Based alongside the Tourist Information Centre in Rochdale, Touchstones is a modern, well laid out arts and heritage centre. It is ideal for under-fives as there is just enough to keep their interest and I stayed much longer than I’d planned. Although the museum is all in one room, the space is really well utilised; loads of interesting objects accompanied by manageable amounts of text. My three-year-old enjoyed crawling through the coal pit tunnel and there were lots of hands-on activities in drawers including a bucket which smelt disgusting when you took the lid off, plus a lovely area with dressing up clothes and a large mirror.
In the art gallery’s permanent collection there is a series of under-fives activity boxes linked to different paintings on display. On this visit they were themed around horses, robins and frogs!
I left Touchstones with a real sense of times gone by in Rochdale. The staff were helpful and, all told, it was a thoroughly enjoyable visit.
Tues-Sat 10am-5pm. Admission free. Café on site.
Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade,
Rochdale OL16 1AQ
Tel: 01706 924492 link4life.org/touchstones