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Mayflower Museum

mayflower museum plymouth

Discover Plymouth’s Maritime Story at the Mayflower Museum

Learn how a famous ship helped shape both British and American history at the interactive Mayflower Museum on Plymouth’s historic Barbican harbour. Bringing to life the dramatic story of the Pilgrim Fathers’ voyage to the New World in 1620, this family-friendly museum uses immersive exhibits to experience their perilous but pivotal journey.

Alongside full scale ship re-creations and evocative visuals, costumed interpreters involve kids in 17th century tales of adventure and religious persecution. Here’s how to make the most of a family day out at the Mayflower Museum in Devon’s vibrant ocean city of Plymouth.

mayflower museum plymouth

Getting There

Conveniently located on the cobbled waterfront of the Barbican district, the museum is well signed and just a few minutes’ walk from Plymouth city centre.

Nearby pay-and-display parking is available or use one of the large city centre car parks around 5 minutes walk away.

The museum is also close to bus and train stations.

If you want to come by boat, the landing stage is a 2 minute walk from the Museum for local ferry links to Cawsand, Mountbatten, Mount Edgcumbe and the Royal William Yard.

Opening Times

The Mayflower Museum is open 7 days a week:

April – October: 9am – 5pm November – March: 10am – 4pm

Last entry is one hour before closing time. The museum is closed only on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Ticket Prices

Entry prices are:

  • Adults: £5.00
  • Children 5-16: £3.50
  • Family (2 adults + 2 children): £14.00
  • Under 5s: Free

Members of the Mayflower 400 Club get free entry. Gift aid tickets are available.

mayflower museum

Interactive Exhibits

Hands-on exhibits at the museum that bring the Mayflower story engagingly to life include:

  • Mayflower II – climb aboard a life-size recreation of the ship’s hull to imagine crossing the Atlantic packed in.
  • Mayflower Sailor – take the helm of an interactive virtual sailing simulation navigating rough seas.
  • Costumed Role Play – try on Pilgrim outfits and act out the settlers’ lives with the staff.
  • The Mayflower Story – follow an animated fly-through visualising each stage of the famous 1620 voyage.
  • Model Ships – see intricate models of the Mayflower and other ships from its era.
mayflower museum

Artefacts

Alongside the high-tech exhibits, authentic artifacts help tell the tale:

  • The Mayflower Compact – see a genuine Pilgrim document laying the rules of their new colony.
  • Native American artefacts – discover remnants of early settlers’ interactions with the Wampanoag tribe.
  • Peregrine White’s Cradle – this tiny handmade cradle crossed the Atlantic onboard for baby Peregrine, born enroute.
  • Tools, cooking implements and maps charting the Mayflower’s perilous 66 day crossing of the Atlantic.
exhibits at mayflower

Builder’s Yard

Younger kids will love the builder’s yard where they can construct model boats from magnetic pieces and get creative making Pilgrim bonnets or native headdresses from the dressing up boxes.

There are also trails and quizzes based around the museum collections to engage children as they explore.

plymouth museum

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed in the Mayflower Museum? – Well behaved dogs are allowed in the museum.

Is it wheelchair acessible? – Yes, the Mayflower Museum is very well set up for wheelchairs, with lifts between each floor

Why is the Mayflower so famous? –  Put simply, it was the voyage which tool 100 pilgrims and 30 crew to the East Coast of America in 1620 and it paved the way for the colonisation of the New World.

The MayFlower: 53 Fascinating Facts for Kids

mayflower - 53 facts

Phillip Walker’s “The Mayflower: 53 Fascinating Facts For Kids” immerses young readers in a compelling journey through history. Delving into the iconic Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ quest for religious freedom, the book presents 53 intriguing facts that captivate and educate. Through vivid storytelling, Walker brings to life the challenges and triumphs of the historic voyage, offering a rich understanding of the Mayflower’s role in shaping America. This engaging resource sparks curiosity and provides a delightful learning experience for children exploring the history of the Mayflower.

Buy Now

Nearby Attractions

Pair a visit to the Mayflower Museum with other top Plymouth attractions like:

  • The Barbican – historic quayside district with cobbled streets and boutiques.
  • Plymouth Gin Distillery – Oldest working gin distillery in England. Go behind the scenes on a tour and enjoy tutored tastings. Cocktail classes too.
  • Drakes Island – Small island in Plymouth Sound with a rich history as a fort, prison and adventure centre. Boat trips available.
  • Smeaton’s Tower – Historic red and white lighthouse that was moved from the Eddystone Reef to Plymouth Hoe in the 1880s. Nice views from the top.
  • Plymouth Boat Trips – See the sights of Plymouth from the water including the breakwater, harbour, and Mount Edgcumbe.
  • Royal William Yard – Grade I listed former Royal Navy victualling yard transformed into shops, restaurants and galleries.
  • Mount Edgcumbe House – Scenic country house with impressive grounds, gardens and orangery across the River Plym from Plymouth.
  • Saltram House – Elegant Georgian mansion with impressive interiors and gardens designed by Capability Brown. National Trust property.
  • Buckfast Abbey – Working Benedictine monastery with medieval church, monk’s herb garden and grounds. Shop sells homemade produce.
  • Devonport Dockyard – Historically important Royal Navy dockyard. Home to the Submarine Museum, ships and historic boatyard buildings.

Bringing Plymouth’s pivotal transatlantic sailing into vivid life, the Mayflower Museum makes history an adventure-filled voyage of discovery for families to enjoy.

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