Durham Oriental Museum

Durham Oriental Museum

We visited the Durham University Oriental Museum a few weeks ago. This is a place that’s been on my list to go to for a long time but I’ve never quite made it before. If you’ve got a fan of all things Egyptian living in your house, or you know someone fascinated by all things from China or Japan, then it is definitely worth a trip to the Oriental Museum. The museum displays everything so well that even the youngest visitors will be able to get involved.
There is a small car park outside the building, which is free, though entrance to the museum is £1.50 for adults, over 65s and children aged 5 and over 75p. Infants and students are free.

Inside there are several floors and mezzanines which take you around the building and through various displays, exploring cultures, history and geography. The displays are wonderful and varied, with some large items like a wooden bed and tiny items like jewellery. The Egypt collection is the largest in the North East and has items such as gold amulets and stone sculptures. Find out about Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and more in the India and South Asia collection, and I found the small but varied Korean collection fascinating; it includes ceramics, furniture and metal instruments. Current special exhibitions include the Shogun’s Cultured Warriors and Daily Life in Ancient Lebanon.
each section of durham oriental museum has tables with colouring pencils and different worksheets or colouring pages
In each section there are tables with colouring pencils and different worksheets or colouring pages, which was absolutely brilliant for James and Noah to enjoy while we were actually able to look at the exhibits. There are also plenty of dress-up stations, too, along with several sensory exploration points, and toys, like Playmobil in the Egyptian exhibit.
durham oriental museum has plenty to engage younger visitors, like playmobil in the egyptian exhibit

durham oriental museum
The Oriental Museum also houses five items from the CBeebies programme Teacup Travels, though to appreciate those I think you need to be older than my boys!
There is a café, though we didn’t try it out on this visit. The shop houses too many cute things, and pretty reasonably priced, so you have been warned! We came away with a gift for everyone!
There is also the Little Dragons Club each Wednesday for Under 5s include songs, story time, crafts, role-play, gallery hunts and object handling, all of which really sounds fun.

Visit the Oriental Museum at Durham with the whole family as there's plenty to marvel at with amazing collections, exhibitions, and enjoy fun family activities.

All in all, for every age, there is something to enjoy in the Oriental Museum.



  1. July 1, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Wow, I would never have thought of going to this museum with my toddler. But I love the little play stations. I really like it when museums make it clear kids are welcome as I always think they are a great place for them to wander round and explore. Will bear if in mind when I’m next in Durham.

  2. July 2, 2016 / 7:55 am

    Looks like a great day out. My boys love looking round museums and getting hands on. Thanks for sharing.

  3. rockandrollpussycat212
    July 3, 2016 / 11:17 pm

    I haven’t been there for years. I nearly really thought about taking Eli, but I think we’ll have to try out the Little Dragons club

    Cat x

    • July 4, 2016 / 9:41 am

      Ah, you must have a try of it if you can. I’m gutted I’ve found out about it and I’m at work while it’s on.

  4. July 4, 2016 / 9:09 am

    Looks like a really interesting place and one I’ve never been to before. Imogen my eldest has been studying the Egyptians at school so would interest her i’m sure

    • July 4, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Yes, I’m confident Imogen would find it fascinating and probably really useful too.

  5. July 5, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Seems like a pretty cheap day out – I’ve always fancied it too and must make the trip. My three love the mummy at the GNR but this one looks even better 😀

    • July 5, 2016 / 9:10 pm

      Yes, pretty easy on the train, too, and a great place to visit after/before a trip to Fat Hippo?!

  6. July 11, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    This looks really interesting. Like you, i loved Egyptian history, with Pyramids and Pharaohs. I guess James was too young for hundreds of repetitive jokes about the Mummy and his Mummy, before trying to wrap you up in toilet roll? #daysoutwithatoddler

    • July 11, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      He was so engrossed in the playmobil he never even saw the mummy!! Next time, perhaps 🙂

  7. reimerandruby
    July 12, 2016 / 2:13 pm

    I love visiting Museums because it lets you learn the country’s history and cultures as well. It’s very interesting and educational. #daysoutwithatoddler

  8. July 15, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Looks like a really good day out. I like that they have bits to involve the children.#daysoutwithatoddler

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      I thought of it as distracting the children while I look at exhibits Amy, but I’ll go with “involve” – it sound more parenty 😉

  9. July 17, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Oh I have never heard of this place before. It sounds like a great place to visit, it is so cheap too ! Xx

    • July 17, 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Definitely worth a trip Lindsay! Xx

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