selection of shops, cafes and the pannier market are a short walk from the museum, and the lovely café, Elsie-May’s is right next door. (We loved their magical teatime stories – read our blog post here.)