Fantastic event! Learned so much and saw the vampire kit. beautoful
The reviews of residents of the UK will likely provide more detailed accounting of the coolness that is the Royal Armouries, I want to draw your attention to the seminar offerings being made available to the public.
Covering a variety of topics to broaden and deepen your understanding of the collection and its relevance, the seminars (some of which, at least, take place after hours) provide a rare opportunity to hear from the Armouries' subject matter experts.
I was fortunate to be able to coordinate my travel to Leeds to sync up with an excellent presentation given by Thom Richardson (Keeper of European Armour and Oriental Collections) discussing Japanese gift armours as part of the 400th Anniversary of British-Japanese Relations. I'm literally still talking about the evening three months after the fact... Go a little further on your next visit and come away with much more!
OK, so you might judge me for this. But I have a confession, and I'm preparing for the onslaught... I've only just, this last weekend, had a proper nosy around the Royal Armouries. *Ducks the flying objects* I know, right? How can I have left it so long before taking a look around? I don't know, guys. I don't know. But I did, and now I've been, and now I know what the fuss is about.
The fuss is about mother flippin' awesome sword collections. Insight into armies and armouries of old, weaponry of all kinds, tradition, history - the things that got us to where we are today. It's not a comfortable thought, to look at old weapons and realise what an influence they are on where we are today, but it is what it is.
Since we only had an hour and a half before closing, the chap and I gunned (sorry for the pun) straight for the Eastern collection. I had a sneaky look at cross bows first, and immediately coveted one for some unknown reason, and then stood in awe looking at the size and variation of weaponry in the next room. The collection of Chinese swords, glaives, and various other hand held items was really impressive. The glaives look so heavy and are so massive, I can't imagine how they were able to fight. And there's even an evil looking claw, (eagle claw?!) for ripping clothing or something.
The videos were great too, I watched an awesome one about the archery tradition in Japan, which is ongoing. These guys are incredible - they gallop along a track, standing on the horse, and fire at targets something like 75m apart. Not easy at full speed on a horse. Amazing to see. And there was one about sword making, I think, but alas children were in the way. (I forgive them!)
The only downer is the café. It irks me no end that the museums I've been to in this country all seem to have such a disappointing and lack lustre offering where refreshment is concerned. The space could be an attraction in itself, with artisan coffees, locally made cakes, and such like. But no, the paintings on the wall appear faded from having been there for the last millenia, the coffee is from a sub-par machine, the cakes are in excess of £2.50 for a tiny pre-packaged slice, and the décor is... drab doesn't cover it. A real shame. You do get a view of the waterside though.
So - five stars for all the awesome collections - and I'll be back to see more soon - but minus points for the naff café. Although, I'll finish by saying get yourself down there!
Oh the men seem to love this place. Full of war paraphernalia, live outdoor shows and lots of gory things to look at.
I got a little bored looking at the swords and things but found the outdoor shows very entertaining. And a little scary!
I loved going to the cafe aftwards for banoffee pie and coffee...lush!
I was very happy after my day out to The Royal Armouries. Thinking it would be a dull day of looking at old armour and stuff, it became a day of LOOKING AT OLD ARMOUR AND STUFF!!! And it was great.
I wasn't expecting the large modern building I was greeted with, nor the fantastically, intricately, artistic and creative displays of swords and guns mounted on the wall as you go up to the museums collection rooms inside.
The collection is large, spanning many centuries of armour design and relics, including guns and swords that will keep the men excited for hours. The large stuffed elephant, with armour, is a must-see, as is the entire colonial collection, showing Indian inspired weapons.
There is a gift shop, that sells the typical keychain-memorabilia you'd expect, as well as traditionally inspired bottled mead, and bizarrely Japanese kimonos. There is also a cafe/restaurant within the complex that sells appropriately named food, to coincide with your day out. Unfortunately, much to my mates disappointment, it was closing when we were there....He never did get his sword burger....
Going back to the Royal Armouries recently was a bit of a let down. Probably because the last time I went there I was 11 and ten years on, I'm not as impressed with a knight's shining armour as I used to be.
The museum itself is full to the brim with, as you might expect, swords and shields and other silver stuff of that ilk but it's not that which seperates the Armouries from other museums in the country.
It's the exhibitions and the events, often held outside, often recreating medieval scenes, that are well worth the entry fee. When I was a young man, I remember being overwhelmed by a joust that took place. And this month, there's a Medieval Crime and Punishment exhibiton - where a theatre society take to Armouries Square and demonstrate different methods of punishment.
I'll be sure to be a good boy, then...
This is a good day out for all of the family. A great selection of things to see with events during the day.
They also often do special displays (i.e. I visited when they had a James Bond display on).
I have been there two times in the past year an I have enjoyed it very much. So did the people that went with me. The museum is huge, you will need at least two hours to see all the stuff that is on display.
Every floor has weapons and weapon related item from a different place of the world or a different age. My favorite ones are the modern and Japanese ones.
The entry to the museum is free, but you have to pay for your souvenirs (obviously) and for some of the shows such as the brilliant falconry display (about 50p or so).
Great place for a day out in Leeds.
Another 5 star rating from me.
I've been here a number of times really found the place interesting, educational and very enjoyable.
If your ever in the area it's well worth taking the time (and you will need loads of time as the place is huge) to visit.
Great if your into History. The outdoor birds of prey show was fantastic and great for adults and kids alike.
Can not grumble about this place unless you can not control you childrens spending.Gift shop has lots of top toys but are expensive had made wooden toys and crossbows £25/£30 a pop but solidly built and they do last.
Buildign is fantastic -space age -exhibits excellent -feel like going again just typing this in.
Eat but pricey parkign -walking not an option is central but tucked out of the way.Nice and not too expensive eats.
Things have certainly changed since I first visited this museum when it first opened a few years ago. There is now a multistorey car park and plenty of restraunts around and about.
Once inside the museum, there are some amazing things to see and activities to watch. Although on the day we visited it was raining heaviley so all outdoorevents had to be cancelled. But, there is still plenty to see over the 4 floors to keep everyone interested. Allsorts of war and military items from hundreds of years ago to the present day. I found the police exhibition on the top floor the most interesting, but the best specticle is the staircase with its gallery of swords, sheilds and weaponryin the centre of the winding staircase.
I went to the Royal Armouries in the October half term with five boys and they all loved it.
They wanted to see The Lord of the Rings Exhibition and I was pleased to find out it was free and really interesting. There were also exhibits from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe film and it was much better than I expected.
The boys all found the different exhibitions really good and educational.
We all went outside to watch the Jousting event which only cost £1 each and was very exciting, the commentator was funny too and the horsemen were all replicating various films including The Last Samuri. We all had a great afternoon and I would recommend it to anyone.
I was really excited about my little excursion to the Royal Armouries, and after finding it easily on foot thanks to the Leeds signposting from the Railway Station, we were there looking at the large modern building in about twenty minutes.
Boring bits, you walk in, announce that you'd like to wander around; they print off two tickets and give you a map. They (museum crew) also tell you what is and what isn't on that day. Ok I feel informed.
Step into the elevator, hit the floor button, step off...hmm. The thing I generally love about a museum is its intentional layout to steer you and direct you into the flow of how things are to be read and interpreted. What I immediately noticed about the layout of the Royal Armouries was the lack of direction. Do I take the left into War, and then come out the other side into Tournaments, or do I go up the stairs, but then if I get directed elsewhere, can I get to the other side of the floor? Or do I do the first level in War, then take the stairs, come down the stairs, do Tournament, go upstairs for the Tournament Gallery, and then what? Do I come down the stairs again to go up in the elevator or the other staircase. It's as confusing to follow as it is to read.
Confusion of the layout aside in conjunction with its lack of signposting, the actual content of the Royal Armouries is impressive in its volume and variety of armour and weaponry. There's all the important information to be had, dates, names, periods of the armouries in question etc, but for me it had something missing. It's December, it's kid season, and yet there's a distinct lack of things aimed at the younger generation; I noticed one guy in 16th century attire demonstrating swords and other sword like apparatus, but I didn't see much else in the way of entertaining children. I guess weapons of years gone by aren't really there for entertaining children, but when you take into consideration gift shop contents and appeal of the café, and kid's drawings dotted around the place, it's a market they're aware they target.
What's the Royal Armouries got? Lots and lots and lots of weapons and armour. It's got plenty of information on the period and use of the armouries, it's got a variety of genres from English sports weapons to Viking and Saxon helmets to the Oriental and African weapons and whatnot. It's got toilet facilities and a café. It's got the fabulous Hall of Steel, which often gets overlooked due to it's placement in the stairwell. It's got re-enactments for the majority of the galleries. It doesn't have signs to say "no flash photography" (whoops), but it's entertaining for the family if armouries and history are your thing. My advice, wait till the weather warms, as the falconry demonstrations are fantastic.
The armouries is well worth a visit, its convieniently located near the centre of Leeds and Its FREE which is great when you are on a tight budget with kids. I spent a whole rainy day here looking at various weapons and armoury. It was very informative and a lot of fun. The only downside is the prices in the cafe as with any establishment like this the prices are ridiculous. However this can be solved with a packed picnic and flask which I think makes it even more enjoyable.
The Royal Armouries is a great day out. To some, the name might sound a little dull, and I admit that I can only look at a certain number of suits of armour before I feel like I've seen them all! However, there is so much more to the Royal Armouries than armour. For me, the highlights were the falconry and jousting exhibitions, which are a really unique sight - I can think of very few places where you can see history come to life like this! There are also actors who give talks in role at certain times of the day, which caters for those who prefer their history to be a little more interactive. There are also demonstrations, in which children can try on and hold armour and even swords. There is a cafe and parking, and full disabled access.
