Top 5 Historic Museums in the Heart of England
1) Ironbridge Gorge Museums
Described as the Birthplace of Industry the ten award winning museums give visitors the opportunity to see how the world used to look in Victorian times. Learn about key turning points in history such as the Industrial Revolution from the experts. The museums are spread along the valley beside the famous River Severn and the world’s first Iron Bridge built primarily to transport coal.
See the products that set industry on its path and the machines that made them. Watch and talk to the Museums’ craftsmen and costumed demonstrators as they work iron, fashion china and glass, and bring alive the people who lived and worked in Ironbridge.
The buildings, shops, industrial and domestic activities that the museum has introduced amongst the survivals of the sites original industries have a multifunctional role. Not only are they important pieces of material evidence of the past themselves they also house the collections displayed on Blists Hill and provide a backdrop to the day-to-day interpretation which the museum undertakes.
As well as the historical background and sights to see there is plenty for the kids to do as well. The Museums have been designed for visitors of all ages. Children will especially enjoy Blists Hill Victorian Town, where there are many child friendly activities and Coalport China Museum and Tar Tunnel, where there is an interactive Children’s Gallery. Enginuity is also ideal for children of all ages. There are lots of interactive exhibits and games to engage children’s interest, along with plenty of water to splash in. On certain days during the school holidays they hold drop in workshops that allow children to ‘have a go’ themselves.
Offer: Free Child Passport Ticket - With every Adult Passport ticket purchased you receive a Childs Passport ticket Free at www.visitheartofengland.com.
2) Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – Visit the Houses
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: they look after five fascinating properties; Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s Farm, Nash’s House and New Place, and Hall’s Croft.
For millions of Shakespeare enthusiasts worldwide, the house is a shrine. You will discover the world that shaped the man and you’ll find out what other famous writers thought when they visited here. Well-known visitors have included Charles Dickens, John Keats, Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a fascinating house that offers a tantalising glimpse into Shakespeare’s early world. It’s a special place that everyone should see in their lifetime.
Discover where the young William Shakespeare courted his future bride Anne Hathaway at her picturesque family home a thatched farmhouse with stunning grounds and gardens, which overflow with beautiful blooms.
Explore the house where Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, grew up and experience the daily routine, skills and crafts the young William would have known in the 1570s. Help with tasks such as basket weaving and traditional chores such as threshing, bread making, gardening and animal tending.
Visit Nash’s House, named after Thomas Nash, first husband of Shakespeare’s grandaughter, and a wealthy local property owner. Today, it is a well preserved Tudor building and the ground floor is furnished as it would have been in Nash’s day.
Next door to Nash’s House are the foundations of New Place. This was the house bought by William Shakespeare in 1597. By the late 1590s, Shakespeare was an established playwright and had amassed enough wealth to afford a new family home.
Take a walk through the elegant home of Susanna Shakespeare and her husband, Dr John Hall of Hall’s Croft. Enjoy the luxurious rooms and beautiful decoration of this fascinating house, befitting a wealthy physician of Dr John Hall’s status.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Nash’s House & New Place and Hall’s Croft are located in Stratford town centre. All three properties are within easy walking distance and can be visited in one day.
Offer: 2 for 1 at Shakespeare’s Birthplace which includes free entry to Nash’s House & New Place and Hall’s Croft. And even better news your ticket is valid for unlimited entry for 12 months.
3) Coventry Transport Museum
See the world’s largest collection of British road transport located in the birthplace of British transport. Offering everything from ‘bone shaking’ cycles to land speed record cars.
The Museum’s collection includes over 240 cars, commercial vehicles and buses, 94 motorcycles, 200 cycles, 25,000 models and around 1 million archive and ephemera items.
This unique collection will enthral even the most avid enthusiast but the displays tell other stories too: of invention, vision and enterprise; technology, skill and industry; passion, resilience and hope.
Go check it out admission is absolutely free.
4) Worcester Porcelain Museum
The Worcester Porcelain Museum’s collections date back to 1751 when Dr. John Wall an eminent local surgeon and William Davis the elder, an apothecary, perfected the secret recipe for manufacture of soft paste porcelain in Worcester.
The Museum houses the finest and most extensive collections of Worcester Porcelain. Be transported to Georgian times and the very start of production when shapes and patterns were copied from the Far East for use in the homes of the very rich. See an exquisite room setting and how the table was laid for desert featuring an eighteenth century long case clock and a fine trio of hexagonal vases, just as they appeared in a gentleman’s home.
With free audio tour talking about the exhibits and what was happening in Great Britain at the time. Factory workers also talk about their skills and how they carried out their work.
5) Heritage Motor Centre
Fun for all the family! The Heritage Motor Centre houses informative and interactive exhibitions charting the history of British motoring from the 1890s to present day.
Walk the ‘Time Road’ and discover how motoring and family life has changed through the decades with period music and memorable events including the introduction of double yellow lines.
Free guided tours twice a day. Outdoor activities include Land Rover off-road Experience and children’s Miniature Roadway (each with separate charge), nature path, children’s playground and picnic site.
Offer: Simply agree to ‘Gift Aid’ your entry fee and we will give you a 12 months admission ticket at no extra cost. Terms & Conditions apply & this ticket is not valid on 5 event days per year.
Check out www.visittheheart.com for great offers!