Eden Camp is a former WW2 prisoner of war camp, which has been transformed to transport you back to life and times on both the front line and the home front.
This has been one of the best museums we’ve ever visited!
Yes, the lad and I do a like a bit of WW2 history, but I reckon you’ll like Eden Camp even if it’s not your cup of tea.
The museum consists of lots of ‘huts’. These were the PoW huts. But rather than just a museum with facts and artefacts, Eden Camp have converted most of the huts into an immersive representation of the era, with many interactive features. You don’t need to spend hours reading stuff (though you can if you want), just walking through will give everyone, whatever age, a feel for what it was like.
One of our best huts was the one showing the aftermath of a blitz bombing raid. The hut is completely blackened from the outside world, as you walk around the scenes of rubble and people needing help. There’s even smoke.
And the blitz hut shows another example of where the museum excels. Yes, there is an impressive collection of war machines, including rare tanks and vehicles, but the museum concentrates on the effort at home and the impact on people’s lives. Such as the blitz, the coal mines, the factories and the farms.
There are some gruesome bits. It is war after all. Such as people drowning in the U-Boat and the ulcers through to the bone in a Japanese PoW camp. However, smaller kids may miss these.
It doesn’t glamourise war but educates on what happened and the human costs.
The PoW recreations were fascinating, including the artwork and items made by Italian and German PoWs at Eden Camp. They also included a recreation of the Great Escape, complete with a tunnel.
It’s not just WW2 either. There’s a hut that takes you back in time to the WW1 trenches, plus there are more recent conflicts.
Also, watch out for the ARP talk where the kids can get involved. It’s very good.
This was a fantastic day out. We had lunch there in the 1940s cafe too.
It’s well worth a visit.
Three types of family tickets are available.
Here’s where you can find Eden Camp.
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