Firstly, a lovely building; secondly, some really good collections -we focussed on the Romans; thirdly, lockers etc so you are not cluttered up with stuff(£1) and can enjoy your visit. There are other collections/material not on display which you can arrange to see, they give public talks and both the Natural History Society and the Society of Antiquities are based here. The talks are given by knowledgeable staff from Tyne and Wear Museums and/ or the universities, well worth going to.
For children ,there is some really good stuff but it gets crowded winter hols/half terms etc.
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