The Postal Museum is a new heritage museum in Clerkenwell, London. It first opened its doors on Friday 28th July 2017 behind the Mount Pleasant sorting office which previously operated as one of the largest in the world.
At First Glance
The main entrance had a big sign on top of the building, so we easily spotted this. However, upon entering, we thought we had arrived at a cafe with lots of parents and little children. The main entrance housed the cafe and museum shop, so during our half term visit, it was buzzing! Behind this was the main exhibition area.
I wasn’t able to purchase tickets prior to our visit and therefore only got them on the day. This did not change the amount I paid, however, I would suggest you pre-plan and book in advance as the Mail Rail and Sorted! sections of the museum are timed activities. This meant that we stayed in the museum and surrounding areas for 4+ hours instead of the 2 hours that would have been plenty for a relatively small museum and a 2-year-old.
The museum is well organised and provided many interesting information and artefacts about the history of GPO (General Post Office). If you really want to dig in and make the most of your trip there, I would recommend you go during nonschool holidays or weekends. Although we visited quite early in the day, as it was during the school holidays, it was full of parents and children, which made the museum quite noisy.
The museum is very child friendly. In fact, so child-friendly that if you’re there to enjoy the peace you expect from a museum, then you would be sorely disappointed. I personally found the museum a very lovely place, but would have preferred if there was less reading (or if I went by myself!). However, they have managed to balance this out with some interactive displays. So as a parent, walking through ‘boring‘ parts of a museum with a toddler was made a bit more bearable when he was pre-occupied with big cats roaring or letters zooming pass in pneumatic tubes.
The Mail Rail Ride was the highlight of our trip. This was closed in 2003 and has been well preserved and maintained. The carriages originally only carried mail and has since been converted to carry people along a mile stretch along the London network. The underground ride is approximately 15 minutes and to those who are claustrophobic, this might sound like a long time to be cramped in such a small space. But I urge you to try this out, you will find out so much more about the postal system and what it went through over the decades.
Access is in a different building just a few minutes walk from the main exhibition.
A 0-8 year old interactive play area in the Mail Rail building where children can dress up as posties. I would recommend it for 1 to 5 years olds, as the space is quite small and I think even 5 year olds would probably get bored pretty quickly.
Value for Money
I did find the admission fees a bit steep for such a small museum, especially when you compare it to the abundance of free good quality museums available in London. However, the Mail Rail Ride was worth it for the smile and neverending questions from my little boy. Experience is priceless.
General Admission (Mail Rail and Exhibitions)
Adult – £17.05
Child – £10.45
Child with Sorted! – £11.95
Concession – £15.40
Disabled adult + carer – £17.05
Disabled child + carer – £10.45
Royal Mail Staff – No charge
Entry to all exhibitions including Accessible Mail Rail Show only.
Adult – £11
Child – No charge
Concession – £9
Disabled adult + carer – £11
Disabled child + carer – No charge
Sorted! The Postal Play Space only (45-minute session)
Child – £5
Open every day from 10.00 to 17.00
Location: 15-20 Phoenix Place, London WC1X 0DA
Have you visited The Postal Museum before? Or is there anything like this in your city?
Thanks for reading and until next time…
Love, MsMamaBean x