The Travelator: Curious Places – Steampunk aka the MAD Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon

With the school holidays here our travel columnist writes about a place that’s a bit closer to home than usual, and well worth visiting.


Mad Museum

The Steampunk Museum, or to be more accurate, the Museum of Mechanical Art and Design, is situated in a quiet little corner of Stratford-upon-Avon.  You’ll know when you’ve found it by the little mechanical clanks and bangs from its outdoor exhibits.  Don’t forget to clap your hands at the front door.

It’s a real Bill Bryson of museums.  That’s to say it’s filled with a strange miscellany of confections that defy description and need a mind of weird and wonderful scope to pull them together.

There are two stories of interactive exhibits ranging from the simply structured automaton you could imagine having put together with your dad on a rainy afternoon at his shed, to things so wildly complex they are works of art in their own right.

Everything chatters, calls, clinks and hums, making this an audio as well as a visual feast.  Sadly we didn’t have godchildren in tow, but they would have loved it as much as we did.

There is complexity even in the simple ideas here.   Allow at least a couple of hours to spend at the museum – the building may be of modest size, but the exhibits are fascinating.  You might even get hooked (as I did) on watching a group of men (plus ladder) creating a digital clock time face.  And you might have to go and find your husband, who has become addicted to the mini cinema on the top floor.

As a teaser, don’t forget to let me know if Justin Bieber’s light has fused again…

The MAD Museum
Sheep Street, Stratford Upon Avon, CV37 6EF

The Travelator is Bernadette Jackson, travel business owner, avid traveller, blogger and lover of the absurd. You can reach her at [email protected]  and on Twitter at @BJacksonCHUK. Her Facebook page is here And her website is here