I found the Dewa Roman Experience in Chester to be very confused and confusing. I guess they have called themselves an "Experience" rather than "museum" because they are trying to be too much at the same time. We started off having to wait to go in with two other groups. This wasn't fully explained and was slightly uncomfortable as their entrance lobby is not huge, however it became obvious as you walk in a slight reconstruction and are stopped at a closed door and spoken to by a talking model who gives a bit of an introductory speech about living in Roman times. Okay, so I thought at this point that this attraction was going to turn out to be something similar to the Jorvik Centre in York, a reconstructed model of Roman Chester. What a shame it wasn't. Well, it sort of was. This guy then stops talking and a door opens, so we all go through. It's not totally clear that you aren't supposed to walk through the next doorway as one man carried on and had to come back when the next model started speaking. On finishing this, you carry on through more reconstructions. It is not clear whether at this point the group can go at different paces or still has to stick together as there are no signs of more speaking models. One group went through faster than us and it was only later that there was more pre-recorded stuff to listen to and hence we missed what was said. The 'experience' then becomes an archeological site where you go down into a cellar to see some labelled bricks. Then there are a few artefacts which have been found, on display. However there isn't much and it's not displayed especially well. There's much better stuff in Chester's Grosvenor museum. Upstairs there's the 'hands-on' part of the 'experience' - a few things for children to interact with, that let's be honest, most museums are doing nowadays. Then you're in the gift shop. When we were there, there was noone there and the exit was not clear at all. Two emergency exits in the shop - one of these is the official way out, but we had to wait for the shop attendant to come and make this clear to us! We weren't in there very long at all - less than an hour, and I'm really interested in ancient history. This was just poor and so overpriced! Oh, and I forgot to mention, one family who initially went in with us were German. They were offered no information in German and the father attempted to translate what the models were saying for his children - how awful for them! Can you imagine being treated so badly in a German museum? How difficult would it be for the management to have an audio guide in different languages for our foreign visitors? Or at the very least some printed information.
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