The Ironbridge Valley plays host to seven main museums and several smaller ones, collectively called the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Ironbridge, Telford (tel. 01952/433522 Mon-Fri, or 01952/432166 Sat-Sun; www.ironbridge.org.uk). Museums include the Coalbrookdale Museum and Darby Houses, with its Darby Furnace of Iron and sound-and-light display, as well as restored 19th-century homes of the Quaker ironmasters; the Ironbridge, with its original tollhouse; Jackfield Tile Museum, where you can see demonstrations of tile-pressing, decorating, and firing; Blists Hill Victorian Town, with its re-creation of a 19th-century village; Coalport China Museum and Tar Tunnel, which includes a tour of an underground mine; Broseley Pipeworks, a 50-year-old abandoned tobacco pipe-making factory; and Enginiuty, a children's interactive exhibit that allows them to become engineers for a day. As it is unlikely that you will have time for everything, we recommend that you visit Blists Hill Victorian Town and the Coalport China Museum, even if you have to skip all the rest. A passport ticket to all museums in Ironbridge Gorge is £15 for adults, £13 for seniors, £9.95 for students and children, and £48 for families (two adults, three children). The sites are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and weekends from 10am to 5pm. The Tar Tunnel, Darby Houses, and Broseley Pipeworks are closed from November to March.
You can also find some good shopping here. You can buy Coalport china at the Coalport China Museum and decorative tiles at the Jackfield Tile Museum. Another place worth visiting is just beyond the Jackfield Museum: Maws Craft Centre (tel. 01952/883030; www.mawscraftcentre.co.uk) is the site of 20 workshops situated in an old Victorian tile works beside the River Severn. Here, you can browse for glass sculptures, dollhouses, original Celtic art, pictures with frames made while you wait, jewelry, and stained glass. There's also a tearoom on-site that's open for lunch and afternoon tea.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.