What’s On

Activities and Events

A variety of exciting activities, workshops and events take place in the museum galleries, the community rooms and out in the town. These include getting hands on with museum objects, art sessions, memory cafes and ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours of the museum stores. Keep checking back regularly to see what’s coming up.

Have a look at our latest newsletter here

Latest Events:

Full details about our upcoming exhibitions:

High Street 100

Running from 30th July until 31st August, a new, completely FREE exhibition will be taking a nostalgic look back over the last one hundred years of the town’s high street.

Newton Abbot High Street has been a thriving hub of retail activity for many years, and using the 100-year celebration of Austins department store joining the high street as inspiration, this exhibition will highlight some of the town’s favourite shops from 1924 until the present day. It will show changes in shopping trends, and offer a (shop) window into how the high street has changed over the decades.

There will be activities and talks taking place throughout August – so watch this space for further information!

The Stover Canal Trust: Exhibition

This summer the museum is joining forces with Stover Canal Trust to celebrate the work of its volunteers with a photographic exhibition chronicling the extensive restoration work they have tackled over the last 25 years.

The exhibition will be based in the main museum space over the summer holidays, and will also feature dioramas of the canal, as well as objects found during years of excavation work.

Come and see the brilliant work the trust has undertaken, and if you are looking for a new volunteering opportunity, come and chat to members of Stover Canal Trust to see how you can help!

Contact email address: [email protected]

Full details about our upcoming events:

Young Curators

Ages 8-16, every Tuesday (10:30am-12:30pm) in the summer holidays. Explore behind the scenes and learn how to look after museum collections.

Join us for this FREE holiday club this summer (30th July and 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th August) – spaces are limited though so book your place here: Young Curators’ Summer Club Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Craft Sessions

Taking place every Thursday (10:30am-12:30pm) in August these weekly craft sessions are linked to the summer exhibition ‘High Street 100’. They are free to attend, and are drop-in sessions.

8th – Make 3D buildings to add with others to create a little town.

15th – Design your very own shopping bag. Use fabric paints and pens to create your customised,  cloth bag.

22nd – The museum has a Stereoscope from an old opticians in the town. See how it works and make your own 3D glasses to create 3D artwork.

29th – Inspired by the wonderful pharmacy that used to be in Queens Street – Bibbings – we will be making perfume and decorating little glass bottles to hold your unique scent.


These are FREE events, but donations are gratefully received. Donations are currently going toward the signal gantry.

Ephemera: Conserving a Local Shop Leaflet

Join trained book and paper conservator Lucy to learn all about the conservation of a shop leaflet found underneath the floorboards!

Wednesday 7th August, 7pm-8pm

Book your free place here

Just 3 Old Shops Part 1

Join Tess Walker (author of ‘Noticing Newton Abbot’) to hear about Three Old Shops: Austins, Ridgways and Gerry & Co Jewellers.

This event will dive into the history and stories behind three iconic shops in the area. Get ready to learn about the evolution of these shops and their impact on the community. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with local history!

Wednesday 14th August, 7pm-8pm

Book your free place here

Just 3 Old Shops Part 2

Join Tess Walker for part 2 (author of ‘Noticing Newton Abbot’) to hear about a further Three Old Shops: Madge Mellors, Leonard Coombes and Vigars.

This event will dive into the history and stories behind three iconic shops in the area. Get ready to learn about the evolution of these shops and their impact on the community. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with local history!

Monday 19th August, 12pm-1pm

Book your free place here

Madge Mellor’s Remembered

Wednesday 21st August, 2pm-4pm, drop-in

There are so many people in Newton Abbot who remember the Madge Mellor café fondly – either they or a family member worked there or they were taken as a special treat after a visit to the dentist!

We are going to celebrate this iconic institution with a special afternoon where you can see some extra Madge Mellor items from our collection, reminisce over old photographs, share memories and, most excitingly… have a chocolate éclair and a cup of tea with us.

Museum Make and Create

See all available sessions here

The Art of Shopping!

Saturday 3rd August, 10.30am-12.30pm

This month our Make and Create session is linked to our Summer Exhibition: High Street 100

Shopping bags at the ready – we will make all sorts of different bags in this workshop to link with our summer exhibition. Practical, creative and fun at the same time!

Booking required, FREE to attend

Book your place here


Saturday 14th September, 10.30am-12.30pm

This month our Make and Create session will be taking place a week later than usual to coincide with Heritage Open Days.

Inspired by a large variety of maps, we will be exploring the map making process and making maps.

But these will not be the sort of maps we might use to get around – how about a map of your summer holiday, or a map of your heart’s desires, or even a map of mythological places or a map of your imagination?

This is a great opportunity to be super creative and have lots of fun!

