Family fun at the Carriage Museum

Children play on the play carriage in the stableyard at Arlington Court

There are lots of hands-on activities at the Carriage Museum to keep younger visitors engaged. Whilst a lot of the carriages are hundreds of years old and are too fragile to touch, we provide as much hands-on equipment as possible to help explain what it might have been like to harness a horse and ride in a carriage.

Become a driver or rider

In the stable yard the wooden play carriage is always popular; not only a great photo opportunity for children of all ages, but also a chance for children to feel what it would have been like to drive a carriage. Hobby horses are also available at the front of the museum for children to ride outside.

Discover the collection

At the entrance desk pick up a trail sheet and answer the questions whilst wandering through the museum. A great way to learn some interesting facts about the carriages and spot things you might have missed. There  are two versions of the trail, aimed at different age groups and abilities. Several characters connected with the museum are able to tell you their experiences of carriages, through push-button audio devices.

Get hands-on

Many of the carriages are over 100 years old and too precious to touch, but we do have a handling table in the new wing of the museum with carriage parts to feel and handle. In the loft there is also the chance to sit in replica carriage seats, testing out the different types of suspension and discovering why it's possible to get sea sick when riding a carriage.

Use your imagination

There are carriage colouring sheets available at the mueum, with a choice of carriages to colour. Upstairs put yourself in the shoes of a carriage groom or stable boy and have a go at harnessing Dandy, the wooden Shetland pony. Once you've harnessed Dandy, there are also some costumes for you to try on and another great photo opportuntiy.