Beach returns to Blists Hill Victorian Town

Following its success in 2023, the Victorian Seaside Experience is returning to Blists Hill Victorian Town for a second year.

Daily throughout the summer holidays, from Saturday 20 July until Sunday 1 September, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is bringing the 19th-century seaside to Shropshire.

Visitors will be able to feel the sand beneath their feet on the 12mx12m beach filled with 22 tonnes of sand. They will be able to laugh and sing along to live entertainment inspired by the end of pier shows held in Victorian seaside towns and sit back in a deck chair as they eat their traditional fish and chips (cooked in beef dripping) and ice cream. Children will be able to build sandcastles and take a ride on the gallopers or on donkeys. There will be something for the whole family at this special summer event that will bring the magic of the traditional seaside to life.

Lauren Collier, Head of Interpretation at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “Going to the seaside first became popular for working people, like those represented at Blists Hill, in the Victorian era, when the development of transport links like roads, bridges and railways made it affordable. People from the East Shropshire Coalfield, which was local to Blists Hill, liked to visit nearby Llandudno, Blackpool, Southport and Aberystwyth. They would have spent time bathing, walking along the promenade, riding on donkeys, collecting shells and simply relaxing on the sand.

“At the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust we are always looking for new ways to bring the past to life. Our Victorian Seaside Experience is an opportunity for visitors to see a different side of Victorian life.”

Alongside the Victorian Seaside Experience the rest of the town is open as usual. Visitors can hitch a ride on the Horse Bus, enter the mine on a little train and change their money into old pounds, shillings and pence to spend on Victorian sweets and snacks. Kids can also have some fun in the Madeley Wood Co. Outdoor Adventure with multi-level themed buildings and immersive play areas as well as a toddler zone with a faux mine-cart track, play buildings, a slide and miniature zip-line.

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