Our seven National Museums get a lot of attention, though they’re far from the whole story. Wales has over 90 accredited museums, with many small but magical places to explore the stories and souvenirs of our people, places and history. Most of them are free to enter, including all of the National Museums, making them an affordable and fun day out for all ages. Here are just a few of our little wonders.

Egypt Centre, Swansea

Delve into the fascinating world of ancient Egypt at Swansea University’s Egypt Centre. It houses over 5,000 artefacts, making it the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in Wales. In addition to being a resource for students at Swansea University, it’s an eye-opening attraction for amateur Egyptologists of all ages. 

Amongst the staggering range of items at the Egypt Museum in Swansea, you’ll find amulets, statues, mummified remains, coffins, texts, jewellery, paintings, toys, textiles and more. There are also hands-on exhibits where you can touch artefacts, write your name in hieroglyphs and have a go at mummification.

Egypt Centre accessibility

  • Accessible toilet with baby changing facilities on first floor 
  • Nearest Changing Places toilet is in Brangwyn Hall
  • Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Assistance Dogs welcome 
  • Blue Badge parking on Campus, first come first served
  • Braille interpretation available at the Reception Desk
  • Holds an Autism Friendly Award from the National Autistic Society and has helpful information for Autistic visitors. Quiet Visit Lanyards and Ear Defenders are available for visitors to borrow 
  • Part of the Sunflower Lanyard scheme. Lanyards available for the public
  • More Egypt Centre accessibility information is available

MOMA Wales

The Mid Wales market town of Machynlleth has a reputation as a bohemian and arty place, thanks to its collection of quirky shops, cafés and its annual comedy festival. The Museum of Modern Art Machynlleth (or ‘MOMA Cymru’ - the Museum of Modern Art Wales - to its friends), builds on this with a fantastic collection of the best modern art from across Wales. 

At the Machynlleth art gallery, seven beautiful exhibition rooms and a concert venue in a converted chapel host a changing programme of exhibitions, alongside an extensive permanent collection of paintings and sculptures. The Machynlleth Festival takes place at MOMA every August, with performances of everything from jazz and choral singing to chamber music and poetry readings.

MOMA Wales accessibility

  • Quiet times: 10am-11am and 3pm-4pm
  • Blue Badge parking behind the centre (book in advance by calling 01654 703355)
  • Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Assistance Dogs welcome 
  • Lifts to all floors and level access to all gallery spaces
  • Wheelchair available to borrow (book in advance by calling 01654 703355 or ask staff on arrival)
  • The Tabernacle concert venue has four dedicated wheelchair spaces (book in advance by calling 01654 703355)
  • Accessible toilet with baby changing facilities on ground floor
  • Induction loop installed within the Tabernacle hall (not available within the galleries)
  • There are places to sit in most galleries as well as in the cafe
  • A range of interpretation materials available in Welsh, English and large text
  • More MOMA Wales accessibility information is available
people stood in gallery looking at paintings on wall
Giant egg sculpture with woman stood looking at it inside a stone wall room.

Museum of Modern Art Machylleth, Powys, Mid Wales

The Judge’s Lodgings, Presteigne

Take a time-travelling look around this perfectly preserved Victorian building, a combination of courtroom, prison and living quarters. Once the administrative centre for Radnorshire, The Judge’s Lodgings in Presteigne once provided comfortable accommodation for visiting magistrates in town to try cases.

Unlike many living history museums, the Judge’s Lodgings’ ‘hands on’ policy lets you get a real feel for the place as it was in the 1870s, wandering from room to room like the Victorians once did. You can sit in the judge’s own chair, read his books and even spend some time in the barred cells down in the basement (a far cry from the judge’s own grand rooms upstairs).

Judge’s Lodgings accessibility

  • The front of the building has two sets of steps with handrails
  • Step-free entry via the rear garden lift (call 01544 260650 in advance)
  • The building has three floors but no lifts inside. A photo pack is available for those who can't access all floors
  • The closest Blue Badge Parking is at the top of Broad Street
  • Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Assistance Dogs welcome 
  • Places to sit throughout
  • No accessible toilets on site. The nearest RADAR key facility is in Hereford Street car park
  • An easy-to-use audio tour is available in English and French. Transcripts are available in English, Welsh, French, and German
  • Guidebooks are available in large print, Welsh and children's Welsh and Dutch
  • Magnifying glasses and torches can be borrowed from the entrance
  • More The Judge’s Lodgings accessibility information is available
woman dressed in Victoria costume measuring height of boy

The Judge's Lodging, Presteigne, Powys, Mid Wales

Cynon Valley Museum

Cynon Valley Museum is a wonderful community museum on the site of the former Gadlys Ironworks provides a fascinating insight into the Cynon Valley’s past. From trawling through thousands of preserved objects, documents and photographs, the museum trust presents stories of the former coal mining. They are complemented by exhibits from local and national artists and groups.

After browsing the two exhibition galleries, visit the shop. It sells a wide range of local and handmade crafts, art cards, books, homeware and more. Check the Cynon Valley Museum website to find out about its busy events schedule.

