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Royal Albert Memorial Museum

royal albert memorial museum

A Day of Discovery at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter

Located in Exeter city centre, the eclectic Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) brings together an abundance of global artefacts, Victorian taxidermy, fine art and interactive exhibits under one roof. Wander through its World Cultures gallery adorned with treasures from Ancient Egypt, follow the acclaimed Making History galleries chronologically from prehistory onwards, and admire works by old and modern masters.

With kid-friendly learning zones allowing hands-on engagement with the mammoth collections, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum makes for an illuminating day out uncovering Devon’s place in the world’s vibrant story. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to discover the highlights at one of the South West’s most engaging museums.

giraffe at ramm

Getting There

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum occupies a prominent city centre location on Exeter’s Queen Street. Well-signposted walking routes lead there from Exeter Central train station and the High Street.

By Train

Exeter Central station sits just a 2 minute walk away via Gandy Street. Frequent direct trains arrive from Bristol, London Paddington and neighbouring Devon towns.

By Car

If driving, use on-street parking or inner-city car parks a 5-10 minute walk away, like Princesshay Shopping Centre or John Lewis car parks.

Opening Times and Prices

Open Tuesday – Sunday plus bank holidays, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum is open:

  • 10am – 5pm (April – October)
  • 10am – 4pm (November – March)

The museum is only closed across Christmas and New Years.

Entry is free with charges for some special exhibits:

  • General admission – Free
  • Special exhibitions – £5-£10
ramm exeter

World Cultures Galleries

RAMM’s acclaimed World Cultures galleries showcase over 20,000 artefacts spanning continents. Some highlights include:

  • Ancient Egyptian collection – Over 400 significant pieces like sarcophagi, shabtis, jewellery and papyri texts.
  • Asian art and design – Intricate Chinese ceramics and decorative arts from across Asia.
  • Tribal art – Masks, ornaments and textiles representing indigenous cultures worldwide.
  • Islamic Middle East – ornate tiles, metalwork and ceramics reflecting opulent artistic traditions.

It provides opportunities to discover diverse beliefs, artistry and materials from across the globe.

Making History Galleries

The expansive Making History galleries utilise RAMM’s collections to tell intriguing stories of Devon and Britain through the ages via:

  • Jurassic Coast fossils – Impressive ichthyosaur and plesiosaur remains.
  • Bronze and Iron Age tools – Arrowheads, weapons and jewellery varieties.
  • Roman and Medieval relics – Mosaics, coins and inscribed stones from Exeter’s past as a thriving settlement.
  • Model Victorian streetscene – Shops, sights and sounds as the era would have appeared.

Hands-on areas let you handle real artefacts from periwinkles to Palaeolithic hand axes, drawing connections between the past and present.

statue of prince albert

Fine Art Galleries

Level 3 showcases centuries of fine art covering genres from portraitures to landscape paintings:

  • 17th to 19th Century European art – Old Master paintings from Renaissance to Romanticism.
  • Victorian narrative art – Genre scenes by artists like John Roddam Spencer Stanhope.
  • Early 20th Century British art – Pieces by acclaimed names like Walter Sickert and Sir Alfred Munnings.

The broad collections provide perspective on stylistic evolutions and renowned creators.

Natural History

RAMM’s natural history galleries incorporate everything from local ecology to exotic taxidermy. Highlights include:

  • Wildlife dioramas – Scenes with birds, fish and mammals in detailed natural settings.
  • Geology displays – Gems, ores and fossils from Devon.
  • Botanical collections – 19th century seaweeds, lichens and flowering plants from pioneering female scientists.

Providing a glimpse into Victorian curiosity about the natural world, it’s a intriguing zone to uncover.

royal Albert

Hands-On Interactive Exhibits

RAMM prioritises access and interactivity for all ages through:

  • Touchable items and activity backpacks in many galleries.
  • Costumes, green screen and construction areas in the family-oriented Watch House.
  • Regular weekend crafts, workshops and events tying into special exhibitions.
  • Under 5’s play zone with a roleplay campsite, puppets and building bricks.

From toddlers to teens, there are immersive experiences inviting creative responses and fun ways to engage with the thought-provoking collections.

royal albert memorial museum interactive

Facilities and Food

The Ground Floor Gallery Café provides hot lunches, barista coffees and cakes with outdoor seating facing the Cathedral Green. Toilets and baby change facilities available.

The Museum Shop stocks exhibition-related gifts and jewellery, local crafts, cards and books to continue your explorations at home.

With extraordinary global collections and interactive galleries tailor-made for families, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum makes for an eye-opening day of discovery in the heart of Exeter.

Being indoors, the Museum gets included as one of the many things to do when it is raining in Exeter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take do visit the museum? – It all depends on how long you want to spend in each exhibit. Often, people will spend an hour or so just looking around 1 or 2 specific exhibits, but if you want to see everything, you realistically need to allow 3 or 4 hours

Is the Royal Albert Memorial Museum accessible for wheelchairs and prams? – Yes, they make a lot of effort to allow access to everyone and you can use lifts to move between the floors. They even have a full guide to accessing the museum.

Are dogs allowed? – Only assistnce dogs are allowed in the museum.

Other nearby places to visit

There are loads of great places in Exeter and East Devon to visit while you are here, including:

  • Exeter Cathedral – Impressive medieval Gothic cathedral with the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England. Guided tours showcase the history and architecture.
  • Exeter Underground Passages – Explore the medieval tunnels under the city on a guided tour by costumed actors. Discover Exeter’s hidden history beneath your feet!
  • Killerton House – Elegant 18th century country house with impressive costume collection, gardens and adventure playground. Just 10 minutes outside Exeter.
  • Powderham Castle – Historic 600-year-old castle near Exeter, home to the Earl of Devon. Guided tours provide a glimpse into aristocratic living.
  • Crealy Adventure Park – Fun family theme park with rides, attractions and animals. Just 15 minutes drive from Exeter.
  • Escot Country Park – Estate with gardens, farm animals, adventure playgrounds, train rides and outdoor activities. Great family day out.
  • Topsham Museum – Charming local museum housed in a Dutch merchant’s house detailing Topsham’s history as an international port. Browse the period rooms.
  • Haldon Forest Park – Woodland park with walking/cycling trails, Go Ape adventures, cafes and an excellent view over Exeter from the treetop canopy walkway.
  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – Stunning 18th century gardens with ornate glasshouses, woodland trails, play area and narrow-gauge railway. Located near Budleigh Salterton.

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