Explore the collections at Torquay Museum this half term 

A young explorer discovering a rhino skull 

A young explorer discovering a rhino skull - Credit: Torquay Museum

If you have got to the latter end of half-term week and are still looking for something to do with or without the family, the museum offers a range of benefits for a very modest entrance charge that is currently 50 per cent discounted for local people.

Unlike some of the other attractions in the Bay, the museum has a constantly changing offer of temporary exhibitions throughout year and you can visit them all on a single entry ticket.

This half-term you can be transported to the far side of the world and explore Torquay’s connection with the islands of Fiji.

This is a place few of us are ever likely to visit but it shares many characteristics with life here in Torbay, with palm trees, traditional thatched buildings, a fishing industry and its capital Suva shares street names as it grew at the same time.

There are more than 60 items on display in the exhibition covering the rich culture of Fijian life and this includes a very rare pearl shell and whale ivory breastplate which would have once belonged to a chief.

Chiefly Fijian breastplate made of pearl shell and whale ivory  

Chiefly Fijian breastplate made of pearl shell and whale ivory - Credit: Torquay Museum

If you have never visited the museum it’s a great place to meet up with a few friends or bring the children and learn from or be inspired by the incredible local heritage.

If the natural world is your interest, the Time Art Gallery will take you on a journey through 400 million years of climate change from fossils in Devonian seas through the ice ages to the present day.

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There are many extraordinary creatures to discover, fossils, geology and even locally found gold.

This galley will help you understand the local area and how it has changed so much over time.  

For those that like to understand rural life, the museum's Old Devon Farmhouse Gallery is a must visit.

Farming was once the mainstay of the local economy before the rise of the resort.

The museum gallery is a glimpse of life inside a Devon Barton farmhouse from the 1860s and a way of life that was little changed for centuries.

Some of these buildings can still be found around Cockington and Devon but few can be visited.

If travel and adventure occupy your mind, but the pandemic has temporarily reduced your world, then the museum's Explorer’s Gallery is for you.

Packed with items from across the globe it will inspire you to look at new horizons and investigate other cultures.

It did exactly this for one Miss Harrop who cruised the world in the early 20th century collecting a little keepsake from every country she visited.

Some of the 80 treasures in Miss Harrop’s suitcase  

Some of the 80 treasures in Miss Harrop’s suitcase - Credit: Torquay Museum

She donated a suitcase full of mementoes from around 80 countries to the museum and this can be found in the gallery next to the stories of more famous local explorers such as Richard Burton, Percy Harrison Fawcett and Frank Browning.

Anyone can be an explorer, the adventure begins at home.

This is just a selection of what’s on offer, there are also the most important finds from the local caves, beautiful inlaid stone objects from the local marble industry and, of course, a gallery dedicated to the life and works of Agatha Christie.

We have a special event this weekend, October 30 - a Witches and Wizards Halloween Celebration Day. See the museum website for booking details.