Emma Bridgewater Factory Tour with Kids
Can you do an Emma Bridgewater Factory Tour with Kids?
Being a Working Mummy, there is something quite special about drinking a whole cup of tea, in peace, while it’s still hot! In our house, that cup of tea has to be in an Emma Bridgewater mug, not that I’m fussy or anything!
I’ve been a fan of Emma Bridgewater designs, in particular their mugs, for as long as I can remember; there is something quite comforting about the shape of the mug and I love the simple but classic designs. When we were asked to spend at day at the Emma Bridgewater site and review their factory tour I was incredibly excited and we immediately planned a ‘girly day’ with my daughter and a friend and her daughter.
As any Mum knows, planning childcare is a bit of a nightmare and all of a sudden, the day before, we found ourselves with a toddler to take with us after our plans fell through! Never mind!
We easily found the Emma Bridgewater site as it was clearly signposted from the main road and parking was plentiful and close. We walked up through a beautiful courtyard and into the Factory Shop and easily registered for our tour, delighted to see we each had a Visitor badge with an Emma Bridgewater design!
At this point, I panicked a little as the toddler, having been cooped up in the car, decided that he wanted a bit of a run about! The staff were very understanding and although it’s not an ideal tour for a little one, we found out that we would be able to get the push chair around the factory and quickly bribed him in!
The factory tour is carried out by friendly and knowledgeable staff and takes just under an hour. Initially, we walked through the moulding section where staff were busy filling moulds with clay to create that classic Emma Bridgewater product design. It was really interesting to see the different processes that the different products required and the girls particularly enjoyed watching the wet clay being pumped into the moulds as it travelled down a hose!
We moved on through the factory and looked at each of the different sections. We watched different products being moulded and created, and witnessed hundreds of products at different stages of the design and make process. As an Emma Bridgewater fan, it was fascinating to spot all the different products and designs (Christmas had started early at the Emma Bridgewater factory!). However, we all found the most interesting section the area where there were lots of painters adding the designs to the products; some painting free hand and others using carefully created sponges to stamp on the intricate designs. It was fascinating to see how the painters were able to create the same design over and over again with amazing detail and we certainly felt inspired for our own pottery painting session later on in the day!
We ended the tour and made our way into the café for a drink and cake. There were lots of cakes to choose from and for me, it was lovely to see there were several Gluten Free options on offer. The coffee was also lovely!
Our next stop was the Pottery Studio. Again, it was fantastic to see so many Emma Bridgewater classic products to choose from and of course, I had to paint a mug for myself! We all chose our products (which really was a tough choice as there was so much to choose from!) and after a quick demo, were ready to create our own masterpieces! We had the normal option of paint and paintbrushes but it was lovely to see there was also a fabulous offer of sponges, all hand created, for us to choose from! Deciding what to paint on our pottery was also a tough decision!
We could have easily stayed in the studio for longer than our 1.5 hour allocation (the toddler was asleep by now!) and it might be worth noting, if you take children it takes quite a while to get them settled before you get to your own creation. In fact, so frustrated were we that we have decided to book another (mummies only!) session again before Christmas so we can come back and have another go at pottery painting!
After a busy morning, it was time for lunch. There was a small but appealing seasonal menu to choose from and the food was fresh and homemade. The children had the option of a small ‘lunchbox’ with several options to choose from.
Our final stop was the beautiful rural garden, created by the staff for the 25th Anniversary of Emma Bridgewater. It was amazing what the gardener had managed to pack into such a small space. The garden really is a little haven of peace (with the added excitement of the chickens and a rather territorial rooster!).
We really enjoyed our day at Emma Bridgewater and I was surprised that what I thought would be a relatively short visit really did turn into a day out. The site is definitely more geared towards adults and older children (over 5’s) but they were really supportive of our 2 year old visiting and although it was a little hard work keeping him away from the pottery, we all had a lovely day out.
We are really looking forward to our next visit and plan to create some fabulous Emma Bridgewater inspired Christmas decorations!
BTW I love this tea towel too!
Every time I visit my friend I see this map by @emma_bridgewater and decide I'm going to hunt one out and buy it! I never do! It also makes me want to explore more of the 🇬🇧 in particular Scotland where I am definitely lacking. There are the traditional 86 counties which I think this map represents! I've been to nowhere near enough and didn't even know there was an area called #roxburgshire which shows my ignorance of all things #scotland Where in the UK would you like to explore next?? #ukexplore
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