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Pocket Guide: English Riviera Bygones Victorian Museum Hotels

Devon is full of attractions, from castles and abbeys to miniature railways and stately homes, so it makes a great destination for a break for both families and couples. The county seems tailor-made for family fun and one of the most interesting and unusual museums to visit must surely be the Bygones Victorian Museum in Torquay. If you're staying in a Devon hotel or B&B nearby and love looking back to a nostalgic Victorian past you'll absolutely adore this museum, and can easily lose an entire afternoon discovering its delightful collections and exhibits.

Visit the Bygones Victorian Museum with Devon Hotels

This unique museum consists of three floors completely crammed to the rafters with nostalgia. The whole family will love its Victorian Street, which is life-size and includes a sweet shop, forge and apothecary. It was Ken Cuming's all-consuming passion for railways that got the museum stared in the 1980, culminating with his purchase of a 27-ton engine from the docks at Falmouth. To house this and the rest of his collection he bought an old cinema in St. Marychurch and moved the lot in. He and his wife opened the building to the public and turned it into a business, and have never looked back.

Explore Victoriana at Devon Hotels

The railway engine which started the Bygones Victorian Museum was renamed Patricia in honour of Ken's wife and it now takes pride of place on the ground floor and is a main attraction for visitors (the train, not Ken's wife!). The realistic Victorian street scene was created with the help of friends and local craftsmen, and the rest of the collection was built up over the years using much travel and research to recreate the Victorian way of life down to the smallest details. By the time the museum was opened in 1987 by the Mayor of Torbay it was already a sizeable mass of authentic materials and genuine exhibits, and it has been steadily growing ever since. Visit the Bygones Victorian Museum from your hotel in Devon and you're guaranteed a thrilling and informative day out. The museum appeals to people of all ages and the Jubilee Gift Shop is good for souvenirs.

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