Tullie House, Carlisle

Last weekend, we made a trip to Tullie House in Carlisle for an afternoon out.  Hubby was spending the afternoon at the Races with his friends so I invited my best friend, O’s Godmother, along for the ride.

We parked the car in a nearby car park and made the short walk over to Tullie House.  We went through the gardens to the rear of the building which are full of beautiful flowers.  I spotted some sage in there too – I showed O how to rub the leaves and be able to smell the sage on his fingers…  “Poo-ey!” he said, the cheeky monkey!Tullie HouseTullie House

Tullie House is currently home to a touring exhibition called “Eye of Colour” which explores all aspects of colour in a truly hands-on way.  It is packed with exhibits and interactive displays that are just fantastic for kids – heck, I thought they were great!  The exhibition pieces demonstrate how colours are formed, how animals use their colour as camouflage and how different cultures have used colour to communicate.  O particularly loved the Colour Quiz – a round table divided into four coloured teams with a monitor displaying multiple choice questions and corresponding coloured buttons to press.

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O loved sticking his head into the animal faces and seeing the difference in each of their vision.  It actually made me feel quite queasy looking through the fly’s ‘eyes’ – yuck!  There were building blocks to make rainbows, a huge mood room demonstrating how different colours make you feel and a dark room explaining rainbows and the way white light is made.  It is definitely a must-see exhibition and we’ll definitely be looking to visit again.Tullie House

After I managed to drag O from this exhibition, we went to look around the Roman galleries.  I’m not a huge fan of history…  I’m not that interested in it.  I know, I’m a heathen.  As we walked around the gallery, it was quite clear it was an exhibition designed for adults.  There wasn’t an awful lot to keep O amused and interested, which was a shame.  There were role play areas where adults and children could dress up in costumes which were provided, but O is not up for things like that.  There were also some interactive screens which, like any other kid, O seemed to gravitate towards, where he could complete jigsaws and dress the different Roman characters.Tullie HouseTullie House

On the first floor, there were areas for children to play with toys such as castles with guards and dragons and also huge carvings you could use to create brass rubbings.  I took a wander through some pretend coal mines – which seemed to get lower and lower the further through I got – and O seemed relieved when I re-appeared from the other end of the room!  We saw these pretty awesome train seats too, set up as booths.  I can’t honestly remember what era they come from, but O really liked them!  And you could see Carlisle Castle through the windows!

Tullie House

The whole time we spent in the Roman exhibitions, O was begging to go back to the colourful room.  So we did go back in there for another half hour before heading away to Lush for some bath bombs and Belted Burgers for tea.  All in all, we had a nice time at Tullie House and O really enjoyed the Eye for Colour exhibition.  Accompanied children receive free entry too so we only paid £19.80 for the afternoon out.  A great way to keep the kids occupied for the afternoon, learning new things and exploring somewhere new.