Surrey’s Hidden Gem is Haslemere Educational Museum

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Dinosaur Display Haslemere Museum
Dinosaur Display Haslemere Museum

Haslemere is a wonderful old market town in the borough of Waverley in the south of the county of Surrey in England. People who live in the this upmarket area benefit from beautiful wooded hills and countryside aptly named Blackdown. Haslemere railway station links the residents conveniently to London Waterloo in around 50 minutes. The A3 motorway provides local motorists with easy access to London to the north and Portsmouth and the coast to the south.

This small but perfectly formed village boasts a theatre called Haslemere Hall which also shows films. “The White Horse and The Swan Inn are the two public houses along the main street.” advises Wikepedia. There is a Waitrose and also a Morrisons supermarket and a selection of independent gift shops and boutiques which definitely add to the charm of this thriving district. There is also an excellent selection of cafes and a ASK Italian restaurant.

Every year a large Christmas tree and lights decorate the central space that used to be a cattle market. The churches and some of the buildings date back to the 12th century. There is a Georgian hotel in the high street and every year a music festival is held which attracts visitors of all ages.

Haslemere Educational Museum is a local treasure trove with a combination of galleries and exhibition spaces. The museum tells the story of human geology accompanied by rare and exotic animals and fossils. There is a display of European folk art and an area devoted to Egyptian history. The contemporary gallery features a diverse selection of local artists and several special exhibitions are held throughout the year.

The Lecture Hall and Education Room provide the venue for group visits and seasonal events and craft activities. The recent children’s festive art session was very successful and enthusiastically received by all the young people attending.

The Museum’s children’s event for meeting Father Christmas was magical. Father Christmas obviously felt very comfortable sitting next to the fireplace in the beautifully decorated Victorian sitting room as he was spoke to the children individually for quite at least 5 minutes and then gave them all a special wrapped present.

Situated at the top north east part of Haslemere town centre at number 78 High Street is the monumental Georgian facade and the grand entrance to the museum. The amenity is open from Tuesday to Saturday every week and is open all year from 10 until 4:30pm every day apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday.

Volunteers are the key to the success of this community hub and they have been helping to develop and run the institution “for more than a century.” to quote their promotional leaflet. In addition to the interactive exhibits, workshops and performances that take place there is also a Visitor Information Centre and grounds that can be enjoyed by the public. A Tree Trail and short woodland walk includes a pond and there is a herb garden to discover. The Annex is a place to relax with hot drinks available and there is a shop stocked with seasonal gifts and greetings cards.

Haslemere is a super place to visit for a day out with family and friends. It is also an ideal stopping place as part of a walking tour of Surrey and exploring further south to West Sussex and the South Downs Way.

Official Haslemere Museum website  http://www.haslemeremuseum.co.uk/

20190125 ‘Haslemere’ Wikepedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haslemere