Last week the mister and I were looking for something cheap to do, and struck upon the completely free Bristol Museum.
The museum, located at the top of park street, next to the beautiful University Buildings, houses an eclectic mix historical relics, art, and natural artifacts.
The ground floor plays host to several exhibitions, my favorite of which was the Egypt exhibit. It didn't have the quality or quantity of artifacts that I found in London, but the gallery was much less busy, so I was able to explore the space at my own pace, and really take in the displays.
The first floor was dedicated to the natural world - dinosaurs, geology - and my favorite exhibit, a vast collection of taxidermy. (can you describe a room full of dead animals a 'favorite'..)
The contested nature of taxidermy aside, the exhibit at Bristol was really interesting. Displayed in traditional wooden display cases, with hand written labels, the exhibit had a distinctly old school vibe, which I really enjoyed. The space has received some criticism in the media for being outdated, and irrelevant, but as a (sort of) historian, it only served to add another layer to the space; I was not only interested in the wildlife itself, but also the history of museum curation. It felt so cool to walk through the same space that people have been experiencing for so many years.
I feel like this guy is trying to be scary.. | A raccoon, or as he is sometimes known, a baby bandit
The first floor, which is essentially a glorified balcony, provides excellent views over whole space (the architecture of the building was almost as interesting as the exhibits themselves, if you're interested in that kind of thing..)
On our way to the second floor we discovered a balcony over looking the atrium, and decorated with historical maps. Its nerdy, but I've always loved the look of old maps; so beautiful. And I found my house on one of them, which was awesome!
Upstairs the museum was more peaceful, and we padded quietly though exhibits dedicated to Asian ceramics and glass, silverware, and Victorian art.
Teeny tiny bottles and jars (jess sized)
On the whole, this was a really good day out (and would have been totally free, if we hadn't given in to the cries of our tummies..), and one I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a place to hide out on a rainy day. :)