Stepping Out: Where to go when it rains...

Tring Natural Museum, and, below, the First World War exhibition at the County Museum in Aylesbury

Tring Natural Museum, and, below, the First World War exhibition at the County Museum in Aylesbury


Just in case the English summer is less than idyllic, here are a couple of ideas that may help your sanity during the holidays.

Right on our doorstep is Bucks County Museum.

Tucked away on Church Street in the old part of Aylesbury Town, this free museum has several interactive exhibitions including WW1, Tudors and local history and geology.

Dress as a Tudor and pretend to dine at a banquet or learn how fossils are created.

The Toy Zone features nostalgic classics and even better, numerous toys for children to try including a do-it-yourself Punch and Judy show.

The museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and there are craft activities every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

A small café serves good value drinks and snacks.

Just next door is the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, ideal for under 8’s. Scramble through Mr Fox’s tunnel and marvel at The Giant Peach. Family tickets cost £17.50.

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Only nine miles from Aylesbury is the Natural History Museum at Tring.

This beautiful Victorian building holds Lionel Walter Rothschild’s incredible collection of animals ranging from costumed fleas to a giant sloth.

Marvel at the chain-mailed pangolin and see who can be the first to spot the huge elephant seal. Entry is free and gallery trails are available for 50p; a great way to encourage children to look at everything.

The Discovery Room features hands on games and puzzles.

Opening hours are 10-5pm Monday to Saturday and 2-5pm on Sundays. Pushchairs can be left on the ground floor or there is a lift.

The small Zebra Café serves drinks and snacks. If the weather is fine there is a picnic area outside. The museum does get busy in the afternoons so beat the crowds and get there early. Head to Tring High Street, then turn right into Akeman Street.

The museum car park is at the end on the left.

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