The hunt for somewhere a) fun for all 4 of us, b) somewhere that isn’t linked to cricket or basketball but is interesting to an 11 year old and c) accessible, is a regular challenge… Looking for something to do for an hour or two on a rare cricket-free Sunday, we decided to pay a visit to Port Sunlight Village on the Wirral, only a short distance away from us. There was some access information on the website, whether or not it would entertain an 11 year old and 7 year old remained to be seen….
What a lovely little place, as soon as you turn off the main road across the Wirral, you are transported back in time. Port Sunlight is a quaint and peaceful village built in 1888 by William Hesketh Lever to provide housing for the workers in his ‘Sunlight Soap’factory. Today the village has a museum, art gallery, beautiful gardens and a thriving community.
We started with a visit to the Port Sunlight Museum, parking was brilliant as we easily found a free spot outside the museum. There is level access to the museum, and the reception, exhibitions and shop are all on the ground floor. There is an accessible toilet and a lift to the tea room on the first floor. Entrance fee is very reasonable and there are carer/disabled visitor concessions.
The museum is fab for all ages, and you can take as long or as little as you like to wander around. The history and story of Port Sunlight is absolutely fascinating, I can honestly say I am a bit hooked *obsessed* and want to find out more…I won’t spoil the story too much by giving detail of all the exhibitions but not only will you find out more about Port Sunlight’s fascinating history including the architecture and the lively social scene, but also find out more about The Beatles, World War II and early marketing strategies for soap!
There is plenty for children to do with interactive activities. Our 2 were overly mystified by the concept of a phone that you couldn’t walk around with or check the cricket scores on…
After a wander around the shop we paid a visit to Number 22 next door, an opportunity to take a step back in time to a worker’s cottage furnished as it would have been in Edwardian times.
I think recreated spaces are wonderful at helping children really get a feel for history, and a trial run of wash day gave them an appreciation of the modern day washing machine!
After visiting Number 22 we were ready to hit the tea shop. The café at the Port Sunlight Museum was closed for a private function but the friendly staff directed us to the café at the very accessible Lady Lever Art Gallery directly across the road. We then had a wander around the open areas outside the museum and gallery just as the sunshine finally made an appearance, before (reluctantly *for me*) heading back into the 21st Century.
Next stop Portmeirion and Bournville to satisfy my new model village obsession….