Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Bicton’s Countryside Museum gets new guide
The newly edited Guide to Bicton Countryside Museum
To Bicton for a weekend walk to admire the autumn colours. But really, I wanted to take another look at the wonderful Bicton Park Botanical Gardens Countryside Museum.
Fairlynch, like many East Devon museums, is being put to bed for the winter. But Bicton Botanical Gardens’ proud boast is that it is open all year, excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Unfortunately, unlike Fairlynch, they charge for admission, but if you become a member and pay what I think is a moderate amount you can wave your card and get in free on every occasion as well as receiving a 5% discount on purchases in the gift shop and restaurant.
The old guide: I grew up in Somerset with a John Deere tractor!
When I first discovered the Countryside Museum I was surprised to find that it didn’t have its own guide on sale in the gift shop. There had been a guide, but it dated from the 1980s and was out of print. I looked online, but it wasn’t even obtainable secondhand.
That seemed crazy because this museum of agricultural life in the Lower Otter Valley is really superb. It can be overlooked, like the sweet little Shell Museum also hidden away in the Gardens.
Farming and agriculture represent a rather large gap in Fairlynch Museum’s coverage of local life, but of course, cramped as we are for space, all we can do is recommend a visit to Bicton.
And now, at last, the Botanical Gardens have brought out a new guide. It’s described as “brief” but actually it’s pretty dense, nicely written with masses of (excellent) informative detail and plenty of images. I can’t recommend it too highly.
I feel a series of blog posts coming on about Bicton, enthused as I am about the place.
To be continued.