You can try the Ironbridge Gorge museums.
If you’re looking for things to do during half-term there’s plenty of choice at the Ironbridge Museums. Residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town will be celebrating Queen Victoria’s 81st birthday over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend of 25th – 27th May with great style, pomp and pageantry. Each day will be a fitting tribute to the gracious lady and her long reign with an extravaganza of colour, music and street entertainment. The event is part of Blists Hill Victorian Town’s 40th Anniversary celebrations.
Highlights from the daily programme of events include moving mime sequences performed by the Kaleidoscope Theatre Company and sessions by the bagpipe players and drummers from the Seaforth Highlanders band in full Scottish costume. Actors from the Prince Albert Players will also re-enact scenes from popular plays.
Go along to the New Inn and join in a lively sing-a-long with the pub’s music hall entertainers or talk to Victorian soldiers from the Ibutho Living History Group about the Anglo-Zulu war and military life in the late 1800s.
Younger visitors can watch a traditional Punch and Judy show by puppeteer Richard Coombs or search for lost toys hidden around the town, with a reward for those who complete the trail. There will also be hands-on activities in the Goods Shed where children can play games and try creative skills from a bygone era such as candle dipping.
As festivities take place, the Victorian townsfolk will still be going about their daily lives in the authentic houses and shops, baking bread, counting coins at the bank and talking about Victorian remedies in the chemist. Craftsmen will also be at work in the artisans’ corner.
There’s also the chance to use your design skills to create a sailing boat from simple craft materials then see how wind power makes it race through the treacherous shark infested waters of the pool of doom at Enginuity. The Float-a-Boat sessions will be held daily during the Whitsun half-term week from Saturday 25th May until Sunday 2nd June between 10.30am and 3.45pm. There’s no need for families to book, just drop-in and join the hands-on workshop. Activities will vary from day-to-day. Museum admission costs apply, plus a £1 charge per boat to cover materials.
Blists Hill and Enginuity are two of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. An annual passport ticket allowing entry into all ten museums, valid for twelve months and unlimited return visits, costs £24 per adult, £19 for the 60 plus, £15.25 for students and children and £65 for a family of two adults and all their children aged up to 18 years in full time educationunder 5s free. Individual museum entry tickets are also available.
For further information tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6).