Whether you are interested in a recreated Victorian town, hands-on interactives, fine china, decorative tiles or the history of iron making, it’s all to be found in this fascinating World Heritage Site.
Step back in time at Blists Hill Victorian Town where you will be greeted with a stunning display of sight and sound in the visitor centre as massive images are projected on nine metre high walls telling the harsh reality of life during the evolution of mining and hot metal industries.
Exchange your money in the town’s bank for pre-decimal token coins and spend them in the sweet shop, fried fish dealers or New Inn Public House. Then meander around the period shops and cosy cottages, all decorated for Christmas, where you will receive a warm welcome from the resident Victorians and be invited into their homes for a chat around the fireside as they go about their daily life.
For the first time this year, you can also let the Blists Hill ‘residents’ take the stress out of Boxing Day by taking the family to enjoy a sumptuous brunch at the Victorian Town. You will be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine and canapés, while children can tuck into a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows. Then relax with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, hand cut bacon and field mushrooms. Yummy. The Boxing Day brunch is priced at £25 per adult and £15 for children (12 and under) including admission into Blists Hill for the day. Holders of valid Annual Passport Tickets get a 25% discount. Pre-booking is essential by calling 01785 252 247.
Over at Coalport China Museum you can marvel at the magnificent china displayed in the very buildings in which it was produced; there’s even a special gallery for children where they can discover the secrets of how china was made. Then walk through galleries and period room settings adorned with magnificent tiles at Jackfield Tile Museum. Displays include tiles from a London hospital children’s ward intricately painted with scenes from nursery rhymes, while a highlight is the John Scott Gallery, which houses a world-class collection of British decorative tiles from designers such as Pugin, Dresser, Morris, De Morgan and Bawden.
Youngsters can let their imagination go wild at the Enginuity design and technology centre, as they become a design engineer for the day, able to play with huge interactive exhibits, X-ray everyday objects to see how they are made, control a ‘river’ to generate electricity and compete against a robot. Modern equipment is combined with historic machinery to explain everyday principles.
Discover how Coalbrookdale changed the world at the newly redisplayed Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron. Here you will find out how the Coalbrookdale ironmasters started the Industrial Revolution and see magnificent objects made from iron. Finally during a visit to the Museum of The Gorge you can learn more about the Ironbridge Gorge and why the area became a World Heritage Site.
A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing entry into all ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children (16 years or under), £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5s free (terms and conditions apply); Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum.
For further information, call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.
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