With an estimated 269 billion emails being sent each day, is mail still relevant? You bet! Especially when it comes to Royal Mail and all its history. What better way to spend an overcast day in London than a visit to the Postal Museum.
Date Visited: 10th March 2018 – 10am to 11:30am
Location: Postal Museum, 15-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA
Getting There: Closest train – Farringdon station (12 mins walk). There is paid street parking available close to the museum. We parked in Lloyd Baker St, but did pay £12 for the privilege of two hours)
Cost: From £5 for the Sorted! play space only, up to £17.05 for a full Adult ticket that includes the 15-min Mail Rail ride
Review: We opted for an early 10am start when the Postal Museum opens. Like most museums in London, an orderly queue was already forming by 9:50am, mostly comprised of either young families or the older generation. Please note that there’s two buildings for the museum, with the Mail Rail and Sorted! play space in the building marked ‘Mail Rail’, so ensure you queue at the correct one.
A quick security and ticket check and we were in the Sorted! play space. Like most toddlers, Cara walked around the entire space first, spending about a minute at each section before settling down at the post office shop window. The space is decent as they keep the number of kids limited for each session, so there’s minimal wait times for the more popular activities like the sorting area and slide. There’s a few different play stations to choose from – wooden blocks, mail van, post office shop, sorting area, and a slide.
Cara’s into her role-play so she was in her element, spending the majority of the 45-minute time slot sorting and delivering the letters. Before we knew it, the bell rang and time was up. There are toilet facilities within the Sorted! play area which is quite handy. For the parents, there’s a coffee stand and seats to sip your latte on while the kids go free range.
We purchased the Exhibition tickets as well, but not the Mail Rail ride. The train is quite small and confined, going through dark tunnels. We thought we would wait till Cara was slightly older. Both exhibits (downstairs of the Mail Rail building and in the actual Museum) were very informative and interactive for kids. Various sections allowed Cara to push buttons, wind levers, touch screens, and write a postcard. Although we whizzed through both exhibits, you could spend more time there, but after all the playing Cara started to get hungry. There is a cafe available at the main building but we did not choose to eat there, however all the tables were full which suggests it was decent.
More details: https://www.postalmuseum.org/
Burn Time: 2 out of 5 – you won’t spend the whole day here, but enough to keep the kids busy for at least 90 minutes
Value: 4 out of 5 – can go bare minimum and pay for the Sorted! play area only
Overall: 3 out of 5 – something different if you’ve never been before, but not somewhere where’d you go back every week