The Hartlepool Maritime Experience.
(photos by courtesy of Hartlepool Borough Council
We visited nearby Hartlepool Maritime Experience and had a fantastic time. It is a wonderful re-creation of an 18th century sea-port - the best we have ever seen. There are many harbourside shops such as the printer, the gunsmith, the chandler, the naval tailor and the swordsmith. There were short videos to watch in all places, which give good insight as to how the various trades were used, including an excellent one about how two young brothers were press-ganged into the royal navy and their life on board.
After an excellent lunch at the quayside cafe, we spent over an hour on HMS Trincomalee, the oldest floating warship in Europe, which has been carefully restored at Hartlepool. Much ducking of heads under the low beams in places! Life-size models of the sailors going about their daily tasks brings history to life.
There was so much to see that I wished we could have had another day there. In fact, if I wanted to set a novel in a sea-port in the 18th Century, I would take up residence there whilst I wrote the first draft!!
I would recommend a visit to anyone who has an interest in naval history or anyone, like me, who enjoys looking back at the development of our rich heritage.
To see more about this excellent attraction, go to www.hartlepoolsmaritimeexperience.com