The Maritime Museum offers a glimpse back into life at Buckler's Hard, an 18th century ship building village in the New Forest. You can learn about the history of building ships for Nelson's fleet, see the historic cottage displays of how the village would have looked in the 1800's and find out about the exploits of the first solo world voyager, Sir Francis Chichester. For children there's an age based quiz to take through the museum and around the village , asking questions for your children to seek out the answers.
From the museum you can walk down to Shipwright's Cottage with it's recreated interior. Having looked at the labourers cottage in the museum, one can really see the difference in living standards between skilled and unskilled workmen.
The walk down to the water through Buckler's Hard is picturesque, do look out for St. Mary's Chapel in the terrace if you visit. Many of the terraces houses you will see are lived in and if you want some good food the Master Builder's House Hotel is right by the river at the end of the terrace.
Walk down the terrace and turn right at the bottom to find the Woodland Walk. This short walk gives some nice shade on sunny days and the informative signs help you find out more about the trees.
Once the children had completed the quiz and we had explored Buckler's Hard we returned to the museum to collect their certificates and chocolate gold coin, which we took to the small orchard opposite to enjoy. Both Kitty and Ozzy enjoyed the trail, there were a couple of questions that had us all stumped but we persevered and got all the answers in the end!
We can recommend the Giant Viennese Whirl from the Captain’s Cabin Tea Rooms - one of these fed all three of us! There's seating inside for dining or outside, with a green space for little ones to run around whilst you enjoy a coffee.
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