The Royal Armouries in Leeds is a great day out, there's so much too see that it'd be a real challenge to see, read and do everything in one visit! There are a few very reasonably priced coffee shops and cafes in the museum and also indoor 'picnic' areas with tables and chairs where you can bring your own food to eat.
its free to get in! and there is plenty to see and do.
there are re-enactments on throughout the day, either within the building or in the tiltyard (there maybe a small charge for tiltyard events) like falconary, jousting, mounted military skills etc
also there is the stables and craft shops where you can see how things were made in the olden times!
at the moment they are doing armours and weapons from the movies! so are showing Lord Of The Rings, king kong, last samuri, chronicals of narnia and hellboy, but thats only the gun! they often have extra events on and some are free and others have a small charge.
the last time we visited, there was a fencing demonstration, and for a small fee we could have a go, fencing with a foil! they provided all the correct gear for young and old, and it was great fencing the small children, where the parents had decided to sit and watch? this encouraged my man to take up fencing with a sabre!
on the top floor you can have a go at shooting cross bows, bren guns etc
also another place to leave the man with the kids when shopping in leeds! as its not far from the centre! its a full days outing and you might not get all the events and shows in a day!
This place is wonderful if you like weaponry and old english heritage. Free to get into but some of the shows are not free. Sometimes they let you fire a crossbow
Fantastic, free, great exhibitions and events. Falconry, long-bow demonstrations stand out for me. Did I mention it's all free? Rooms available for bookings too - went to a wedding reception there which was very well organised.
This is by far one of the best arms museums I have ever visited. It has four large floors that cover the gambit of arms, hunting and warfare. The admission is free, but parking isn't cheap at five pounds for three hours, and because of the layout, their parking lot is the only feasible place to park. Also has a full service metalworking shop that can be viewed through glass, a tilt yard and cafeteria. This museum is modern, clean and well worth the time it takes to see it all. I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in arms, self defense or hunting.
This is a great place for the day out (for free)! Even, when you are not really interested in armouries or weapons! The place is massive, there are a lot of exhibitions and events. You have to have a loooot of time to visit everything. After several hours I was a bit bored, but there are several restaurants/cafes, so you can seat down and have a break! The best there was falconary show!! Amazing. Highly recommended!
A great place if you like guns etc. Sadly I don't. The museum is well set out, and very visitor friendly, even free to go in. You could easily spend a whole day wondering around this mussum. Don't forget to check out the grounds too, being situated on the lovely Leeds canal front it's nice outside too. If you like armour, you'll love this place, my boyfriend did. Watch out for the big elephant armour which was the highlight of the visit for me!
Fantastic free day out. Lots to see and do. We watched the falconry display which was really good.I think more of interest to lads and dads than girlie girls!! Nice cafe.
Big museum with great content. Last time i went, i saw a real life sword fight based around Shakespears Romeo and Juliet! Was really good and informative, take your children, they'll love it! I know i did ;)
A great place to go for adults and children. It is free! There is so much to see and do. Daily, you can see such things as sword fights, and people dressed up in costume telling about how there lives were and what they did in the time period they represent. You can see jousting and falconry (though you have to pay for these). The gift shop is also very nice, but expensive.
I came here on a school trip quite a few years ago and can't say that I was that impressed at the time. The place is huge and has a lot of floors covered by all sorts of weapons and armored suits. At the time I don't think I was the right age to enjoy it properly but since, the bit I remember I think I would like it a lot more now. They do have a class room where they give some lessons to school kids and I think that was very well done. There is lots to see and if you are interested in history and war this is a good place to head.
The Royal Armouries is a museum for people who don't like museums. So if Roman coins and old vases aren't your thing, yet you're not quite ready to resign yourself to a cultural life limited to your local multiplex, this is a great place to spend and afternoon. Particularly popular with boys (and dads), the Royal Armouries is a treasure trove of arms and armour throughout history; which means lots of shiny swords, ornate guns and an awe-inspiring set of elephant armour that's worth the journey alone. Accompanied by lots of interesting displays charting the history of combat, this is the sort of place where you learn things without realising it, and the venue also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions and children's activities. One of the real draws of the armouries is its extensive programme of events, which often make it seem more like an amusement park then a museum. With falconry, jousting and live combat demonstrations happening on a regular basis, all included in the free of charge entrance, children, families and bored students will always find something to keep them entertained.
what a place.. i absolutely love the royal armouries. best of all. its free.. awesome day out for the lads.. but still a damm good day out for the girls.. elephant armour and umbrella guns. Brilliant the live jousting and bird shows are the icing on the cake.
Leed's Royal Armouries is an absolute treasure. It's packed full of real history and has to be one of the best days out in West Yorkshire.
First of all, it's free: and you can easily spend a whole day exploring inside and out.
The museum is bright, clean and well set out with good lighting.
It has a range of different galleries highlighting different eras of warefare, from medieval to the Northern Ireland Troubles and Iraq and Afghanistan.
Don't be fooled into thinking this is just for the boys as the live re-inactments are going to appeal to children of all ages.
In a single day we watched falconry, jousting *the jousting yard has men in armour on real war horses) sword fighting - both broadsword in armour and with rapiers, a wild west shootout and a bit of Samuri armour-wearing.
During the week you might bump into a school party - but there's enough space for everyone to get a great sense of the past.
There are plenty of loos and the cafe is reasonably priced.
There's a great shop with learning toys to help keep the history bug biting - have a look for great and unusal Christmas presents.
Great day with kids here. Loads to see and they have a right collection on arms. So much to see you need more than one day.
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