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Museums and galleries
Located in traditional 18th century thatched cottages, Glencoe Folk Museum holds an eclectic collection of objects and memorabilia, ranging from Jacobite artefacts to toys and domestic utensils. There is a particular exhibit that tells the story of the Glencoe Massacre. The museum is small, highly personal - and fascinating.
Local museum telling the story of the Slate Islands - Isle of Seil, Easdale Island, the Isle of Luing, and Belnahua. It houses a collection of photographs, artefacts and genealogical records related to the social and industrial life of the Slate Islands, especially the people engaged in the former slate industry, from the 18th - 20th century. There is also a Folk Museum on the nearby island of Easdale.
Celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns (1759-1796), this is a modern, custom-built museum and visitor centre including shops, restaurant and kids' adventure playground. The latter is amazing, incorporating images from the poet's works into the play facilities. The museum tells the story of Burns' relatively short, but prolific, life based on themes, rather than a logical sequence of events. Geared to the already converted rather than creating new fans, the museum is still interesting. Combine with a visit to Robert Burns' Birthplace, Alloway Old Kirk, Burns Monument and Brig o' Doon.
A small museum telling the history of British military intelligence from the Boer War onwards. There are additional exhibitions dedicated to BRIXMIS, an intelligence gathering mission based in the former DDR during the Cold War, and to the Intelligence Corps' work with SOE, Special Operations Executive, during WW2.
The museum is on a military base. Visitors are welcomed but need to book visits in advance and brink photo ID with them - eg UK passport or driving licence.
Bletchley Park was the home of the top-secret code breakers of World War Two, whose work had a profound impact on the war; it has been claimed that their success in intercepting enemy signals and breaking codes shortened the war by two years. For years, very few people knew about their work, most famously centred on German Enigma cipher machines, but information started to become more available in the 1970s. Bletchley Park was in a poor state when taken over by Milton Keynes Borough Council in 1992. A trust was set up to conserve the site and turn it into a museum and it opened its doors to the public in 1993. A massive restoration project took place and BP is now a major tourist attraction.
Bletchley Park also includes the National Museum of Computing and has featured in several films and TV productions.
Spy, fighter pilot - but mainly author - Roald Dahl lived in the village of Great Missenden for 36 years and wrote his famous children's' stories there, in a hut in his garden. Situated in an old coaching inn, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre holds the Roald Dahl archive, tells Roald Dahl's story (and the stories behind the stories) and includes his writing hut, lovingly relocated to the museum.
IWM Duxford is a historic RAF airfield also used by the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. It houses the Imperial War Museum's huge collection of historic aircraft and other large vehicles like tanks. Permanent exhibitions include the American Air Museum, Battle of Britain, Land Warfare and Historic Duxford (many of the buildings are original). You can get up close and personal with some of the most famous aircraft ever, including the Spitfire, Lancaster, Concorde and Vulcan. It's probably the best aviation collection and museum in the country, and enormous, so allow enough time. Air Shows are a regular feature and Duxford is also home to the Airborne Assault and Royal Anglian Museums.
The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge. It was founded in 1816 with the legacy of the library and art collection of Richard FitzWilliam, 7th Viscount FitzWilliam. Its collections include antiquities from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; medieval and renaissance art; English and European pottery and glass, furniture, clocks, fans, armour; Chinese, Japanese and Korean art; coins and medals; literary and music manuscripts and rare printed books; paintings, including works by Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso. The building itself is stunning too!