(Exeter, Devon, England, UK)
The thoroughly modernised Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery on Queen Street is arguably the best museum that Exeter has to offer and is divided into a series of different themed sections, including important local relics. The archaeology collection at the University of Exeter is also of great interest to history buffs in the city and is housed within the Queen's Building, on Queen's Drive.
Located on the quayside and offering a host of tourist information and more besides, the Quay House Visitor Centre is another absorbing cultural attraction and is well worth visiting. Just outside of Exeter city, the Topsham Museum is one of a number of period 17th-century buildings situated alongside the Exe Estuary.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM)
Address: Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3RX, England, UK
Tel: +44 01392 665858
Often abbreviated to just the 'RAMM', the Royal Albert Memorial Museum operates as a multipurpose attraction, being built in the 1860s. Visitors will be able to learn about the city's rich heritage, from prehistoric times, right up to the present day. Expect to find everything from well-preserved Roman relics and ancient archaeological relics discovered from all over Devon, to local items collected from merchant houses in the city, such as moulded plaster decorations and various sculptures. The natural history section is especially interesting and is home to some enormous collections of butterflies and moths, beetle, exotic birds, starfish and geological objects. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery also manages the St. Nicholas Priory
on Fore Street.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, closed for refurbishment until 2011
Quay House Visitor Centre
Address: 46 The Quay, Exeter, Devon, EX2 4AN, England, UK
Tel: +44 01392 271611
The Quay House was built in 1680 as a storehouse for fabric and other goods, before they were loaded onto boats and transported along the actual canal. When you first arrive at the Quay House Visitor Centre, you will be able to sit down and watch the video presentation entitled 'A Celebration of Exeter', which briefly explains the city's 2,000-year timeline. There are also some local interest books, a gift shop filled with handicrafts and ceramics, and various organised activities, such as fun family treasure hunts along the quay itself.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 10:00 to 17:00; November to March, Saturday and Sunday - 11:00 to 16:00
Address: 25 The Strand, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0AX, England, UK
Tel: +44 01392 873244
Located in the outlying suburb of Topsham, which lies just under 8 km / 5 miles to the south-east of Exeter city centre, Topsham Museum tells the story of the area's rich maritime history. There are a diverse selection of exhibits here, many of which are connected to the estuary and the area's past shipyards, and include a multitude of model ships. Further highlights include exhibits relating to the movie legend Vivien Leigh, photographs, a tea room, attractive gardens and the recently opened River Gallery, which has been funded by a sizeable Heritage Lottery grant.
Open hours: April to early November, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Address: Academic Services, University of Exeter, The Old Library, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4SB, England, UK
Tel: +44 01392 264321
Founded in the mid-1990s, the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, previously called the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture, offers an extensive collection of items connected to the movie industry, animations and visual media in general, which is amongst the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom. The centre serves as a museum-type attraction, as well as a place for academic research, with roughly 50,000 items comprising the official Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell Collection, around 20,000 books relating to the world of cinema, and historic Disney merchandise from the 1920s onwards. The most impressive items on display are to be found in the two main gallery spaces and include Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock memorabilia, along with other movie stars.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 16:00
Other museums within reach of Exeter include the following:
Bovey Tracey Heritage Centre
Address: The Old Railway Station, St. John's Lane, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9GP, England, UK
Tel: +44 01626 834331
Address: The Knowle, Barton Terrace, Dawlish, Devon, EX7 9QH, England, UK
Tel: +44 01626 888557
Address: Sheppards Row, Exmouth, Devon EX8 1PW, England, UK
Tel: +44 01395 263785
Lyn and Exmoor Museum
Address: St. Vincent's Cottage, Market Street, Lynton, Devon, EX35 6JA, England, UK
Tel: +44 01598 752317
Newhall Carriage Museum
Address: Killerton House Estate, Killerton, Broadclyst, Devon, EX5 3LW, England, UK
Tel: +44 01392 462453
Newton Abbot Town and Great Western Railway Museum
Address: 2A St. Pauls Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2HP, England, UK
Tel: +44 01626 201121
Address: Hope Cottage, Church Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8LY, England, UK
Tel: +44 01395 516139
Whimple Heritage Centre
Address: Lockyer Linhay, Church Road, Whimple, Devon, EX5 2TA, England, UK
Tel: +44 01404 822499