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  1. If you have children at home who enjoy learning and discovering new things then please take a look at the Royal Signals Museum.  It’s not just for boys either as I enjoyed it just as much as my father, husband and 3 year old son did.

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    The Museum is well signposted and very easy to find in Blandford.  The most important thing to remember if you go is that every Adult over 16 MUST have photo ID as the Museum is within Blandford Army Camp Base and therefore you must show your ID to gain access.

    My husband recalled visiting the Museum many years ago and did not have high expectations but when we arrived he was pleasantly surprised to see it was completely different to his last visit.  You enter via the gift shop which meant our 3 year old was instantly begging for a toy tank but it was well worth the £3 for the quality and the fact that it kept him happy for the couple of hours we were there.

    I had already looked at the Website and read a little about Army Communications but honestly had no idea that there would be so much to discover on the subject.  I didn’t have the chance to read as much as the big boys (mainly because someone had to make sure the 3 year old isn’t breaking anything!) but I’m told all the plaques, signs and leaflets were very informative.

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    Myself and Sam had the pleasure of playing with all the interactive activities and he especially loved sending a message in Morse Code and driving the truck through a virtual world.  There’s so much for little one’s to discover including Tanks and Military Vehicles, Displays and Videos plus they can go on an Animal Discovery Trail to find the little critters in the display cabinets.  For the older ones you can pick up a Trivial Pursuits Quiz as you enter and see if you can find all the answers within (I love that there are little clues on which area you will find the answer).

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    It took us nearly an hour to wonder through the downstairs part of the Museum and I thought that when we went upstairs we would only find the Comms Café but as we got to the top of the stairs we saw there was even more of the Museum to discover.

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    My son and husband found the Truck you can sit in and drive on a big screen and they were there for ages so I left them to it and found a table in the Café.  We’d said we’ll stop for a little bite so when the others joined me we had breakfast baps and hot drinks which were very tasty and also incredibly affordable.  There’s plenty to choose from on the Menu including sandwiches, baguettes, breakfast, burgers, pastries, hot meals and cake.  The ladies who served us were very friendly and helpful, as were all of the other staff and volunteers we’d encountered.

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    After elevenses we had to go back to the Truck AGAIN and then went on to discover more vehicles and displays.  After a couple of hours my darling son turned from a well behaved and interested little boy into an exhausted little monkey and even though my husband hadn’t had the chance to read every single piece of info (I’d do the same if we were in a Cupcake Museum) I knew it was time to go and promised him we’ll come back another day.  

    We have a magnet board in Sam’s room and try to collect a fridge magnet wherever we go but sadly there were none in the Gift Shop with the name of the Museum on so he chose a great little bag of plastic Army vehicles which was less than £5 and very good value.

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    This really is one of Dorset’s best Museums and well worth the entrance fee which is currently £7.50 for Adults, £5.50 for Children and £22.50 for a family of 2 Adults and 2 Children (correct at the time of writing). There are of course other prices for Seniors, Concessions and Groups. 

    Please visit the Website for more information on location, Museum and Café opening days/times, admission prices, Museum floor plan, details on current displays and events coming up.

    Worth knowing………….

    The Museum is now open every day up until the end of October when they will change to a Winter Timetable.

    The Café is very child friendly and the staff will happily warm any baby milk or baby food for you.

    Guide Dogs are allowed in the Museum.

    There is a disabled access ramp at the front entrance of the Museum and a lift which provides access to the 2 floors.

    If you are taking a pram with you then you will have no problems navigating the Museum and 2 floors as there is plenty of space.

    Toilets are on the ground floor and there is a baby change table within the disabled toilet.

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    Thanks Royal Signals Museum for a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours with the family, we’ll be back again and wish you a very busy 2016.


