Britain’s most bizarre museums revealed – including a POO exhibition and a shrine to pencils


NETFLIX hit Dark Tourist put weird weekend breaks on the map with ghoulish destinations being flooded with intrepid travellers.

Journalist David Farrier visited chilling hotspots to get a holiday experience like no other – including trips to suicide forest Aokigahara and ghost town Chernobyl.

The National Poo Museum promises not to leave visitors down in the dumps

But if taking a visit to nuclear radiation sites is a step too far, there are plenty of bizarre tourist favourites in the UK.

From a museum dedicated to poo and a Baked Bean haven set up in a Welsh council house, Britain has cornered the map on barmy destinations.

And for those craving something a little darker, a garden home to 100 deadly plants could prove intoxicating.

The Derwent Pencil Museum boasts the world’s-longest pencil

The Derwent Pencil Museum, Cumbria

The pencil museum has become a British institution – attracting thousands of holidaymakers hoping to glimpse the world’s longest pencil.

The 25ft and 11ins whopper proudly stands among other gems including The Queen’s diamond Jubilee pencil.

There’s even a discovery trail leading visiting to secret World War Two pencils complete with a hidden map and compass used by RAF pilots.

Other highlights include the history of graphite and discovering how factories get colour inside a pencil.

Baked Bean Museum, Port Talbot

These Welsh attraction was started by Barry Kirk over ten years ago and remains the only museum in the world dedicated to baked beans.

The Baked Bean Museum only museum in the world dedicated to the food
Rex Features
Captain Beany runs the museum out of his flat in Port Talbot
Rex Features

Kirk changed his name by deed poll to Captain Beany and spent £10,000 dedicating his council flat to Heinz.

Inside the museum is Britain’s largest collection of baked bean memorabilia, including an original 1920s baked bean advertisement poster which was recently valued at £500.

Captain Beany lives up to his name – dressing in a cape, green pants, orange jumpsuit and painted face to greet visitors.

The British Lawnmower Museum, Southport

The cult favourite is a one-of-a-kind tourist destination featuring lawnmowers belonging to the rich and famous – including one gifted to Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

The British Lawnmower Museum features machines donated by the rich and famous
The Southport attraction contains 1,000 lawnmowers

Other celebs – such as Vanessa Feltz, Paul O’Grady, Alan Titchmarsh and Brian May – have all donated their lawnmowers to the collection.

The museum is the brainchild of Brian Radam, who opened its doors to the public in 1988.

Visitors can inspect 1,000 lawnmowers – including vintage versions from 1799 and machines made by Rolls Royce, Leyland Motors and Royal Enfield.

The National Poo Museum, Isle of Wight

The “poo-seum” based in a former public toilet is guaranteed not to leave visitors feeling down in the dumps.

The attraction boasts dozens of specimens to educate people about the “magic and secrets that live within poo”.

The National Poo Museum features specimens from animals and people
New York Times
The collection includes fossilised dinosaur poo
There are over 20 different types of excrement

Different exhibitions at the “Loo-vre” include fossilised dinosaur droppings and specimens from badgers, rabbits and snails.

There are around 20 different types of poo displayed in resin spheres at the museum, which is due to officially open its doors next year.

Those who can’t wait can check the website to see when the Plop-up Poo Museum will be appearing.

Teapot Island, Kent

The Mad Hatter’s dream features more than 7,000 teapots and proudly boasts two Guinness World Records.

Among the barmy display is a teapot in the shape of Winston Churchill’s head with a cigar-shaped spout and another standing at an impressive 3m-tall.

Teapot Island will drive visitors potty
The attraction boasts more than more than 7,000 teapots

The museum was opened in 2002 after Sue Blazye ran out of space to keep her teapot collection and has been visited by Prince Charles and Camilla.

Since then, the collection has been valued at £15,000 and 2,000 teapots are available to buy.

Visitors can even make their own creation with a paint your own pottery section.

Alnwick Poison Garden, Northumberland

On arrival at the Alnwick Poison Gardens, an ominous sign reads: “These plants can kill”.

The stunning gardens might be full of lush trees and delicate flowers but the site is home to 100 of the world’s most lethal plants.

Some tourists have fallen ill and fainted after flouting advice not to smell or touch anything and even groundskeepers have to wear gloves when tending to the plants.

Alnwick Poison Garden is home to 100 lethal plants
The pretty gardens contain heart-stopping foliage
Some tourists have fainted after smelling the plants

The garden is in the grounds surrounding Alnwick Castle, which was used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films.

Among the poisonous plants are ricinus communis, which can annihilate internal organs with a single seed, and a killer daffodil bulb.

Despite its macabre hook, the gardens attracts 800,000 tourists a year.


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