Cynon Valley Museum accessibility

  • Lift to the first floor and level access to all areas
  • Accessible toilet on the ground floor
  • Two accessible parking bays in the car park with step free access to the entrance
  • Part of the Sunflower Lanyard scheme
  • More Cynon Valley Museum accessibility information is available

Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd

The former home of poet and six-time Eisteddfod winner Hedd Wyn, this traditional Welsh farmhouse is an exploration of his work, an immersive glimpse into Welsh life in the early 20th century and an evocative look at the First World War’s impact on Wales. Hedd Wyn (real name Ellis Evans) tragically died during the conflict, six weeks before his poem Yr Awr won him his final Bardic chair at the National Eisteddfod. The ‘Black Chair’ is now one of many fascinating artefacts on display at Yr Ysgwrn.

Yr Ysgwrn accessibility

  • All public buildings are accessible by wheelchair and pushchairs
  • Two accessible toilets
  • Exhibitions include visual and audio interpretation
  • Three accessible parking spaces (call 01766 772508 in advance for more information)
  • One of the three footpaths on site is accessible to all
  • More Yr Ysgwrn accessibility information is available

Lloyd George Memorial Museum and Highgate, Llanystumdwy

Visit the childhood home of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, the Lloyd George Memorial Museum is restored to how it looked when he lived there between 1864 and 1880. You can see clothing, medals, pictures, paintings and documents, including the Treaty of Versailles, alongside a Victorian classroom, Lloyd George’s old desk and a recreated shoemaker’s workshop. There’s also a lovely Victorian cottage garden to relax in, so don’t forget to bring a picnic.

Lloyd George Memorial Museum accessibility

  • Blue Badge Parking space available (call 01766 522071 in advance for more information)
  • Accessible toilet
  • Entrance to the museum is level
  • The path to the cottage is uneven in parts. There are narrow stairs to the first floor
  • Contact the Lloyd George Memorial Museum for more accessibility information

The Winding House, Caerphilly

Housed in a striking glass-walled building on the site of the former Elliot Colliery, the Winding House details the industrial history of the Rhymney Valley. The centrepiece is the massive winding engine that once carried workers and coal between the surface and the mine below.

This incredible piece of engineering, which you can usually see in action on the final Saturday of each month, is kept in working order by a team of devoted volunteers. The Winding House is home to a collection of documents, photographs and objects which illustrate day to day life in South Wales at the height of the Industrial Revolution. These are often displayed in one of the two galleries, which also host regular art exhibitions and community works.

The Winding House accessibility

  • Accessible toilets with baby changing facilities
  • Fully accessible for wheelchair and pushchairs
  • Small car park on site for visitors. A large public car park across the road is accessible via a pedestrian footbridge
  • Contact the Winding House for more accessibility information
man working on machine, giant green wheel behind him
exterior view of stone building.

The Winding House Museum, New Tredegar, South Wales

Sir Henry Jones Museum, Abergele

A shoemaker’s son turned Professor of Moral Philosophy, Henry Jones was a passionate supporter of education in Wales and was instrumental in the establishment of the University of Wales. Sir Henry Jones Museum is housed in Henry’s childhood home, a little workman’s cottage in the village of Llangernyw near Abergele. 

A fascinating treasure trove of artefacts give an immersive insight on what life would have been like for the young Henry and his family. There’s a changing programme of temporary exhibitions on other aspects of local history, too. It’s a small but perfectly formed peek into the past.

Sir Henry Jones Museum accessibility

  • Limited opening hours. Contact the Sir Henry Jones Museum to check ahead.
  • The paths to the cottage and around the garden are paved but uneven in parts
  • There are narrow uneven stairs to the first floor and tight spaces
  • Call ahead of visiting (01745 860630) to discuss your specific access requirements

Newtown Textile Museum

Newtown Textile Museum is a historical attraction that showcases the heritage of the Welsh woollen industry. The museum is housed in a former hand-loom weaving workshop that dates back to the 1830s. Visitors can learn about the history and techniques of weaving, spinning, and dyeing wool, as well as see the original machinery and tools used by the weavers. The museum also displays a collection of traditional Welsh textiles, costumes, and quilts. The museum is open from April to October, Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 16:00. 

Newtown Textile Museum accessibility

  • The building housing the Museum is heritage listed and there are some limitations on the access.
  • Newtown Textile Museum is partially accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. The ground floor of the museum has a ramped entrance, a disabled toilet, and an induction loop system.
  • The first floor, where most of the exhibits are located, is only accessible by stairs. The museum staff can provide assistance and information for visitors who cannot access the upper floor.
  • The museum also offers guided tours and workshops for groups and schools, which can be tailored to suit different needs and abilities. To book a tour or a workshop, please contact the museum in advance.
  • More Newtown Textile Museum accessibility information is available
man and woman weaving
blanket on weaving machine, with man weaving in background.
museum display of packing materials and storage.

Newtown Textile Museum, Mid Wales

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