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Tek all the family for a bostin day aart
Black Country Museum (Dudley)
Member Name: russo2511
Black Country Museum (Dudley)
Advantages: Great value for money with the 2-1 offers, lots to see and do
I recently went to the Black Country Living Museum with 11 member of my family ranging from ages 6 months to 75 years so it was quite the family outing. We were looking for somewhere outdoors with lots to do for all ages and which was value for money and chose the Black Country Living Museum as if you went onto the Heart of England website you could download a voucher for 2-1 so for each full paying adult paying £15.50 another adult gets in free. However it was cheaper to buy the children's tickets beforehand and my sister saved around £10 by doing this.
I had last visited here about fifteen years ago when my children were little and was surprised how much it has changed and for the better. As it was a nice sunny Sunday there were quite a lot of cars in the car park but we managed to get a space okay and then joined the queue which took about fifteen minutes to get to the desk. The car park cost £2.50 but when my daughter came half an hour later the main car park was full so they were directed to the overflow car park which was a few minutes walk and this was free of charge. I had printed off a few extra 2-1 vouchers as I wasn't sure exactly how many of us there were, so was able to give them to the family who were behind us in the queue who were delighted as they were expecting to pay full price.
The man at the desk taking our money was very helpful and friendly. He asked if we would like to gift aid which is something I always like to do if possible, which took about one minute to do and was then told that this entitled us to come back as many times as we wanted during the year which I thought was extremely generous. Within the entrance is the shop which sells souvenirs and sweets, toilets and an exhibition however no one was really interested in looking round as we just wanted to get back out into the sunshine and see what was on offer.
One of the first things you see is a garage and bus shed, you then walk down towards some old houses which are authentic to the Victorian era and done out in the original décor complete with vegetable garden. There are people in the houses who are dressed in authentic dress of the time and are an absolute font of knowledge about how the families would have lived in these houses. They all have that fabulous black country accent which some people find hard to understand as it is a unique accent.
There is a mine where you go down in groups of 20 which is narrow and quite dark and not suitable if you are claustrophobic. There is a short film which shows how the mine works and then a guide takes the group on a tour which takes about half an hour. You get the impression that you are going really far underground however you are probably only about 10 foot down but you do get a feeling of how the miners would have worked.
As you carry on past the mine you come to the fair which has a helter skelter, a cake walk, dodgems and other fairground rides. You can buy tokens from a kiosk for £1 each and the rides are £1 a ride. I ended up going on the cake walk with my nephews which was fun as I haven't been on a fairground ride for some time.
There are several shops in The Village including an authentic chemist, general store and sweet shop with jars of brightly coloured sweets which are sold in little paper bags. I know everyone raves about the Fish and Chip shop but it really is fabulous. I think it is also the fact that they are cooked in dripping which people just don't do any more as its not really healthy, but they do taste delicious. They cost £5.80 for fish and chips so not much dearer than your average chippy but sitting eating them out of a paper on the grass is just wonderful and you feel like you having a right treat.
We went down to the canal (or the cut as they call it in the Black Country) and went on the boat trip through the tunnels. This cost £5.99 for adults and £4.95 for children but we got it a bit cheaper by buying a few family tickets. We were asked if we wanted to gift aid this which we did and were given an Annual Pass which entitles us to do the boat trip as many times as we wanted this year. You have to wear hard hats as you are dripped on quite a bit from the ceilings of the tunnels but it is very interesting and the guide is talking to you the whole time. You stop in the middle and watch a short film on a screen which is informative and quite moving as it explains how many people lost their lives in those mines. There is a café by the canal where we had a cup of tea, the menu looked quite appealing and there were quite a few people eating here.
There is a Victorian school where you can be a 'pupil' and experience the wrath of the teacher complete with cane and a very loud voice. The classes are every half an hour and there were quite a few people waiting to go into the next class but you were able to see what was happening through the windows.
There is a tram and a bus which takes you from one end of the site to the other free of charge and also an area where there is a blacksmiths and chainmaking shop, and ironmasters office however we didn't get round to seeing these as we had ran out of time.
The site is very clean and well kept with lots of signs and information about the various attractions. It does really take you to a different era and you really get the feel of how things were in this era. The site covers 26 acres and is just right for a full day out.
All in all a smashing day out, lots to do and well worth the money. Will definitely go back again with our free tickets, even if its just for the fish and chips!
Summary: A great day out and value for money, a history lesson without realising it!
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