(For all the pictures shown in this post, you can simply click on them to enlarge)
When did we visit:
We visited on a Wednesday in late August. It was partly cloudy and sunny. There were not a lot of visitors in the museum. We got to explore the displays as long as we liked.
What age is it best for:
From preschoolers onwards. There are a variety of displays which you can touch and try, which is great for young kids. There is also a trail for the little ones.
How long we spent at the venue?
We arrived at 12pm and left at 2:30pm. The museum itself is small. There is an outdoor playground just next to it. I would say it’s a 2-3 hours visit if you take your time and study the exhibitions in the museum with your little ones and then play in the playground.
You can, of course, visit the nearby National Space Centre which is just less than 5 mins walk.
What else are there to see or do?
Things that definitely worth to see or do:
A few displays did not work. Would be nice if they can be fixed.
Any extra charges once I’m there?
Other things you need to know before you go:
If you want to see the steam engines in action you will have to check for their special events where they will run them to show the publics.
This is their official website: https://www.abbeypumpingstation.org
There is a section of Abbey Pumping Station in the Leicester Museums and Galleries website which I find the info very useful too.
Visit Leicester is also handy if you are visiting Leicester for the first time.
Will I recommend it as a family attraction?
Based on my experience I would recommend it as a family attraction. It would be a nice short visit. Around 2 hours if you were to take your time to explore the displays with your little ones. We love the fact that we can touch and try some of the displays. As you read along this blog post, you will see that Abbey Pumping Station is not just a museum about sewages and toilets. It also has a good range of exhibits to learn about the history of science, industry, transport, health and hygiene, some of which are related to Leicester. Very educational with easy to understand information.
Here are some pictures of the day and descriptions.
The museum is free-flowing and is not running any one-way system. We got to explore each display as long as we liked, and we can go back to any one whenever we liked too.
Once we entered the main entrance the first room is all about toilets and sewages. We loved the displays of the olden days toilets.
The huge steam engine used to power the Abbey Pumping Station.
As we walked further into the museum we discovered it does not only tell us about the history of the pumping station and sewages. There are displays and info about many more interesting stuff. I particularly love the big posters which has just enough information and diagrams/pictures.
They have a section on cinematography.
J loved this section. There are a number of displays that you are allowed to touch and try.
Transportations in Leicester.
Made in Leicester.
There is a section on clothes washing including the Victorian laundry mangle and various versions of washing machines.
Needless to say, it was only the rich people who can afford to have a bath and shower facilities installed in their houses.
Other things to see:
Hands-on activities for kids (and adults) to have a try.
Outside the museum are some more displays.
There is also a playground with sandpit. Since you do not have to pay to go into the museum and this playground it’s very popular.
For lunch, we went to a small cafe called Coffee Cafe Day . 10mins walk from National Space Centre car park. It is a small family run cafe. We had All Day Breakfast. Good price for the generous portion. Freshly cooked.
For dinner, I pre booked a table at Miller and Carter near our hotel .
For all the steak you can then choose (it’s all listed on the menu):
The food was absolutely delicious. Love the flavour and the freshness. We love EVERYTHING on our plates!
We did not have to wait for long for our food. They arrived nice and hot. We can taste that they were all freshly cooked.
The restaurant was very clean and felt comfortable.
Service was excellent. There were enough waiters and waitresses to serve the almost full restaurant. Toilets were very clean. There are some outdoor seatings too.
You can see a sample menu here .
Note: When I booked the table online it specifically stated they have a dress code of smart casual. But when we arrived we saw lots of people were just wearing a t-shirt and sporty shorts, or hoodie sweater. So I am not quite sure what they mean by smart casual!
Abbey Pumping Station
Corporation Road, Leicester, LE4 5PX England
Telephone: 0116 299 5111
Opening hours: Open daily from 11am – 4:30pm in February to October. During November to January it is open for special events only (please check before you go).
Car parks: The museum does not have its own car park. On their official website it suggested us to park in the National Space Centre which is less than 5 mins walk. Parking charges applies. Plenty of spaces.
Coffee Cafe Day
Address: 204 Abbey Lane, Leicester LE4 0DA England
Website: It does not have a website, but you can take a look at the Google reviews .
Car park: There is a driveway looking car park space just in front of the shop but I am not sure if you are allowed to park there. We parked our car at National Space Centre car park and walked (10mins) to the cafe.
Miller and Carter Steakhouse
Address: Watling Street, Hinckley LE10 2JQ England
Tel: 01455 615408
Car park: Free on site car park.