Shropshire’s most important tourist attraction has been given a massive vote of support by visitors since reopening following the coronavirus lockdown.

More than 20,000 people have already flocked to the Ironbridge Gorge museums since they partially reopened at the start of July – and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Now the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, which runs the museums, is urging families to book their own trip to the award-winning attractions to make sure they don’t miss out before the end of the school holidays.

The trust’s marketing director Roz Chandler said advanced bookings for the rest of the summer holidays were already strong and visitors needed to move quickly if they were to avoid missing out.

“We have been absolutely thrilled with the response we have had since we reopened Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse at the start of July,” Roz said.

“We have already passed the 20,000 sales mark and from the thousands of visitor surveys we have received back we know that the museums are proving as big a hit as ever.

“To make sure everyone is safe and help us control numbers, we have been asking people to book in advance and for timed entry slots, and we know that places are starting to fill up for the rest of the holidays.

“So I would urge everyone who is thinking of coming and bringing their families for a brilliant day out to book as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed.”

Examples of visitor responses last weekend include:

“We thoroughly enjoyed our time and are looking forward to visiting again. It exceeded our expectations and (we were) pleased it was so dog friendly.”

“Superb! We knew it wouldn’t be quite the same without the coin exchange and old money, but had a great day. All the costumed staff were fab – particularly the policeman and mason. The fish and chips were outstanding and the pints of mild in the pub excellent. Also the Victorian Covid-19 posters were hilarious – we read all the small print.”

“It was lovely to have a bit of normality and spend a great family day out. All the staff were fantastic and it was well organised.”

In addition to its usual attractions, a bank holiday weekend of steam is being staged at Blists Hill this weekend.

A selection of the town’s working machinery collection will be in operation from Saturday (AUG 29) to Monday including the replica of the world’s first locomotive, Richard Trevithick’s 1802 Coalbrookdale engine.

The Trust, a registered heritage conservation and education charity which cares for 36 listed buildings in the Gorge, has meticulously followed all the Government’s safety guidelines and has been awarded the official Good To Go status for its efforts.

Tickets and timed entry slots are on sale at


Pictured:   Sparks fly as the blacksmith plies his trade at Blists Hill