Derwent Pencil Museum Keswick
Having visited the Derwent Pencil Museum today in Keswick I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by my entire experience in all aspects. On arrival at the Pencil Museum you will find free parking, which to me is always a plus. There is a great coffee shop with free Wi-Fi were you may relax with a coffee and a delicious piece of cake or a sandwich, indoors or alfresco depending on the Lakeland weather, thus making this a great all weather family attraction.
The pencil museum is arguably the best value for money I have seen for a long time with a family ticket costing £10 and you can make as much or as little from this entrance fee as you and your family desire. There is a good and interesting history of the development and evolution of the pencil from the first discovery of graphite in Borrowdale. Which as legend has it in the early 1500’s, following a violent storm a tree was uprooted leading to the discovery of graphite in Borrowdale, through to today’s cutting edge new factory situated in Workington and not too far from St Bees and the start of the famous Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk
For those who like a little intrigue there is the Second World War display featuring the Secret Pencil Kits which is simply fascinating and must be the first insight into the world of James Bond and a real life Q.
The pencil factory offers a world record breaking colour pencil at nearly 26 feet long, which is supported off the ground and you can walk its length should you so desire, and there is a one time record breaking graphite pencil on display at the museum.
Pencil Museum Events
Throughout the year the pencil museum offers an array of fascinating events with a lot of these being free demonstrations run by a professional artists, the sessions being informal, full of laughter and being a great way of enjoying and experimenting with all the different types of Derwent pencils and papers. For those with a little more skill there are the paid workshops which are suitable for beginners and intermediate levels and run from 10.30 through 4.30 and pre booking is essential.
For those visitors with children you will find an abundance of ever changing displays to challenge the imagination of visitors and collages upon the vividly decorated walls of the Pencil Museum submitted by previous visitors. A great feature of the museum in my opinion is the collection of varied pencils upon the tables once you have completed your tour, wherein anyone may try their hand at doodling, sketching or for those a little better a new ‘Master’ which may be submitted to the pencil museum staff and possibly find its way onto the walls of the museum.
There are usually several on-going themed drawing and colouring competitions that the children may enter and it is well worth asking for information on this as you enter into the museum, as it can keep the children quit and especially if you would like to enjoy your tea and cake afterwards. Or alternatively anyone can have a go at the step by step drawing projects and be amazed at how quickly your drawing skills will develop.
Pencil Museum Kids Zone
This is a great themed area wherein the children may hang out after completing their tour of the pencil museum, with the current theme being to find 8 under the sea items or creatures within the museum and draw them onto the quiz sheet provided and colour it all in with the magical Derwent Pencils provided.
Should you wish to see better quality photographs of Derwent Pencil Museum please visit Derwent Pencil Museum on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.
I could now at this point burst into some form of literary genius and write all about the history of the Pencil Museum at Keswick, although firstly this is not me and secondly I believe it would spoil your visit.