Eden Camp is an old WW2 prisoner of war camp situated just outside of Malton in Yorkshire. I was visiting as part of my preparations for brining 90 year 9 pupils in a few weeks time, and had a pleasant afternoon wandering around the site. Although the concrete buildings aren’t great to look at from the outside, the inside is definitely worth seeing.
There are 28 huts, and the majority are used as part of the museum, with a few being used as the café, gift shop and toilets etc. Each one is crammed with information and many have immersive re-creations of scenes, such as WW1 trenches, a German U-boat and a Blitzed street, complete with sound effects and even smells! These are a lot of fun for children and adults alike, although some of the models are a little dated and creepy looking!
While I was visiting, there was also a WW2 re-enactment group on site, which certainly brought the place to life with realistic looking soldiers from the British, US, French and even German armies walking around and answering questions. Although this doesn’t happen every weekend, it was certainly a nice surprise and if you can organise your trip to coincide with one of these themed weekends, I would suggest you do so!
As part of the same event, there was also a D-Day veteran named David Teacher (MBE) in the gift shop selling his autobiography of his experiences on Juno Beach to raise money for a return trip to the same spot. He was absolutely lovely and such an interesting guy, although who I presume was his publisher did most of the talking! Apparently they’re usually based at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester if you are interested and willing to make the trip- I only wish he was around for my year 9s to meet as that would be an amazing experience for them, but he did say we could email him with any questions which is pretty cool.
The canteen also houses walls full of memorials to soldiers who died in the war fighting in various Yorkshire regiments which was a nice touch and would definitely be worth looking at if you know of any family from the area who died in WW2.
Overall, it is a pretty interesting day out, and has loads to do for the kids outside- lots of bomb shelters to play in, tanks and planes to look at and even an assault course to burn off some energy! Even if you’re not the biggest history or museum fan, this place really does bring it to life and so might be more your cup of tea.