Last week we took a day out to Newark, a town in North Nottinghamshire that I have passed by (to visit Waitrose mainly!) but never actually visitied!
First up was the Newark Air Museum which lies on the site of the former World War II airfield of Winthorpe. It is now the largest volunteer managed aviation museum in Great Britain.
Having just returned from America on a big jumbo jet the subject of aeroplanes still felt very real to the kids. So they were very excited and animated about the aircraft on display. As well as having plenty of aircraft on display outside there are also two hangars (one of which was used to train RAF pilots during WWII) full of more aircraft; from the first flying machines through to helicopters and more planes. There is also a store of aviation artifacts on display. So much to see whatever the weather!
We had a brilliant time at the museum. The boys had lots of questions about World War II and a visit here would be brilliant when they are older to put things into context. Some weekends volunteers open up the aeroplanes for people to have a look inside the cockpit so we will definitely have to visit again for this!
Admission for the air museum starts at £4.50 for a child (under 5’s free), adults are £8.00 and over 60s £7.00 . A family ticket (for 2 adults and up to 3 children) starts at £22 and there are gift aid options which give you vouchers to spend in the on site cafe.
After all of the fun we were starving and well ready for lunch so headed to Mamma White’s Pancake Parlour in Newark town centre. We were a little late for our booking but luckily there was a spare table. Mamma White’s is the perfect family friendly lunch stop and the boys loved making their pancake choices on their own tick box sheet. Children’s meals cost £4.50 or £5.50 depending on whether they select big or small appetite. There were some interesting combinations chosen but regardless they disappeared very quickly. I had the All Day Breakfast (£7.50) with a side order of pancakes and syrup which were delicious.
In keeping with the family friendly theme there is a little play area in the window with small toys and chalk boards which is a fabulous touch for keeping children occupied whilst their lunch is being prepared. We loved the fabulous food and friendly atmosphere of quirky Mamma White’s – a perfect family treat.
Next up was the Civil War Centre which is a short walk from Mamma White’s.
The newly renovated Civil War centre tells the story of the important role Newark took in the civil wars. We found the staff are very friendly, enthusiastic and helpful which was good as I didn’t really know much about this subject before.
On display were many finds from the area as well as a brilliant film that shows the story in action. There was also an interactive map which showed you what parts of Newark would have looked like at the time of the wars. If this is a subject you are interested in or you are local to the area things would really be brought to life here.
You can also download an app which has a trail linking all the areas in Newark. We didn’t get chance to do this but would love to return and visit Newark Castle sometime which is just around the corner. This would hopefully deepen our understanding of the subject which I think is still a bit lacking!
There is a dressing up area for kids (and adults) to reenact some of the characters and give you a feel for the characters.
During the Summer holidays there were free activities for children – Noah made a peg soldier riding on a horse!
Admission is £3.00 for children and £7 for adults with under 5’s going free and over 60’s paying £6.
We had a fantastic, educational day in Newark and would love to return again soon.