Here be Dragons – Half-term fun for all the family at Fort Nelson - Friday, 10 February 2012
Keep the kids out of mischief and mark the Chinese Year of the Dragon this February half-term by heading to the new-look Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson from February 13 to 19.
Home to the national collection of big guns, Britain’s oldest museum has lined up a special winter event – Dragon Tales – with plenty of fun for all the family.
The Dragon is the mightiest sign in the Chinese Zodiac and visitors can discover fine examples of the mythical beasts in the Royal Armouries’ collection, including a spectacular ‘dragon gun’ dating to the late 18th century and originating from Burma.
Half-term highlights include:
- Dragon’s Quest – Hunt for dragons in the Fort’s galleries. The challenge is to find them all, with a prize for the winner.
- Dragon Masks – Kids can make their own scary masks to take home.
- Dragon Tales – Story-telling sessions throughout the day (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only).
- Craft activities.
- Sexton gun-firing – Thursday, Feb 16 and Friday, 17, at 12 noon and 2pm.
Admission and parking are free at this fully-restored Victorian fort – home to the national collection of big guns – although a small charge will apply to the mask making and craft activity sessions.
Royal Armouries’ Director Peter Armstrong said, ‘We are delighted to be going into 2012 with an exciting events package, offering low-cost entertainment during the school holidays. There’s something to appeal to everybody – from big guns to tunnels, and children’s trails to social history galleries.’
For full details of all these events – plus opening times – please visit www.royalarmouries.org
Standing high on Portsdown Hill near Fareham, Fort Nelson showcases one of the world’s finest collections of artillery and cannon, from across the ages and from all corners of the globe.
Last year, this unique heritage attraction underwent a £3.5m redevelopment to create a museum for the 21st century, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- A breathtaking new glass-sided gallery – The Voice of the Guns – showcasing some of the Royal Armouries’ most remarkable exhibits, including two sections of the infamous Iraqi Super Gun, two anti-aircraft guns used to defend the South Coast, and the Great Turkish Bombard dating to 1464.
- Exciting new galleries, telling the history of the Fort and the people and stories that shaped history.
- State-of-the-art education centre – allowing children to see the past spring to life in a historic setting, but harnessing the latest technology.
- Brand new visitor centre – including Cafe 1871, which is open to passers-by and walkers.
To find Fort Nelson, follow the brown Tourist signs from the M27.
Notes to editors
For more information and the latest news about the Royal Armouries:
- Royal Armouries has sites in Leeds, HM Tower of London, Fort Nelson and Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first British national museum to open a permanent presence in another country.
- Fort Nelson in Hampshire houses the national collection of big guns and artillery. It has recently undergone a major refurbishment, with new galleries and a state-of-the-art education centre. The £3.5m project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds houses a major part of the national collection of arms and armour, and displays over 8,500 objects throughout its five themed galleries.
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business based on the same site in Leeds.