Royal Gunpowder Mills
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Average time spent – 4-6 hours.
Things to do at Royal Gunpowder Mills review
The Royal Gunpowder Mills are a great day out for primary school-aged children and above. The idea of a gunpowder themed day out may seem a bit odd but they’ve taken the science theme and run with it, which has worked really well.
There is a museum of gunpowder which has been made really interactive, you can learn how to make gunpowder and find out what is was like to work in a gunpowder factory. There is also an armoury where you can see the weapons that use gunpowder and a rocket vault, where you can see rockets related to both combat and satellite launches.
There is a small 1940s exhibition which includes a toy shop set up, a kitchen set up and an Anderson Shelter. An air raid siren goes off every so often which sensitive children might find scary, it terrified me!
During the school holidays, The Royal Gunpowder Mills run “Mad Lab” sessions with Professor Nitrate. These involve a display of cool science stuff and then hands-on science activities. My children were 6 and 8 last time we visited and really loved it. You can also build your own rocket and launch it outside to see how far it goes and race each other with water pressure propelled bottles.
Outside, there are a collection of “bikes” which move in different ways to help children understand the physics of motion. You can also take a land train tour of the site. You get to see all of the buildings where the gunpowder was made and lots of wildlife. We’ve done it twice and the volunteer narrator was excellent both times. Despite being over an hour, it kept both of my kids engaged. There is also a wooden playground for children to enjoy.
If you want to visit all of the areas, take part in the mad lab workshop and do the land train site tour then you’ll probably need around 6 hours, depending on how long you want to spend in the playground.
Eating – There is a cafe selling sandwiches, jacket potatoes, cakes and snacks. You can eat a picnic in the grounds.
Facilities in brief – Museum and exhibition. Land train tour, bikes for kids, wooden playground and school holiday workshops. There are toilets and a cafe.
Entry price – *Mid-range
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *Mid-range. An adult standard ticket is just over £10 and just under £9 for a child aged 3-15, under 3’s are free. Car parking on site is free.
Opening: They are currently closed due to Covid 19. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Address: Beaulieu Dr, Waltham Abbey EN9 1JY, Essex, England. Phone: 01992 707370
This is a guest post by Josie from Business for Mums
Category – Museum with indoors and outdoors things to do – Mostly suited to children from primary age.
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