Industrial heritage in England

Industrial, maritime and transport

Rides on steam railways can take you to the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. As the thrilling shriek of the steam engine whisks you back through the decades, stunning countryside streaks past your window. Next, explore our industrial heritage at a perfectly preserved mill town or a fascinating mining village. Discover what made our island nation great at dockyards and maritime museums, as the kids clamber over 18th-century steam ships and 19th-century tea clippers resplendent in their restored glory. Don’t miss the transport museums and military air shows that showcase staggering feats of automotive and aeronautical engineering.

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Experience steam-age travel on the Nene Valley Railway

Visit one of England’s leading steam engine and locomotive attractions, based in Northamptonshire's Nene Valley.

Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

 

Learn the ropes at Chatham’s The Historic Dockyard

Immerse yourself in 400 years of discovery at the world’s most complete dockyard from the Age of Sail.

Location: Chatham, Kent

 

Full steam ahead on the Kent and East Sussex Railway

Bring out your inner Casey Jones by stepping onto the footplate and heading out across the stunning Kent countryside.

Location: Tenterden, Kent

 

All aboard heritage steam trains at the Epping Ongar Railway

Pay a visit to Epping Ongar Railway, and ride on running steam and diesel engines between period stations, through countryside and forest.

Location: Chipping Ongar, Essex

 

Experience life at sea aboard Brunel’s ss Great Britain

One of the world's most important ships brought to life for modern-day visitors.

Location: Bristol

 

Step back in time on the Severn Valley Railway

Enjoy a combination of rolling countryside views and hints of a bygone era on a superb day of steam-hauled splendour.

Location: Kidderminster, Worcestershire

 

Tracing the Titanic in Southampton

Venture back to 1912 and immerse yourself in the story of RMS Titanic at Southampton’s interactive, state-of-the-art SeaCity Museum.

Location: Southampton, Hampshire

 

Travel across Hampshire’s countryside on the Watercress Line

Witness the sights, sounds, smells and magic of steam travel from a bygone age and journey through Hampshire’s countryside on a restored steam train.

Location: Alresford, Hampshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Be an engine driver for the day at STEAM

Try your hand at changing the signals, drive a model steam engine and walk under an 80 ton train at STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway.

Location: Swindon, Wiltshire

 

Ride on down to the Didcot Railway Centre

Enjoy a trip to Didcot Railway Centre, whose magnificent restored engines will take you steaming through most of the Oxfordshire countryside.

Location: Didcot, Oxfordshire

 

Take a guided tour through a Cumbrian mine

Explore the relationship between the geology of the Lake District area and the quarrying of local limestone, sandstone, granite and slate in Cumbria.

Location: Threlkeld, Cumbria

 

Full steam ahead on a loco driven by you

Many would love the chance to drive a steam engine, well now's your chance: become a train driver for the day at Telford Steam Railway.

Location: Telford, Shropshire

 

Take your senses on a trip back in time at Beamish

Touch, taste, hear, see and smell history on an unforgettable journey into the past at England’s largest open-air museum.

Location: Vale of Durham

 

Midland Railway - Butterley

The Railway’s Footplate Experience provides big kids with all the necessary know-how to drive a steam train.

Location: Ripley, Derbyshire

 

Watch history come to life at Morwellham Quay in Devon

Take a living history lesson from the team at Morwellham Quay, a beautifully preserved Victorian village in the Devon countryside.

Location: Morwellham Quay, Devon

 

Explore Cornwall’s mining heritage

Sandy beaches, cream teas, ancient woodlands and innovative architecture make for a fascinating family day out in Camborne and Redruth.

Location: Cornwall

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore mining history at Woodhorn Museum

Explore hundreds of years of mining heritage at this unique museum in Northumberland, built from what was once the largest pit village in the world.

Location: Ashington, Northumberland

 

Climb aboard the excellent Esk Valley Railway

Delightful villages, dramatic views and gentle country walks – do it all by train on a ride through the delightful Esk Valley, near Whitby.

Location: Whitby, Yorkshire

 

Steam into spring on board the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Jump on board the Lake District’s oldest, longest and most scenic railway.

Location: Ravenglass, Cumbria

 

Travel back through the centuries on a coastal break in Dorset

Explore Dorset’s eclectic range of castles, country houses and forts and journey back in time on a steam train.

Location: Dorset

 

Step on board HMS M.33, a small ship with a big history

Visit Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard this summer and you'll find a new addition to its amazing maritime collection.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

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