We found the place quite easily and there was plenty of parking. The buildings are listed as they include kilns of the old pottery We went into the shop first and the children were, as expected, fascinated by the marbles. Some of the things were a little expensive but there were some nice things on offer. On the staircase was a massive marble run, apparently called Snooki. My photography doesn't do it real justice (partly because it was on my phone) but here it is.
We had a quick look at the pottery museum but the children weren't all that interested beyond the ceramic model of the Old Pottery buildings from way back and the fire pump machine that protected the factory for years. We wandered into the marble museum area where there were more marble runs and these.
Next were the glass workshops, which have always fascinated me but Monkey didn't seem all that bothered. This may have been because by this point, he had spotted the cafe where aforementioned cream tea could be served so we headed there next. This is what we got.
Monkey and I shared this one. And no, we didn't finish it. He didn't even finish his scone. This may have been something to do with the size of the chocolate milks the children had.
(That's a pint glass, by the way - not quite filled to the level, but not far off!)
The children then discovered the outdoor games area, which contained Britain's largest marble floating on water.
The children were captivated by the marble run - where you run marbles around a large copper funnel. We had a great time playing with it until some unruly children marched up and started spoiling our game so we walked away and returned to the shop, where we purchased some marbles for the children to take home. Funnily enough, they are now utterly fascinated by marbles and can't get enough of them.
It was a lovely afternoon out - free entry but cost us for afternoon tea (£15) and a purchase in the shop (£7.50). It just goes to show that the simple toys are often the best as they can be used in so many different ways. However, developing a serious marble habit could prove expensive as they had so many different types, colours and sizes.