Exploring Scotland’s Industry – old and new

Papa Joe and I have been touring around the Scottish Lowlands and visiting some interesting museums/visitors centres which are great to take The Mayhems to. All are within a few hours drive of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

National Mining Museum Scotland – Newtongrange.
The highlight was a pit tour by an ex miner who was brilliant at explaining the way everything worked. The last tour starts at 3 pm so make sure you don’t miss it.

national mining museum scotland pit tour

Pit Head Tour – Our guide, a retired miner, gave us a superb explanation how everything worked

The younger Mayhems will enjoy finding the Coal Mine Cats as they go around the exhibitions which are full of information about mine conditions and life in a pit village.

national mining museum scotland pit cats

We found ‘Boots’ the coal mine cat having a rest

Admission charge – up to 3 children with 1 full paying adult FREE –  website: nationalminingmuseum.com

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life – Coatbridge.
The noise of the belts driving the huge machines gave us a real feeling of being in a large industrial factory.

summerlee museum of industrial life 2

The noise a few drive belts make is huge.

There are hands on exhibits with experiments to try dotted all around the exhibition hall.

summerlee museum of industrial life 1

Challenging to position the cogs to make everything work

Displays tell you about the social conditions of the area. Discover what school was like or let the Mayhems dress up and go ballroom dancing after work!

The site is large and includes several outside attractions. Take a tram ride to the mine and miner’s houses,  Let off steam on the outdoor play area near the iron canal boat.

Apart from a the tram fare everything is free. – website Summerlee Museum website

The Falkirk Wheel
Watch canal boats being lifted between Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde Canal on a modern massive rotating boat lift – the only one of its kind. You can experience being lifted up on The Wheel to The Union canal by taking a 50 minute boat trip.

falkirk wheel 1

One canal boat halfway on its journey up

Spend time at the large water park with all sorts of hands on activities for The Mayhems.

falkirk wheel water park

Just be prepared for them to end up soaking wet!
Free to visit – charge to go on a canal boat ride on the wheel- website  www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk/home

The Riverside Museum Glasgow
Papa Joe always loved going to the original Glasgow transport museum so enjoyed exploring the new Riverside Museum. Everything from small skateboards to huge locomotives.

riverside bikeWe also enjoyed the displays about life in Glasgow in the first half of the 20th Century. There are lots of interactive displays all around the museum  More details here – Glasgow Riverside

The Scottish Maritime Museum – Irvine
From wooden boats to large ships there are lots to see. The Mayhems will have fun sending food to the lighthouse or playing with small battery powered boats on the small paddling pool.

scottish maritime museum irvine 1Papa and I went on the guided tour of the tenement house to see how the shipyard workers would have lived. We loved the fact that, quite rightly, the best room in the flat was kept for the grandparents to use while all the rest of the family slept ate and spent their time in the other room. The young apprentice ship workers rented space in the small open passage by the entrance to each flat. The tour also includes a visit to the MV Kyles, moored on The River Irvine.

scottish maritime museum ship yard workers house

One room for sleeping, cooking and eating

Admission charge for adults – website – The Scottish Maritime Museum – Irvine

Whitelee Windfarm – near Eaglesham
The view of the enormous turbines at largest on shore wind farm in Europe is incredible and we were pleased that you can walk right up to them.

whitelee windfarm

A wind turbine blade – massive

There are 215 turbines on the farm and over 130km of paths and trails around the site. While we were there a group of cyclists were in the cafe before getting ready to cycle around some of the trails.
The Whitelee Countryside Rangers arrange a weekly parent and baby walking group and offer activities and clubs for The Mayhems throughout the year.
The visitor centre has an excellent hands on exhibition. While we were visiting there was a family drop in session wit all The Mayhems concentrating on making colourful paper windmills.

whitelee windfarm hands onFree admission      website   www.whiteleewindfarm.com

Getting There  
Google see map or get directions

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