Did you know that the Hartlepool Maritime Experience less than an hours drive away from Newcastle? Have you even heard of it? Probably not but I want to shout all about it today as it is such a hidden asset to the North East!
Dominating the Hartlepool Marina lies a National museum that doesn’t get the press it deserves. I personally hadn’t been to Hartlepool since Jackson’s Landing was still open. The shopping complex has long been defunct and now demolished.
For the £10 entry fee you get to spend hours wandering around the historic Quay area. There’s also exhibits from National Museum of the Royal Navy, displays by period experts, the PSS Wingfield Castle and the main attraction – HMS Trincomalee. There is a £9 entrance option without Gift Aid or an £11 ticket which allows you to visit up to 5 times within a 12 month period.
You may well recognise the Hartlepool Maritime Experience as it has been featured in film and TV. The likes of Catherine Cookson, Sharpe and more recently Victoria were filmed here.
Dotted around the history Quay area are replica shops, houses and businesses that fit with the hustle and bustle of life by the water. There’s even a tea room if you need a break. The staff are in period costume and are incredibly knowledgeable about the displays. Lee was the fountain of all knowledge about the HMS Trincomalee whilst the men doing the gun display were more than happy to chat about the ins and outs.
Fun for kids and grown ups alike, there’s daily displays of musket firing, flintlock pistols and the whopping replica canon. That gets fired off in to the marina so be sure to catch that!
A kids play area lets imaginations run wild before braving the Fighting Ships show. A guided action tour through life on board a magnificent ship like the HMS Trincomalee.
On board the beautifully maintained ship, you get a true feel for the life on the high seas. I admit I am seriously frightened of boats so I left Paul to do the majority of the exploring on board.
The vast majority of the site is wheelchair accessible, including the ship itself so it’s a fun day out for the whole family. There’s an abundance of free parking too. Winner Winner!