On Tuesday 18 May, the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon will once again be allowed to open its doors to the public.

To celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions, there will be two brand new exhibitions on display, thanks to the hard work of the team behind the scenes.

Documentary Photography Open - 18 May to 4 July

The annual Documentary Photography Open provides a platform for amateur to established photographers, throughout North Devon. Celebrating creativity within the community, the exhibition promotes contemporary photography and enhanced practice, helping to document the everyday lives and stories of North Devon. Photographers across North Devon have been invited to pick up their phones and cameras to document these extraordinary times and express what 'Home' means to them. Museum visitors are invited to vote for their favourite image with the winner receiving the public prize of £100.

Weird, Wild and Wonderful – The Myths, Relics and Folklore of North Devon 18 May – 17 July

In a wonderful collaboration of poetry and art, 11 celebrated artists from North Devon bring to life the weird, wild and wonderful tales of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon. Featuring poetry by Jade Angeles Fitton and artists such as John Hurford, Hester Berry and Merlyn Chesterman. This exhibition brings to life the mythical, every day and hidden objects within the museum’s collections.

Museum curator, Alison Mills, says: "We are so happy to be able to open our doors to the public once again, and we can't wait to welcome visitors back to enjoy the new exhibitions we have been planning throughout lockdown.

"The documentary photography exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to see variations on the theme of 'Home' as viewed by local photographers through the prism of lockdown life.

"The Weird, Wild and Wonderful exhibition is a magical look at the collections in the museum by very talented artists and will give you a whole new perspective on the items in them."

Admission is free and measures are in place to keep visitors safe, including limiting visits to 2 groups of 4 people every 15 minutes, a one way system, hand sanitisers, social distancing and use of the Track and Trace app.

To ensure visits are evenly spaced throughout the day, you can book to visit the museum through Art Tickets, with no booking fees. Visitors can also book tickets by calling 01271 346747. A small number of daily tickets will be kept aside for groups turning up on the day but visitors are strongly advised to pre-book as they may be asked to wait or return at a later time slot.

Visitors wishing to enjoy Bromley’s tearoom do not have to pre-book and can access the tearoom through the museum’s side door.

Current museum opening hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10:30am – 4:30pm (last admission at 4pm). Scaffolding is currently in place outside the building, this is just for routine maintenance and does not prevent public access.

To keep up to date with events happening at the museum, visit their website or facebook page.