I went to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, England with family. The museum is an open-living area where all the buildings are from the industrial revolution (yes, really) and all volunteers dress and act as people from this time period. The site is massive with all the buildings you would expect to find in a town including shops, schools, pubs etc with a small canal, train and buses. You can easily spend the entire day here like we did just to cover the entire site. I throughly recommend it (click here).
Workshops, tutorials and living the experience sessions just add to the atmosphere of being transported to the past. Want to experience old-style schooling? A 30 minute lesson is just for you! For the older generation, you will enjoy experincing the teaching style you had, or for the younger generation…? The difference will astound you, shock you even and be aware of the imperial system of measurements! And calculators, what calculators?
Get some tickets to experience an old fashioned fairground, though many of the attractions will be familiar to both young and old. For those of you that spot the ‘Closed: Gone To The Pub’ sign over one of the attractions decide this is a better alternative, then the Pub is only a short walk around the corner with the only tipples you will find are Ales (Bitter, Light Bitter and…). Some sandwiches and snacks are also available. In winter there is a roaring fire and whatever the season, you can sit inside or in the garden out the back.
The pub in many communities, past and present has the pub as its central place and in the Black Country Living Museum this is no different. All your shop needs from food, clothing, DIY, radios et al, as well as a church can be found a stones throw from the pub. Most of these establishments are open and free to look around at your leisure with volunteers on hand to give you information and answer your questions. You can even buy some of the produce available including the traditional staple Fish and Chips. Yum, yum.
The buses and trams are free to travel upon around the site, though walking is your best bet in my opinion, but whatever suits your needs 😀
If you fancy a trip underground, then the mines are just for you. However, the tours fill up quickly and there is always a queue, so arrive early to ensure you get on the guided tour. I missed this, but next time…
Sharing a border with the Black Country Living Museum is the Dudley Canal Trust which provides trips up and down the canal, as well as the underground passages. Not part of your ticket for the Black Country Living Museum, but for a minute walk (if that) from the bottom of the site and a reasonable price, it is well worth extension to your day. Look out for a post about my experience.