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Visitors have said in their hundreds where they’ve had the best family days out at a museum. They nominated one-room volunteer-run museums with a collection of local earthenware pots; big, national museums of worldwide fame; high art galleries stuffed with Impressionists; open air museums inhabited by costumed guides in period dress; Tudor palaces; Victorian mines; museums housed in old post offices, battlements and gunneries.
Museums were nominated all over Britain, from the tip of Cornwall to Morayshire. But only 20 of the very best could make it to the longlist.
The Family Friendly Museum Award is sponsored by Telegraph Newspaper Group and gets more nominations than any other museum award in Britain, and probably in the world!
A panel of volunteers spent a very long day whittling over 800 visitor nominations down to just 20 museums – those that go the extra mile to welcome families. These are those special longlisted museums:
- Beamish, County Durham
- Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
- Compton Verney, Warwickshire
- Cutty Sark, London
- Diving Museum, Gosport, Hampshire
- Elgin Museum, Moray, Scotland
- Gallery Oldham, Greater Manchester
- The Geffrye, London
- Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
- Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey
- Milton Keynes Museum
- National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
- River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire
- Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, Devon
- Science Museum, London
- Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon life
- Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle, Cumbria
- William Morris Gallery, London
- The Winding House, Caerphilly
- Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland
So what happens next? The longlist is put before a panel of experts, including Kids in Museums’ Patron and celebrity children’s author Damian Dibben and historian and broadcaster Helen Castor. They choose a shortlist of six. These six museums – all excellent at welcoming families –are road-tested anonymously by families.
The families pick the winner.
Do you want to be one of the mystery family museum judges and help choose who wins Britain’s biggest museum award? Just email [email protected]telling us a little bit about your family and why you want to be judges.
Want pictures, quotes and interviews? Just email[email protected] or call 020 7250 8338.