Tap/Click ‘find listings’ for a detailed search – or just have a browse.
Ironbridge, named for the world’s first cast-iron bridge, constructed there across the Severn in 1779, has a unique part in the story of the Industrial Revolution and, to many, is a symbol of it. It was here that Abraham Darby I pioneered using coke to smelt iron ore. The area contains examples of many of the components of progress, from mines to factories to housing to transport, that resulted in it being the most technologically advanced place in the world by the end of the 18th century. Today, the town of Ironbridge itself is peaceful and charming, but the reminders of its noisier and dirtier past are all around, including the Iron Bridge itself, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, the Museum of the Gorge, Blists Hill Victorian Town, Jackfield Tile Museum, Coalport China Museum, the Broseley Pipeworks, intriguing Tar Tunnel and the houses the Darby family lived in.
The bridge has been painted red since this photo was taken.
Jack and Jill Windmills is the popular name for a pair of 19th century windmills on a hill overlooking the village of Clayton, 7 miles north of Brighton. Surprisingly, they are also known as the Clayton Mills, the names ‘Jack and Jill’ being thought to date from day-trippers in the 1920s. In fact, there are the remains of three mills on the site.
Jill is a restored 19th century corn windmill, the restoration work being mostly undertaken by volunteers in their spare time. She is open to the public on limited days and run by the Jack and Jill Windmills Society, though owned by Mid Sussex District Council.
In fact, the first mill on the hill (so to speak) was Duncton Mill, constructed in 1765. This was demolished in 1866, with part of it remaining as a store, to be replaced by Jack. Jack is a tower mill, used to grind corn, and worked until the early part of the 20th century. It is now a private residence. Allegedly, a skeleton, dating from the Anglo-Saxon period, was found on the site in the 1920s, when the ground was being dug for a water tank.
Jill was originally Lashmar's New Mill, built in 1821 on the outskirts of Brighton. The land being required for development, in 1852 the mill was dismantled, the parts hauled up the hill and rebuilt on the current location.
Whether Jill is open or not, a visit to Jack and Jill Windmills is rewarding for the views over the Downs alone. The mills themselves are very photogenic too.
Something for the petrol-heads - and a great rainy day option for the Lake District. 30,000 exhibits, including classic cars, bikes and what is claimed to be possibly the largest collection of motoring memorabilia in the world. There are displays, stories, a bit about South Lakeland's industrial past, period shops and a special 'Speed Kings' exhibition - a tribute to the racing Campbells, Malcolm and Donald.
It's also possible to travel to the museum via boat across Windermere and then steam train to Haverthwaite - check their website for details.
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is a heritage railway running steam and diesel locomotives on a former branch line of the Furness Railway. The line is just over 3 miles long, between Lakeside Station at the southern tip of Lake Windermere and Haverthwaite (journey time about 20 minutes). Steamers run to Lakeside from Windermere and Ambleside. At Haverthwaite Station are all things railway, including engine sheds where locos can be inspected. Thomas the Tank Engine has been known to visit sometimes.
The Museum of London Docklands (part of the Museum of London) tells the story (surprisingly) of London’s docks, how trade developed, the involvement of slavery, the time when London was the hub of a great empire and the world’s busiest port. You can also walk through 19th century ‘sailortown’.
The National Coal Mining Museum of England is located at a former colliery, Caphouse, which was in production for more than two hundred years. There are several galleries that showcase the technology of mining and working underground, illustrate what mining was like in the 19th century and tell the stories of the miners, their families and their communities. You can see where miners began and ended their working days – at the Pithead Baths. You can even meet some pit ponies. The highlight of a visit, however, is a trip underground, 460 feet (140 metres) beneath the surface equipped with your miners’ hat and lamp. The tours are led by experienced (and often amusing) ex-miners, who tell you to ‘shut tha’ trap’ and explain when you are ‘done and dusted’. The underground tour really brings home the harsh realities of the dangerous and unpleasant conditions miners worked in, from the times when women and children worked alongside their men, to the 20th century when the pit closed.
The North Yorks Moors Railway is a heritage railway that runs across the North Yorks Moors through great countryside between Whitby and Pickering, taking in the stations of Grosmont, Goathland, Newtondale and Levisham. Total journey time one way is between 1hr 40minutes and 2hrs. Many of the stations have been refurbished in period style. The railway runs as a not for profit charity and, from an initial meeting of enthusiasts in 1967, now employs about 100 full-time staff supported by more than 500 volunteers, operating a range of steam locomotives. Each station has its attractions: Whitby, famous fishing port with its abbey and associations with Captain Cook and Dracula; Goathland featured as Aidenfield in the TV series Heartbeat; Pickering is a bustling town with a castle, impressive church, museum etc.
It is essential to visit the NYMR website and check the timetable before making a special trip.
The Ouse Valley Viaduct, aka the Balcombe Viaduct, is a photographer's dream. It isn't just its size - just under 1,500 feet long and about 100 high (450 x 29m), or the elegance of 37 brick arches stretching across the Sussex countryside, but the design. The arches are symmetrical and create an artistic tunnel - quite extraordinary. It is built of 11 million bricks, originally from Holland, but has been repaired so often with different bricks that it's now a kind of brick patchwork. Completed in 1842, it is a remarkable Victorian structure and carries more than 100 trains a day between London and Brighton. There's a small lay-by on Borde Hill Lane, between Balcombe and Haywards Heath, large enough for 2 or 3 cars. Take boots if it's wet.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the longest aqueduct in Britain, the highest navigable aqueduct in the world and a World Heritage Site. It was designed by Thomas Telford (1757-1834) and carries the Llangollen Canal 126 feet (38 m) over the valley of the River Dee. The Aqueduct was built between 1795 and 1805 is 1,008 yards (307 m) long and just 12 feet (3.6 m) wide. You can walk across on a path alongside the canal (the advice is not to look down), or take a boat.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is considered one of the outstanding examples of the innovations brought about by the Industrial Revolution in Britain and has been described as a masterpiece of creative genius.
This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022.
Entries have links for further information, such as opening times and entry fees.
If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch.