Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
ndustrial doesn’t always mean ugly you know.
Take a look at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire for example, perched on the banks of the River Bollin, which was once a successful cotton factory – powered by Europe’s biggest waterwheel.
You can experience the clatter of machinery and hiss of steam yourself on one of the mill tours, but unlike its Victorian workers, you get to unwind afterwards with a wander in the mill-owners’ riverside garden, or (better still) an ice cream from the café.
Of course, some industrial workers had it much easier than others. At Saltaire near Bradford, Sir Titus Salt wanted his employees to be happy as well as hard-working, so built them houses, schools, a hospital – and even a billiard hall for them to hang out in.
Today, you can walk around the grey-stone buildings of this model village or take in the David Hockney exhibition at Salts Mill itself.
A museum that contains an exhibition dedicated to concrete may not at first fill you with enthusiasm. But bear with us because Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre , situated in the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, is far from dull.
Out in the open air you’ll find old railway coaches (that you can ride on) Penny Farthing bicycles (which you can’t), a quarry tunnel that appeared in the James Bond flick A View To Kill – and a 1950s fire station. Now tell us you’re not impressed...
Down in Devon at the award-winning World Heritage site, Morwellham Quay , you'll discover a historic port, copper mine, working Victorian farm, as well as museums of costume and mining. All brought to life by an enthusiastic Living History team, as seen on BBC television.
The SS Great Britain
...and all things Brunel.SS Great Britain