FREE to attend, drop-in session in the main museum space

Toddler Tuesdays, during term-time

Upcoming sessions will be available to book for FREE from the week before, you can even set a reminder through Eventbrite! You can look at all upcoming sessions here

Upcoming sessions:


  • 2nd
  • 9th
  • 16th
  • 23rd – last session of the term
Toys, colouring area and chairs set up for Toddler Tuesday

• Free informal sessions for children up unto the age of 4
• Every Tuesday during term-time
• 9:30-10:30
• Takes place within the museum space

Please note that food and drink (except water) are not allowed in the museum space, but we have a seating area on the first floor where you can enjoy any food that you have with you.

Take advantage of Newton’s Place facilities:
• Hot drinks machine and seating area upstairs with highchair
• Accessible toilets with changing facilities

Upcoming Relaxed visits

Newton Abbot Museum welcomes anyone who might benefit from visiting the Museum at a quieter time.

The next Relaxed Sessions will be:

View of Newton Abbot Museum from the Welcome Desk

Monday 12th August, 3pm-4pm

Monday 14th October, 3pm-4pm

In the meantime you can contact the museum to find out when the quieter times in the museum are.

Explore our galleries in a calm and relaxed environment where we will ensure our sound levels are reduced. There will be a quiet space available away from the galleries, and you are welcome to borrow our new sensory bags and ear-defenders.

These sessions are great for visitors with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or other communication and sensory needs and their families / carers but are suitable for all.

‘Chill Out’ Room

To help you prepare for your visit we have made a visual story which you can see if you click here. For other access information please visit our Museum Access page.

If you have any questions about the Museum’s relaxed visits or require any further information, please email [email protected] or phone 01626 201121

Heritage Open Day in Newton Abbot – 14th September- Routes, Networks and Connections

This year’s Heritage Open Days are a nationwide series of events exploring how people and ideas have moved around and come together throughout history. The museum is offering a variety of activities on Saturday 14th September

St. Leonard’s TowerExplore and Build

Explore Newton Abbot’s medieval tower as you immerse yourself in 800 years of history. Then try your hand at being an engineer as you help to build a working train out of Lego and learn about the impact of the railways on the town.

The tower of St. Leonard dates to the 1200s. On Saturday 14th September we will be opening the doors and welcoming visitors in for a tour of the tower, between 10am and 1pm. There will also be a video tour showing what it is like upstairs. Free entry!

Please note, due to the nature of the ancient tower building, there is no wheelchair access to the upper floors. The steps are steep and access to the upper floor is at your own risk. Under 5’s are not permitted to go up the Tower.

Try your hand at being an engineer! Thanks to Brickideas you can get stuck in and help to build a train out of Lego. See the working train model upstairs at the museum in this special event.

Saturday 14 September: 10:00-13:00 No booking required


The ground floor of the tower is accessible and there will be a video tour you can watch to see upstairs. Due to the nature of this ancient building, there is no wheelchair access to the upper floors. The spiral staircase is narrow with steep steps so access to the upper floor is at your own risk and is unsuitable for those with mobility issues or claustrophobia.

Newton Abbot Museum welcomes Lady Katherine

Step back in time and meet the Tudor Lady Katherine, mother to the famous explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. Find out how Newton Abbot was connected to this notable figure by immersing yourself in history and talking to a costumed interpreter, researcher and author of ‘A Woman of Noble Wit’ and her newest publication ‘The Dartington Bride’.

Museum Quest

Solve our clues and be rewarded with a new sticker for your PastPort

Make and Create

All about map making- details TBC

Temporary Exhibitions

Your Space Case (in the conservation section)

We have some wonderful displays lined up for 2024, so don’t forget to check back here to find out what is on show!

Currently on display pill boxes, dog and ducks.

Do you have a collection that you would like to share? To find out if any of your cherished items could go on show in the Your Space Community Case in the future, please have a chat with staff in the museum or email our Community Engagement Officer Kate Green at [email protected]


Within the community rooms, the museum and local groups/schools can hold regular exhibitions of collections and artwork.

There is always something new to see and do in the museum – even for regular visitors. Every month, a different group or school chooses a new item for our ‘Object of the Month’ case. The photo wall has a new theme each month, with historic images of local places, people and events from different eras. The ‘Your Space’ case is updated regularly with displays of collections or artwork by the local community. Our ‘Recent Donations’ area allows us to display the very latest objects that have been added to the museum collection. In addition, our bespoke gallery cases have a flexible design so that displays can be easily updated and changed and the objects swapped with items in our stores.

Do you have a collection or make anything that you would like to share in the Your Space Community Case? We’d love to hear from you – please contact us with your suggestions.

You can find details of Town Council events here

You can view our museum gallery of past events and activities here or explore past temporary exhibitions and the museum collection here

The community rooms in Newton’s Place are available for hire, full information is on The Town Council’s website here