Royal Gunpowder Mills

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey: Hours, Address, Royal Gunpowder Mills Reviews: 4.5/5

Royal Gunpowder Mills
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Children's Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Royal Gunpowder Mills is a great place for families to spend days out exploring the secret history of gunpowder, explosives and rocket propellants through our engaging interactive Exhibitions, Science Shows and Children's Activities. With a 300 year history and 170 acres of secret science and hidden heritage there's always a great day out to be had at the Royal Gunpowder Mills - Next open February 10 - February 18 for MAYHEM IN THE MAD LAB
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
448 reviews
Excellent
280
Very good
115
Average
38
Poor
10
Terrible
5

Nick W
Witney, UK86 contributions
May 2022
Take the tractor tour of the site and listen to the enthusiastic commentary of the volunteer. Then visit the rocket hall and chat with the volunteers before going to the main building.
As well as the history of explosives manufacture, the main exhibition hall includes an astonishing collection of firearms.
Only open from 11:00-16:00 on Sundays only at present.
Written 17 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mark E
14 contributions
May 2022
A visit over the Bank Holiday weekend with our grandsons, 6 and 3, turned out to be an amazing hit. We had done some research but weren’t quite sure what to expect although we had earmarked the 30-minute tractor ride around the site, the rocket-making and the science sessions.
On arrival, we found all the staff and volunteers to be friendly, enthusiastic and very efficient. Your entry enables each person to have either a tractor or miniature train ride and there is a booking point near the wonderfully named Rocket Roundabout. This booking system helps you to plan your day and prevents long queues forming and it is nicely done. The ride was very informative although the boys were more interested in spotting deer in what is now a nature reserve than learning about the history of the site which dates back to 1665. Perhaps next time! Many of the buildings are early to mid-20th century, are grade listed and have not been renovated, much of the grounds being returned to nature.
The outdoor science sessions by “Professor Nitrate” were utterly brilliant and are, it must be stressed, an absolute must. Combining science, fun experiments and a lot of humour which worked for both children and adults, it was a dazzling display. In fact, the boys insisted on watching the two different sessions twice. The inclusion of this feature is inspired thinking by the RGM team.
Similarly entertaining and educational was the rocket making. Fortunately pneumatically and not chemically powered, these also proved very popular with the children [and thus with us!] and the lady supervising was both kind and patient as the boys kept on launching them. Another good idea, well executed.
Some time in the Rocket Vault was very informative and interesting, not least because of the volunteer there at the time was very informative indeed.
The boys loved the zip line play area and we spent quite a lot of time there. In fact, the whole day just flew past and I don’t think we saw even half of what is on offer. Another trip will thus be planned and we are looking forward to it already.
The Gunpowder Mills have only opened again recently following a 2-year closure and, in our opinion, form a very much unknown and underrated gem less than 10 minutes off the M25. We really enjoyed our visit and, as mentioned, will return. All involved are to be congratulated. Highly recommended.
Written 2 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Debz
3 contributions
May 2022 • Family
Had a great day out visiting the Royal Gunpowder Mills, On arrival there was a lovely lady called Natalie who gave us some information before entering. All staff were friendly and helpful, we really enjoyed the tractor ride around the mill and seeing all the old buildings and being told what they were used for, we saw a short film which was very educational (your never to old to learn). Great day out for all ages!
Written 2 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

account2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga129 contributions
May 2022
I spent a very enjoyable day here. A fascinating site with enthusiastic volunteers. The tractor trip shows you more of the site than the railway, but if they are not busy you can do both.
Written 2 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Helen U
London, UK4 contributions
May 2022 • Family
We had the most brilliant family day out. The gunpowder mills are staffed by volunteers some of whom used to work there as scientists, and are full of great facts about explosives and the official secrets act! Great tractor tour around the site, fun train ride, good playground. Highlight for us was the amazing science shows with Professor Nitrate. The kids LOVED it. He’s brilliant. So engaging, funny and educational.
Written 2 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RoseyT_13
Broxbourne, UK50 contributions
May 2022
We have never visited the Gunpowder Mills despite living locally, but that was remedied this afternoon and our eyes were opened - we had no idea there was so much there or that the site had been used for so many things. We were there about 2 hours, but will be back as we didn’t see everything. The volunteers are all really well informed and helpful.
Written 1 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Climber45313
Waltham Abbey, UK19 contributions
May 2022 • Family
We visited the Museum today and it didn't disappoint. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and there was plenty to see and do. We watched the Professor Nitrate show as adults and found it very funny. The staff are so informative and helpful and we will definitely be returning to ride on the train, tractor and see the other exhibits.
Written 1 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kazz
8 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
It's great to see the gunpowder museum open again after two years. The highlight for me was prof nitrates sessions. Luckily I had a child with me to enjoy the sessions without looking like a weirdo.
Handling guns was a new experience for me and the young guide was extremely knowledgeable and informative.
Beautiful place. We saw a lot of wildlife on our tour and when having a little walk around.
We were there the whole time they were open and didn't get the to experience everything fully so will come back again!
Written 20 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

narcoticsuite
Buckhurst Hill, UK27 contributions
Apr 2022
I have been here a few times over the years and I think it's a good place for a day out with the family. There is lots to do for kids - playground with zip wire, make and launch a rocket, entertaining nutty professor shows, an interesting museum and armory and also wildlife. Several of the staff have a very good knowledge of the site, having worked there when it was still an active research centre, and they are only too happy to talk to you which adds to the interest.

The tractor tour is very good with lots of opportunity to spot wildlife. The train ride is okay if you are keen on mini railways but you don't really see any more of the site doing it.

They have just reopened after two years so not sure if they will be improving the cafe but it was really just crisps, biscuits and drinks when we went. I seem to remember them offering more than that previously so maybe that was just a temporary thing. You can take food with you though.

All in all, worth a visit.
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stuart C
London, UK48 contributions
Apr 2022
Professor Nitrate gave me some wonderful pyro tips, so worth going for this alone.
Tractor/ landtrain tour is also worth doing as you get to see all the site.
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Royal Gunpowder Mills

Royal Gunpowder Mills is open:
  • Sun - Wed 10:00 - 17:00