Discover Bucks Museum is a local cultural heritage venue, located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, with regional archaeological artefacts, plus a section on Roald Dahl. I have reviewed the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery separately HERE
The museum was founded in 1831 as the Aylesbury Museum, and it has been housed in its current building since 1883. The museum’s permanent galleries tell the story of the people and landscapes of Buckinghamshire, from prehistoric times through to the present day, covering a wide range of topics, including archaeology, social history, natural history, geology, art, costumes and photographs.
The museum has been refurbished recently and now has five brand new galleries. You start your journey 200 million years ago by meeting one of the largest marine creatures ever to exist called the Pliosaur. You will be greeted by the outline of this huge sea monster stretching across the gallery to a display of its fossil bones found in Aylesbury. Lots of other fossils from Bucks prehistoric seas are also on display, including Tusks from Wooly mammoth, tooth of shark, claw of a dinosaur, different types of ammonites, etc. Ay also loved checking his height against the Neanderthals.
Discover Bucks Archaeology comes next, which had “Lenborough Hoard”, one of the largest hoards of Anglo-Saxon silver coins ever found. You can also find a spectacular 3000-year-old Bronze Age sword here. Discover Bucks People had a big glass cabinet displaying a number of objects, captioned “every object tells its story”. Next to it was a touch screen, where you could find information about each of these objects. We loved finding out where the dragon statue had come from, or why there were red boots in the cabinet, or what was the giant headdress.
Discover Bucks Wildlife contained mammals, butterflies and birds found in Bucks. Ay kept shouting with delight as he identified all the different birds he had seen. There is also a life-size cast of a black poplar tree (from Valle Park, Aylesbury) with many interactive features. You can open doors to find animals residing in trees (like an owl or a bat) and you can wave your hands in front of the sensors to light up the holes for information. Did you know that more than half the population of British black poplar trees grow in Aylesbury Vale?
Upstairs is the Art Gallery (with temporary exhibitions by professional and amateur artists from Bucks) and Tudor House. Buggies and pushchairs have to be left downstairs as they cannot be accommodated in the exhibition. The Tudor House, which is the oldest part of the museum dating back to the 1470s, and has a splendid black and white wall painting on the wall, medieval roof and a room where you can try out vintage costumes. There are signs on boards telling you. what to look out for in the wall or the ceiling etc, so you don’t miss anything.
Although the Museum shares space with the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery (reviewed HERE), separate admission prices apply. The pricing structure is a bit complicated but I will try to simplify it. Discover Bucks museum is FREE for children but Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery costs 8.50£ for children aged 4 – 15. Children of any age can enter for free if they have Blue Peter Badge holders. ADULT ticket costs £5.50 which covers both the Museum + Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery for the day. You can use the same ticket to visit the museum (only) for free for 12 months, but you will still have to pay 5.50£ to get into the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, unless you buy one of the passes, which in retrospect I should have 🙁
We spent 1 and a half hours at Discover Bucks Museum, which included visiting the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery. In addition to its permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum also offers a variety of educational and family-friendly activities, especially during school holidays. The Discover Bucks museum is open Tuesday to Saturday but Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery is open only on Saturdays and during Bucks school holidays, so please check before going. You can also get sensory backpacks from the reception to enhance your experience.
Address: Church St, Aylesbury HP20 2QP, United Kingdom
Although the Museum shares space with the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, separate admission prices apply. Please see updated prices HERE. The pricing structure is a bit complicated but here is the simplified version:
Discover Bucks museum is FREE for children but Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery costs 8.50£ for children aged 4 – 15, though is free for Blue Peter Badge holders. ADULT ticket costs £5.50 which covers both the Museum + Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery for the day. You can use the same ticket to visit the museum (only) for free for 12 months, but you will still have to pay 5.50£ to get into the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery (which I did not like).
There is no available parking outside the Museum but you can park in either the Exchange Street car park (HP20 1QY) or Friarscroft Car park (HP20 2TE). I think it was 1.20£/h
Toilets and baby facilities on site
Small café on site but many options in the nearby town centre
The garden is open with outdoor seating available
Buggy friendly. There is an accessible entrance on the corner of St Aldates, opposite the Sainsburys. Press the door buzzer and someone will let you in. You are welcome to leave prams while you browse our museum, but they are left at the owner’s risk.
Assistance Dogs are welcome in all areas of the museum, unlike other dogs, but they must be kept on a short lead.