Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Not only was the Shipwreck Museum in St. Austell a brilliant place to visit, the gorgeous town of Charlestown it resides in, was an absolute gem of a place to visit too. The Shipwreck Museum is not a huge place and therefore, not too overwhelming. Also, it won't take all day to get around and therefore, will leave you with time to see the rest of the harbour town. The staff gives a little leaflet to the children so that they can lead the adults around to find information about various shipwrecks, and at the end, they can turn their leaflet into a paper boat.
You start off by visiting a small exhibition which is really quite fascinating, telling the stories of pioneers who have brought the world of diving and wrecking to what it is today. After that, take a look at the visual display that takes you through the age of diving, how equipment and the clothing worn for diving has changed over the years and how technology has made it possible for greater discoveries to be made.
After that, you will head into the actual museum, learning all about famous and lesser-known shipwrecks, about fascinating stories like a crew of men performing a 'Death Dance' as they went down with the ship. Of course, you will see real-life treasures that have been found over time, and learn all about ships like the Titanic and the Mary Rose. The Heart of the Ocean necklace from the movie Titanic is also on display here!
All in all, it's a really nice trip, with little things to keep the children entertained and doesn't take too long to complete. It's a brilliant learning experience and would tie in really nicely if you're learning about shipwrecks, the Titanic, or even Henry VIII.
After the Shipwreck Museum, you simply must head down to Charlestown, it is such a gorgeous little place! There are wooden-hut take away food places lining the harbour which you can go down to, or head along to one of the two shingle beaches split by the harbour wall. Despite the fact these beaches are full of pebbles, they are really lovely, nice and quiet and lots of fun for the children who can explore the rocks and hunt for crabs.
There's also a huge pub at the end of the harbour where you can get a bite to eat or a refreshing drink. Actually, there are quite a few little cafes and eateries here, more than it seems is needed for such a small place, but at least it gives you plenty of choices and you're not stuck waiting for a table.
The car park is only a short wall from both the museum and the beach so you could easily pack your beach stuff and pick it up after your museum trip if you wanted to make a day of it. I certainly would recommend it!