One of ten museums and attractions within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, Blists Hill recreates the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Victorian Shropshire, with exhibits including a doctor’s surgery, cobbler’s shop, ironworks, stables and grocery.
As they enter the museum, visitors are invited to change their money into Victorian coinage, which can be used to purchase treats from the bakery, butcher’s, pub and traditional fried fish dealer. There are also weekly demonstrations of iron casting in the foundry, and a Victorian fairground visits the town seasonally.
Forget faddish art spaces filled with smoky laser rooms and crummy van Gogh projections: immersive museums can be really cool and totally fascinating places. The OG immersive museums are sort of living, walk-through educational spaces. They’re designed to plonk you in the middle of another time and place – and give you a full-on, multisensory way to learn about stuff.
And the UK has long been spoilt with proper, good old-fashioned immersive museums. Filled with preserved artefacts and inhabited by energetic actors, they’re ideal for getting to grips with everything from industry in the Black Country and Victorian high streets to Anglo-Saxon village life. They make learning much more engaging and fun. Which, we’re sure you’ll agree, is pretty darn sweet.
Lots of proper immersive museums in the UK continue to do their thing – and they’re doing it better than ever. Want to see history come to life before your eyes? Head this way: here are the nine best living museums in the UK to visit right now.
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