Ironbridge: Still the Workshop of the World

Birmingham may no longer be the "Workshop of the World" or the "City of a Thousand Trades," but in the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, these labels still ring true. A UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of ten award-winning museums, Ironbridge stretches on the shores of River Severn, over which is the world's first Iron Bridge. (Still wondering where they got the name?)

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Head back in time at Blists Hill Victorian Town, where costumed characters accompany you around the Bakery, Grocers, and Sweetshop. You’ll also see the town chemist and the candle maker in action. Make a mug, design a plate, or sculpt a clay masterpiece in the Coalport China Museum. Create delicate works of art at the glass studio, pottery workshop, and flower making area. The Jackfield Tile Museum is a fun place, with tiles illustrating mediaeval stories and nursery rhymes. Attend their workshops and you’ll be able to craft your own, using the “tube-lining” technique.

Walk in the footsteps of Alexander Graham Bell or the Wright brothers at the Design and Technology Centre in Enginuity. Here you can be an inventor, too! Unravel the mystery behind everyday objects, find your way through the Water Maze, and try out the Pedal Generator, where you’ll convert the movement of your legs into electricity. Teach the kids to recycle at the Enginuity Recycling Interactive Centre, watch a robot defuse a bomb, and learn how an ejection seat works.

Take something home from your Birmingham breaks – perhaps the “Great British Teddy Bear,” as handcrafted by Merrythought, or their other stuffed toys ranging from the “beanie panda” to the “floppy bunny!”

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