Themed tours

I love travelling around the UK. I like the idea of running tours for very small groups. Here are some ideas for holidays I’d love to take people on:

The Living History Tour:

  • Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans – An outdoor museum with more than forty buildings representing the architecture of Wales, including St Fagan’s “castle” (an elizabethean manor house) a nonconformist chapel, a village schoolhouse, a working blacksmith forge, and two working water mills: one flour mill and one wool mill. My favourite building is a row of terraced houses, with each house (and garden) set up and decorated in a different period style, starting with how it would originally have been, moving closer to the current day as you go along the row. There is also a small working farm; produce from the museum’s bakery and flour mill is available for sale.
  • Blists Hill Victorian Village at Ironbridge – A recreated Victorian village with Victorian characters such as a photographer, candlemaker and printer. Use old money in the sweet shop and fish and chip shop. Also visit The Iron Bridge, the first cast iron arch bridge in the world, and a scheduled ancient monument. These are in Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • Crich Tramway Museum – A museum with over 60 trams, two to four will operate each day, running from Crich Tramway Village, a period village containing a pub, cafe, old-style sweetshop and tram depots, into nearby countryside with views over Derwent Valley on the edge of the Peak District. It’s about a mile from the gloriously named (and very picturesque) village of Whatstandwell.
  • Black Country Living Museum – Another open-air museum of rebuilt historic buildings. Like Blists Hill, it has costumed staff demonstrating activities in buildings within the village, and is in an area with a claim to be “the birthplace of the industrial revolution”. The museum also has a 1930s fairground and an extensive transport collection, with boats, busses, trolley buses, cars and motorcycles.

Other ideas

I’ll expand a bit more on these in the future, but I also have ideas for:

Victorian literature

Visiting Brontë country, home of Jane Austin, Dickens and filming locations for BBC adaptations.

Industrial revolution

Ironbridge, Quarry Bank Mill, Mining and pottery museums, Birmingham “back to backs” (working-class housing for factory workers).

Capital cities

Short (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, possibly Belfast) and extended (add Tamworth, Winchester, York, Scone, Winchester) versions.

World War Two

Military museums, Blenheim Palace, and the National arboretum memorial.

Public transport

  • London underground museum
  • railway museums in York and Crewe
  • Manchester Transport museum
  • Tramway museum
  • trams in Blackpool

Roman history

Sites including Bath, the village of Wall, Chester and Hadrian’s Wall.

Food Tour

Top restaurants and traditional food production places like Wensleydale, Melton Mowbray, Cornwall.

Thrill seekers

  • theme parks
  • climbing and other outdoor activities
  • driving days

Staffordshire History

From the iron age Castle Ring, Cannock Chase, through Roman remains at Wall (near Lichfield), the Staffordshire Hoard, to industrial heritage – pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, brewing in Burton.

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