We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great find”
Review of The Pen Museum

The Pen Museum
Ranked #15 of 283 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Immerse yourself in the exciting world of pens and calligraphy and explore our amazing collection of over 5,000 objects.
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great find”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

This quirky, or maybe I should say 'quinky' museum is a wonderful find, absolutely crammed with all things pens and writing, including a selection of old style school desks with ink wells. But what makes it exceptional are the volunteers who run it, thank you John for a very informative guide around. We didn't have time to experience all the museum has to offer so will be back. The museum is free to enter, but please add to the donation box the volunteers are doing a fantastic job.

Visited August 2013
Thank 889977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

547 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, England
Level Contributor
891 reviews
263 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 349 helpful votes
“Still one of the quirkiest and best free attractions anywhere”
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Kids may recoil in horror when you tel them you are taking them to a pen museum!!! I bet they will be pleased you did take them though (especially say 7-11 year olds in my view). Small enough not to overwhelm but plenty of interaction and involvement for such a specialist topic and if you find you don't like it well its free so nothing lost. Give it a go though, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Visited August 2013
Thank brianthelion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
568 reviews
221 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Quirky museum run by knowledgeable & enthusiastic volunteers”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

When I suggested to my husband that we visit the pen museum he was very reluctant as he assumed that it would be stuffy and dull. Fortunately this wasn't the case. We were shown around the museum by a guide who was very passionate about Birmingham's history and explained to us how Birmingham was the centre of the pen trade for over 100 years. The guide kept us entertained for well over an hour and the highlight for me was being able to make my own pen nib using the original machinery. There is more to see here besides pens, I found the Braille machines particularly interesting and you are given the chance to spell out your name. This isn't the place for you if you like shiny, interactive screens and slick presentation but you will enjoy it if you appreciate quirky museums run by volunteers who are passionate about their subject.

Visited August 2013
Thank PebbleL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“A little Gem”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We came upon this by accident. We had some time time to kill and happened to walk by it. It is crammed full of interesting items I particularly liked the collections of ink wells. You can have a go at pressing out your own nibs. I didn't realise that there were so many different cones. Very interesting

Visited August 2013
Thank Pearl M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place shame about the customer service”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

I was really excited to visit this museum, and I enjoyed looking around on my own for about 30 mins. Even though it's small there is a lot to see.

It was quite busy when I visited on a weekday morning as a school tour was just finishing. I would have enjoyed my visit more if I could have had a tour and punched out my own nib on one of the machines as most of the other visitors seemed to be doing.

One of the volunteers did come over to where I and a couple of ladies were standing and asked if anyone would like a tour, but when the two other ladies said no he just walked off despite me saying I would like a tour and then following him saying excuse me, Excuse Me, EXCUSE ME, really quite loudly. I was beginning to get looks from some of the other visitors and volunteers by this time and felt quite embarrassed - I left shortly after.

Visited March 2013
Thank Kifah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Pen Museum also viewed

Birmingham, West Midlands

Been to The Pen Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing