AWARD WINNING DAY OUT
By Ann Evans.
If you’re looking for a great family day out over the Easter school holidays, you can’t do better than head over to Telford, Shropshire and visit the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. And it’s not just me saying so. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust recently won the prestigious 2015 Hudson’s Heritage Award in the Best Family Day Out category.
These annual awards were established in 2011, and are an independently judged national scheme open to historic houses, gardens, museums and heritage sites, celebrating the very best visitor experiences.
Delighted with their award, Paul Gossage, director of Marketing and PR, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said: “Winning one of these awards demonstrates the high standards and commitment we offer our visitors to ensure their experience is the very best. It is an acknowledgement and recognition that our museums are amongst the elite of heritage attractions in the UK.”
You can visit ten award-winning museums spread along the picturesque River Severn, virtually stepping back in time to the days of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. Walk across the world’s first iron bridge and enjoy the spectacular views of the valley.
Whatever you do, don’t miss exploring Blists Hill Victorian Town, and experience everyday life back in those bygone times. Wander into the shops and houses and talk to the real Victorian townsfolk. There’s a wonderful old steam fair to enjoy, horse and carts and cobbled streets. Plus some extra special Easter activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Today, (Monday 6th March) if you’re quick, there’s an Easter bonnet contest being judged at 2pm in Blists Hill Victorian Town, while all week you’ll be able to see the unusual pastime of Egg Dancing. This will take place twice a day opposite the Print Shop. Once blindfolded, the townsfolk will dance across the street without stepping on eggs that are carefully placed along their route. After the demonstration, everyone can have-a-go with mini Easter Eggs as rewards for completing the course without stepping on an egg.
Visitors can also take part in the Great Easter Bunny Hunt to find the ‘rabbits’ hiding in the town’s woods. Free, self-led trail sheets contain clues to help you find the bunnies; copies can be collected from the admissions desk when you arrive at the open air museum. There will be a small ‘prize’ for every child correctly following the trail and finding all the bunnies.
You might also want to make and decorate an Easter themed Shadow Lamp at a drop-in hands-on workshop in the Goods Shed. Using craft materials such as cardboard, you can design and make your own Shadow Lamp which, when lit by a battery powered tea light, will cast delicate shadows. (50p charge in addition to admission price).
Be sure you go along to Enginuity and illuminate your understanding of light. There will be drop-in family workshops to celebrate the 2015 Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies, looking at reflection and how light can be used to make electricity. You’ll be able to use craft materials in different colours and shapes to make your own kaleidoscope and watch the silhouettes of shadow puppets perform in the theatre. Sessions will take place between 10.30am and 3.45pm, activities will vary from day-to-day and some additional costs will apply in addition to the museum admission fee.
The Ironbridge Museums are open all year round, and the Easter activities continue until 12th April. Visit the website for opening times and admission prices. Be sure to check out their great value Annual Passport Ticket.
For further information, contact the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.
Ann Evans, Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Industrial Revolution, Iron Bridge, River Severn Valley, Blists Hill Victorian Town, Enginuity, Telford, Easter family fun, family day out, Hudson’s Heritage Awards,