Family Outings: The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

The one-stop Empire shop


The venue

The venue

Established in 1868, the Royal Albert is a classic Victorian museum. Crammed under one roof you will find an outstanding collection of objects from around the world, an extraordinary collection of stuffed mammals, a vast butterfly collection, an Egyptian tomb and a decent smattering of local Devon history. The building is notable in its own right, constructed in the Gothic revival style from limestone, pink granite and lava-based Pocombe stone. The museum's 16 galleries draw on the South-west's role in the British Empire and the age of exploration.

Something for children

The more exotic ceremonial garments, particularly those from Africa, will set their imaginations racing. Several of the galleries have activity boxes, aimed at children aged five to seven, and there are also plenty of hands-on gadgets and touch screens. The animal collection is an astonishing sight and includes a polar bear, an African elephant, Gerald the giraffe, a hippo, and a Nile crocodile, as well as a tiger shot by King George V in 1911. The museum cleverly uses the exhibits to drive home a strong conservation message.

Something for adults

You will probably be drawn to the exceptional World Cultures section on the first floor. Among some exquisite items, the highlights include two carved wooden figures from a village in Afghanistan, while the pre-Columbian pottery section is of high quality, too. The collection of material from Captain Cook's early voyages is quite exceptional.

Refreshments

The café is bright, airy and family friendly. Dishes range from pasties to jacket potatoes, and spinach and feta lattice.

Souvenirs

Items in the museum shop are a cut above the usual offerings. Kashmiri floor cushions go for £70, fenceposts carved from Australian wood cost £18 and there are Tibetan prayer flags and oddities such as Guatemalan worry dolls (tell the doll your worry, place it under your pillow and in the morning, the worry's gone).

Admission and access

The museum is open 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays and Bank Holidays. Admission free. The museum has full disabled access and parking for Blue Badge holders. Wheelchairs are also available.

How to get there

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Queen Street, Exeter EX1 1JN (01392 665858; www.exeter.gov.uk/visiting/attractions/museums/ramm/index.xml).

By car: there is car parking close by.

By public transport: Virgin Trains (08457 222333; www.virgintrains.co.uk) run services to Exeter St David's. The museum is a 15-minute walk away. Buses from the station stop in Queen Street or in the adjacent High Street.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test