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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

The Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool

Updated: Dec 12, 2023


England is a country that is rarely visited by tourists (with the exception of the capital), and when we talk about the northern part of this country, even less. In this article I will tell you about a small town located on the coast of the North Sea, or rather, about the museum located there, in the northeast of England. It's an area that is overlooked by travel enthusiasts, either because of the weather, or because of the steep prices specific to the UK, or because you drive on the left side of the road, and renting a car can create anxiety. Whatever the reasons, they are not related to the fact that the area does not deserve to be visited and discovered.

Hartlepool is a town with a population of over 80,000 inhabitants and became famous during the war with Napoleon, when a monkey was publicly executed, having a trial like a human. The monkey arrived in Hartlepool on board a lost warship, of French origin, being the only living being on that ship. The purpose of this monkey was to amuse the officers.

The city itself is not special, but here you can visit one of the most beautiful museums, which I am sure you will like. It is about the Royal Navy Museum. This is a reconstruction of a 19th century seaport and is one of the most interesting museums I have visited in Great Britain.

HOW TO GET TO HARTLEPOOL: If you come from abroad, the closest airports are in Teesside and Newcastle, both operating international flights. From the airport there is public transport that gets you to Hartlepool. The address where you can find this museum is: NMRN Hartlepool, Jackson Dock, Maritime Ave, Hartlepool. TS24 0XZ. If you come by train, it is quite close to the station.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL NAVY: In this reconstructed port you can visit shops, bars, houses, tailoring, printing house, but also a warship from 19th century. You can see how people earned their bread practicing various jobs, but also how they spent their money in bars or doing other activities.

The ship in the middle of the harbour, which can also be visited, was built in Bombay, India, in 1817. It is a sailing ship, very well maintained and is the most interesting point of the museum. It is reconstructed the way that the members of the ship prepared for the battle with Napoleon, but also the way in which the crew lived on that boat.

Although it is built mostly of wood, it was still a warship. The cannons that the soldiers used to attack enemy ships were placed on the deck on one side and the other.


As soon as we get off the deck and reach the lower level of the ship, we will notice another row of cannons placed just like the ones on the deck.

THE MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL NAVY - Hartlepool, England

As I said above, you can see the way people lived on this boat.⬇️ Doesn't it seem very real? If you visit this place, you will be surprised by how well everything is transposed, both visually and in terms of sound. The fact that it is a real boat will place you directly in the middle of the events of the 19th century.


Goods that people at that time imported or sold, in this case crocodiles and fish⬇️

The Royal Navy Museum. This is a reconstruction of a 19th century seaport and is one of the most interesting museums I have visited in the UK

The courtyard of the museum, which is actually the port from 1817. You can enter each building separately. As you can see, there is a playground that children would love. This is, in fact, the reconstruction of some games played at that time by adults.

The Royal Navy Museum - Hartlepool, Northeast of England

Shop with various things for home and garden⬇️Most of the products are handmade. It looks a little different from nowadays Ikea😁

One of the most interesting museums in the Northeast of England

The bar⬇️and the very precise reconstruction of some moments that were supposed to be quite common in the 19th century, namely the ships' crew enjoying a drink before going to sea.

The Royal Navy Musuem Hartlepool, UK

Tailor⬇️It is one of the places that delighted me the most in the museum.

The reconstruction of a tailos's at the Royal Navy Museum in Hartlepool, UK

This reconstruction aims to "teleport" you back in time. From my point of view, it succeeds! I was absolutely captivated by the way they managed to make everything look so real, as if I had been teleported in the 1800s.

You can even spend half a day here, especially if you have children, the little ones will surely be captivated.

OTHER PLACES TO SEE IN HARTLEPOOL: - St Hilda Monastery; - Seaton Carew beach and the one at Stetley Pier; - Heugh Lighthouse; - Middleton Grange Shopping Centre; - Hartlepool Stadium; - Hartlepool Art Gallery; - Heugh Battery Museum;


Most likely, if you arrive in this area, you do not come specifically to visit the Royal Navy Museum and you plan on visiting more. Or maybe you are just passing through. Anyway, I leave below some ideas of places to visit in the area and how I would organize a vacation in the north of England and the south of Scotland.

The option that I present you can change depending on how much time you have, I thought it for 7 days: landing at Leeds or Manchester airport. I don't particularly recommend staying in any of these cities, maybe just a few hours to walk the streets or have a meal. Instead, I would stay one day, two at the most in York. It is a beautiful city, and the streets look like an open-air museum. Then I would reserve a day or two to visit the villages on the North Sea coast: Whitby, Staithes, Robin Hood's Bay, Runswick Bay and Saltburn. Then I would come to this museum. The next day, I would visit the Farne Islands. On the sixth day I would visit Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle, then I would spend the last day in Edinburgh, from where I would fly back to my country. It is possible to visit everything I listed above only if you choose to rent a car. It is also possible with public transport, but in several more days.

To complete the list of possible activities, depending on your own itinerary, check this website, you will be surprised by the multitude of options.

CONCLUSION: Hartlepool is not as big and as nice city as the capital of the country, but here you can live some unique experiences and you can enjoy the English authenticity, which London has kind of lost. Sometimes we have to dare to visit places that are not so beaten by the feet of tourists and we will be pleasantly surprised.

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