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The Higgins is an art gallery and museum in Bedford, Bedfordshire. In addition, my son and I decided to visit The Higgins this summer. What’s more, is, it is free entry; however, donations welcomed. I also pre-booked our tickets online as there was a limited capacity to how many could enter the museum at a time. (They also hosted quieter SEND days this summer).
I previously visited Bedford for the: Celebration of Disability Sports Activities at the Riverside Square but have never been to the Higgins.
Arrival at The Higgins.
As we entered the art gallery and museum, there was a welcome back to The Higgins Bedford banner display by the entrance. Furthermore, there was a one-way operating system inside.
I Spy Going to Town.
The staff were so welcoming, as they handed us a free “I Spy… Going to Town” activity book. (Also available digitally to download). The activity book was full of family activities, including finding the details in the paintings and river facts on each page.
The first thing we decided to do was enter the Settlement gallery. My son then noticed a large image of the Monster of the deep, with which he wanted a photo.
The reptile was from the Jurassic period and was known as the Liopleurodon.
Interactive Map of Bedford.
Of course, my son noticed the interactive map of Bedford, which lit up in different colours to show the geological history of the area. (Limestone, clays, and sandstone).
There was also a key at the side for the buttons and locations.
Old Stone Age.
As we took a tour around the Old Stone Age exhibit, my son pointed out the numbers next to each object.
We matched them up with the numbers (underneath), which explain in more detail each archaeology object displayed.
As we moved along to each exhibit, we also moved along on the historical timeline; at the same time. (As seen above each display).
My son liked the keys, the most from the gallery, which he spotted as we walked around the corner.
Next, we entered the Edward Bawden Gallery, where we marvelled at the Peacock and Magpie artwork.
The vibrant blocks of colours made this art piece stand out.
There were plenty of Interactive displays in The Higgins Bedford; however, due to Covid, they were not displayed.
My son and I are big fans of interactive activities in museums, so we’re pleased to see that the museum offers them as part of the experience.
I enjoyed the metalwork display, showing the etching and decoration techniques used.
Black History Trail.
I noticed information about black historical figures as part of the black history trail. (One figure, in particular, Matthew Henson).
Following the Edward Bawden Gallery, we then entered the Somewhere in England gallery. I knew about some history of the industrial workers in the local area. However, I was not too familiar with Lacemaking in Bedfordshire. (You learn something new).
River Great Ouse in Bedford.
Before entering The Higgins art gallery and museum, we bypassed the River Great Ouse. So, it was lovely to see a display of watercolours and oil-based paintings of the river itself in the Going to Town Gallery.
My son connected us walking by the river and noticing the River Great Ouse in the artwork too. (Comparing real-life time to past decades interpretation captured in art).
There were QR codes displayed to scan so to read the artwork captions on a mobile. (Where you can adjust and zoom in).
Alternatively, they offer large print guides. Furthermore, there is also a guide to The Higgins for autistic people to use too.
All in all, it was a good day and experience for both of us.
Lastly, I wanted to include another one of our visits to Bedford, but on a different day to The Higgins.
We went to Bedford Park to have a scenic walk and for my son to play a bit of basketball on the court.
Afterwards, we sat under a tree, with the tree branches keeping us cool from the heat of the sun. More so, we brought our camping chairs to sit down on and had a picnic.
Lastly, we sat on the bench to enjoy the views of the Bedford Park Pond and then bought my son an ice cream before leaving the park.
Disclaimer: The content in the post is on personal experience; and for information and educational purposes. I received no payment or any other compensation for this post.
Next on the Tour de Bedfordshire is our day out to Wrest Park.