Small volunteer-run rural centres to a large London national museum, the longlist for the 2014 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award proves that whatever your size, whatever your collection, whatever your budget, you can still successfully welcome families.

In Britain’s biggest museum award, and the only one judged by families, over 800 grandparents, aunties, uncles, parents and loads of kids, shouted out for their favourite family friendly museum. Often it’s the small touches that make a big difference to a family visit.

At Compton Verney Art Gallery, there’s no problem if children run around the huge Henry Moore sculptures.

At Beamish’s pit village, chips are cooked in real old-fashioned dripping so even your taste buds are transported back in time.

At the Cardiff Story, families loved being welcomed with a ‘Hello!’ when they went in.

Tenby Museum and Art Gallery in Pembrokeshire was praised for its excellent family friendly loo.

Watts Gallery, Surrey, enthused one young person for life: ‘Before Watts Gallery I really hated art, I couldn’t stand drawing, writing, anything to do with art or history. History always seemed boring to me. However, once I got stuck in to the activities I got really interested in art and the history of the house, and the pictures and the way they used to live. I actually learnt how to draw, paint and even sculpt.’

Twenty museums shone out as offering a fantastic family visit.

The longlist for the 2014 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award is:

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Beamish Museum, Durham

Bodelwyddan Castle, Rhyl

The Cardiff Story

Charnwood Museum, Leicestershire

Compton Verney Art Gallery, Warwickshire

Elgin Museum, Moray

Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre, Yorkshire

Geffrye Museum, London

Havering Museum, Essex

The Lightbox, Surrey

Lynn Museum, Norfolk

National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth

North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Essex

Rural Life Centre, Surrey

Science Museum, London

Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, Pembrokeshire

Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Cumbria

Watts Gallery, Surrey


What Happens Next?
YOU help choose the winner of the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award.

The 20 longlisted museums are presented to a panel of experts, including celebrity children’s author Damian Dibben, Game of Thrones actress Hannah Murray and historian and author Helen Castor. The panel is chaired by Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. These experts pick a shortlist, to be announced in July.

The shortlisted museums are road-tested anonymously by families, using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a guide to their family friendliness.

Families – Would your family like to be mystery museum judges and help pick the winner? Then email [email protected].

Order your free copy of the Kids in Museums Manifesto from manifesto@kidsinmuseum[email protected]


Want to find out more about the history of the Family Friendly Museum Award?

Have a look at some of our previous winners.

Have a look which museums made it on to our shortlist in 2013.

Terms and Conditions of Family Friendly Museum Award

It’s not all about winning – why entering the Award is important for every museum.
Here’s one museum’s story of how simply going through the process of making a nomination is making a difference