  2. This time last year I read about a fantastic Daily Echo offer which involved collecting 4 tokens from the papers and then popping along to the Sealife Centre to receive an Annual Pass for a fraction of the normal cost.  We do live a good 45 minutes away from Weymouth but as my Son was only just 2 at the time (and therefore free) I knew that we’d easily make a few journeys over there for the day, especially in the summer when we could enjoy the splash park and rides. 

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    So we collected the required tokens, completed the form and went over to Weymouth with Nanny to pay and collect our passes whilst staying to have fun for the day.  We were given our passes straight away and I was very pleased to see we also had access to the Tower plus 50% off the Land Train and Pirate Adventure Golf which is next door.  We were also given a loyalty card and told that our Annual pass gave us money off food and drink in the café and restaurant.

    And so began our discovery of the Weymouth Sealife Centre and personally I feel like I know the place like the back of my hand now.  The Adventure Park is so much more than just an Aquarium and as you go in you’ll see the layout is fantastic with individual buildings housing over 1000 underwater marine creatures. 

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    There’s also a big restaurant, a gift shop, plenty of picnic space, the splash park and play area, the penguin and otter enclosure, an area with some little rides plus another smaller café and of course the log flume ride called Crocodile Creek. 

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    As you go around each zone you’ll find lots of amazing creatures including sharks, turtles, stingrays, octopus, jellyfish, seahorses, penguins, otters, seals and crocodiles.  One of our favourite areas has to be the glass tunnel where you can stand and watch huge sharks and turtles go over your head.  Our other favourite area is the rock pool where you can hold a crab or touch a starfish.  There is normally a member of staff here and they will always be happy to answer any questions you have.

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    We visited quite a few times in Spring and Summer with picnics and then in Autumn when we visited we decided to have a hot lunch.  You’ll find the large restaurant near the entrance plus there is a smaller café near the small rides selling sandwiches, hot dogs and drinks.  In the restaurant there is plenty of affordable meals to choose from, however I would have liked to have seen a few more fresh items for children and adults.

    Each time we’ve visited the Sealife Centre we’ve found the staff to be happy, friendly, informative and professional.  As most families know, when you have an Annual Pass to an Attraction you don’t worry about going in for just an hour or 2 and there was a day in the summer when we were in Weymouth for a wonder round the shops and it was fantastic to stop by the Sealife Centre just to play in the Splash Park before heading home. 

    Whilst we managed to explore the whole Park this year we didn’t have the chance to ride on the Land Train or play a round of Pirate Golf which is now on our 2016 to do list.  We did however go up in the revolving Tower on a rainy day and the views are outstanding. 


    Good to know.....

    The rides, splash park and small cafe are seasonal so please check they are open before visiting.

    The Sealife Centre have events all year round so please visit the Website to see what’s coming up. 

    The rock pool area has huge magnifying glasses which the children will love.  Be aware of standing on the rocks by the waterfall though as they are sometimes slippery and you may get wet!

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    Talks and feed times are on the Website however these may change so please enquire when you visit.  Throughout the day there are plenty of different feeding times planned which include the Rays, Penguins, Turtles, Otters and Seals. 

    If you would like a great photo souvenir of your day then head to the Turtle building or ride on Crocodile Creek.

    There are Baby Change facilities near the entrance and in Adventure Island although the latter may be closed if out of season.

    The main restaurant has a baby food and milk warming area.

    The splash park is fantastic and well worth visiting on a sunny day.  There are cubicles for changing, plenty of benches to sit at, a little play park near by and the new sensory area.

    There is a large gift shop as you exit for all of those of you who would like a sounvenir of your day.

    If you are planning to visit without an Annual Pass then try to purchase your ticket online at least 24 hours in advance as this will save you up to 20% of the ticket price.

    The Sealife Centre offer a ‘Rainy Day Guarantee’ which means if there is more than 1 hour of rain then you can visit again for Free!

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    Please visit the Website for a map of the park, feeding times, opening days/times, ticket prices, special events and news. 

    Thanks Dorset Echo and Weymouth Sealife for a great year of fun, we'll see you again soon!

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