12 tips for visiting the Black Country Living Museum – West Midlands

When I was compiling my post about family friendly days out in the West Midlands, it inspired me to try some during half term. The Black Country Living Museum was somewhere I’d been with my husband pre-children but I hadn’t taken the girls. So we headed there for a day out, and it was brilliant. But as with anywhere, there are certain things you need to know to make the most of your visit. So here are my top tips.

12 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

1. Book online

Well I’d love to say that this was what I did. But sadly, I’m not that organised. All tickets booked at the admission desk or on their website are valid for unlimited daytime admission for 12 months. But if you’ve booked online you get to skip the admission queue and get on with your day. You can also become a member for not much more than the admission price for additional benefits. However you book, make sure you allow them to claim gift-aid if you can. It allows them to claim back a bit of money from your tax to help them to continue their work.

2. Check age limits and accessibility

On the whole, the Black Country Living Museum is perfect for children of all ages. Much of it is also accessible for wheelchairs and you can even hire a wheelchair there if you need to. However the underground mine is not accessible for wheelchairs, pushchairs or people with limited mobility. It also has a lower age limit of five years old so we had to sit this one out.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

3. Check opening hours

We visited during the Winter when opening hours are slightly shorter. The museum is also only open 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Sunday during Winter, with a couple of weeks where it is closed completely for maintenance. For us, this did mean we missed out on seeing a couple of things, including the replica of the first steam engine housed in this building, as we ran out of time.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

4. Check attraction times

Some of the attractions have things going on at particular times of day. For example the chip shop here is pretty famous and that opens at midday. The Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust run boat trips every 30 minutes and the school have public lessons at certain times of the day. We missed the lessons and although the children loved looking around the classroom, they’d have enjoyed going to a lesson.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

5. Chat to the staff

All around the museum, there are members of staff dressed in period costume. They are incredibly knowledgeable and are happy to tell you all about the different attractions. They are also there to help with other things such as putting ramps down for wheelchair access and even just giving directions.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

6. Go into the shops and the pub

Whilst most of the shops are display only, many of them do have a member of staff there and some even have things for sale. The pub sells both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, the chip shop is incredibly popular and the tobacconist offers a step back in time into a type of shop that is no-longer around. The staff will tell you about the history of the shop, what certain objects are and even recommend where to go next.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

7. Look out for the old fashioned games

At the bottom of the main street you’ll find an area with old-fashioned outdoor games. Both of my girls spent a considerable amount of time trying to master them. This actually made me think that we should see if we can find some to have at home. I’d far rather they were playing hoop trundling or skipping outdoors than sitting in front of the television.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

8. Ride on traditional buses

The buses will take you around the museum. Realistically it’s not a huge site so you’d be fine just to walk. But for children in particular, it’s well worth experiencing a ride on an old bus. We went on the double decker and sat right at the top. The girls were delighted.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

9. Nose around the traditional homes

I almost walked past one of the traditional cottages because it looked so realistic, it just looked like somebody lived there. There was a vegetable garden and a pig pen, it looked so idyllic I didn’t think to go inside. But luckily Lia pointed it out and we had a good nose around. From country cottages to old terraces, each home offers a different insight into its occupants and its era.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

10. Go to the Black country Living Museum fairground

Even in Winter, you can enjoy the traditional fairground at the Black Country Living Museum. All rides and stalls operate on a token basis. However the tokens only cost £1 and many of the attractions only require one token. My girls went on the swing boats and tin can alley. Then we all shared a bag of candy floss. There’s even a traditional fruit machine arcade and a coconut shy. In summer I can see that there will be a lot more going on here, including a helter skelter. I suspect we’ll be back for a go on that later in the year.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

11. Visit the boatyard and Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust

Last time we visited the Black Country Living Museum, we also took a ride on one of the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust barges. We enjoyed it so much that it was the first thing we headed for this time. We had to ask a member of staff for directions as it’s not immediately obvious where it is. But when you walk past the boatyard it’s easy to spot. Boats run every half an hour and the rides lasts for 45 minutes. There are also other options for boat rides including longer trips and special trips for young children with stories and songs.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

12. Check the website for special events

If you’re heading to the Black Country Living Museum during school holidays, do check their website for special events. We missed out on their half term activities as Libby’s school had an earlier half term but we’ll definitely be back in another school holiday to get involved.

20 tips for a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley in the West Midlands. This is a living history museum that is perfect for visitors of all ages from small children to adults. It is an excellent, full day out with both food outlets and picnic areas available. Includes the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust.

 

Plutonium Sox
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Please note I was not asked to visit or write about the Black Country Living Museum or Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust and my post is not endorsed or sponsored by them.

14 Comments

  1. February 19, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    It looks fantastic and these are very good tips! I went on a school trip when I was about 10 and I don’t think I’ve been since (although the boys both went there on a school trip at a similar age too). It was good then, but it looks even better now!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Silent Sunday 19.2.17My Profile

  2. February 20, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    Hi Nat, visiting the Black Country Living museum must be like stepping back in time. Nosing around the houses and shops must have been interesting and it is always nice when the staff are there to fill you in on things. Your photos really brought the place to life in your post.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…Monday Morning Blog Club 20/02/17My Profile

  3. February 20, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    It looks brilliant, like a proper little village where you have walked back in time. No wonder you walked by the cottage to begin with, everything looks so realistic. So much to do as well, this is definitely on our list to visit if we’re ever down that way. 🙂 x
    Jenny Eaves recently posted…Over 20 Plane Activities For KidsMy Profile

  4. February 20, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    This looks like such fun, Alice is really interested in the ‘olden days’ as she calls it and this would be really interesting for her. I am going to bookmark this for a day trip for me and Alice at some point, I need some time with her just her x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Living Arrows 08/52 {2017}My Profile

  5. February 21, 2017 / 11:54 am

    This looks great fun! We have something similar up in the north called Beamish! Love how it transports you back in time
    Cat hooper recently posted…Geocaching for BeginnersMy Profile

  6. February 22, 2017 / 11:32 pm

    We took the girls to the Black Country Living Museum last year and had a wonderful day out. They loved the double-decker bus and the fairground too and we also enjoyed going on a boat ride into the Dudley tunnel. Such an interesting day out and these are great tips. We missed out on a few things by not checking attraction times too – would definitely agree with checking them beforehand so you don’t miss out.
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…From the mouths of babes #108My Profile

  7. February 23, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    I love the fact that you can buy beer in the pub, and eat fish and ships! This sounds like a very authentic experience – great fun, but good for learning. I’ve stumbled the post as I think it’s ace!

  8. May 30, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    This looks like a really interesting place – we’ll have to check it out if we are in the area. #FamilyTravelTips

  9. May 31, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    That looks like such an interesting place to visit! Love how there are still some functional shops and some homes you can explore. #FamilyTravelTips
    Cindy recently posted…Our Family Holiday in Orlando, FloridaMy Profile

  10. June 1, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Love places like this and learning about how they lived back in the day. Our boys would love this #familytraveltips

  11. June 3, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    This takes me back to my own experience of it. I visited with my school a long time a go now. #familytraveltips
    Helena recently posted…Word of the Week: ReflectingMy Profile

  12. June 4, 2017 / 8:36 am

    I have not heard of this but have friends in the area- so I’m sure we will visit. I love an interactive museum. I think children learn so much more and remember it for longer too. Gorgeous photos. #familytraveltips

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