In the final chapter of our five-part series for family groups, Val Baynton takes a look at Shropshire.Groups of families including grandparents and younger children will find ideas for days out and longer breaks in Shropshire that will keep everyone happy.
Val Baynton recently attended the Splendid Shropshire Readers’ Weekend and came away with several ideas for trips for families or youth groups at locations accessible from Telford and from the M6 and M52 motorways.
Weston Park runs a series of free Discovery Workshops in summer school holidays to introduce younger members to the history of the 300-year old house and gardens and these include clay modelling, pond dipping and trails as well as plant weaving. During the summer, families can also enjoy trails around the house aimed at enthralling younger members and outside there’s a miniature railway and an adventure playground.At RAF Cosford, a programme of innovative and engaging activities runs year round and is ideal for introducing youngsters to the aircraft in the collection. In Fun’n’Flight younger members can learn what it takes to be a pilot in a 4D Experience (charge applies) while older family members will be entertained by the museum’s range of displays such as the National Cold War Exhibition.
The museums at the World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge each run special family trails during the school holidays which enable members of the group to learn about the fascinating history of the area and its importance as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
There are many family friendly events throughout the year including fireworks night and Christmas trails around Blists Hill Victorian Town. At Enginuity, close to the Museum of Iron, there are a host of interactive displays to encourage children to get hands-on and learn about science, while in the Victorian Town families can step back to a bygone age, watch demonstrations of traditional skills and meet characters from the era.Museums are closed on term time Mondays during the winter season.
Another journey into the past can be enjoyed on the Severn Valley Railway, which runs for 16 miles between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. Take part in family friendly activities going back to the age of steam, either on a trip selected from the regular timetable or during a special gala weekend such as ‘Step Back to the 1940s’.
You can even climb aboard the annual Santa Steam Specials! At the Visitor Centre, The Engine House, at Highley station, special locomotives include the engine, the Lady Armaghdale, that was given a temporary make-over in blue livery to become Thomas the Tank Engine and has appeared across the country in this guise.