A friend told me about the William Morris Gallery and Lloyd Park in Walthamstow, not far from us. Perfect (i.e. dry) weather was forecast this morning so we headed there. The building was beautiful and behind was a hidden gem, a huge public park with formal gardens, a moat, children’s park, cafe and much more.
First of all we let the children (and daddy) run around the park. They loved it, everything was new and shiny and they had fun on the slides, trampoline, swings, slide and sand pit. The shiny paths were perfect for scooting along and there was even space for the toddler to play with his radio controlled car.
When we thought we had tired them out we headed inside the gallery which has recently been refurbished with a cafe and temporary exhibition space added. The downstairs told the story of William Morris and was full of beautiful exhibits. In my old life I was a curator so was excited to see how the item were displayed. I thought it was stunning and was able to read a lot of the captions as the toddler was kept occupied by the interactive elements of the exhibition.
The gallery was seamlessly designed to be completely adult and child-friendly. The toddler practically ran around trying to find each touch screen or dressing up box.
He tried brass rubbing, making a stained glass window, holding a puppet show and building a wooden cathedral. He sat in chairs listening to oral history interviews and did funny things on sofas. In one room we were approached by one of the volunteers and I thought she was going to tell us off for being noisy but she just wanted to tell us something!
I love taking the children to museums and galleries but it’s not often we feel totally relaxed and able to enjoy ourselves.
I would we all would definitely recommend the William Morris Gallery!