The Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge holds a unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment and maps illustrating polar exploration, history and science.

The institute was founded in 1920, in memory of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions who died on their return journey from the South Pole in 1912. It is now therefore the Terra Nova Antarctic Expedtion (1910-1913) Centenary, and as such there are a number of events being held over the coming months to commemorate it. The Scott 100 website has more details.

The Polar Museum logo

I may have lived in Cambridge several years and passed by the building many times, but I’d never actually been inside. As I was stopping in town on Friday afternoon, I popped into the Museum. I must say, I was very impressed with the displays. Informative, interesting and inspiring! Only problem was, there was only time for me to look round the section on Arctic cultures and exploration before closing time. So I shall just have to go back again to find out more about the Antarctic…

The SPRI website has a complete library of photographs of the Arctic and Antarctic, dating from 1845 expeditions to the present day, which are great for browsing even if you’re only vaguely interested in polar exploration.

So if you happen to be in Cambridge, I highly recommend popping into the museum on Lensfield Road. Best of all, it’s free.