Visiting the Black Country Living Museum

Published on 17 March 2023 at 19:12


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The Black Country museum is based on the outskirts of Birmingham, in Dudley. It tells the story of industrialised Britain going back nearly 300 years. The museum, unlike any normal ones, is all outside. You will be surprised once you walk through the doors how quickly you are transformed into a totally different world. 


My Partner and I took my teenage daughter in the summertime last year. She is abit of a fan of museums and she had a great time exploring, asking questions and embracing the experience. It is a highly recommended family day out that encourages interaction for everyone. 


And after your visit you can also shop around in the gift shop.


The St James school


One of our first stops was the old St James school, as we entered the small building we were about to embrace something none of us was prepared for. A school lesson was about to start. We were told to be quiet and sit down. The teacher was at the front of the class pacing with his gown on and cane in hand. The class soon started, teaching us some times tables and remembering the alphabet backwards. The 3 of us were sitting there actually enjoying it. But, I spoke too soon, the teacher asked us all to hold our hands out face down, I knew full well what he was looking for and that I was in trouble. The minute he clocked my nail polish I was called up to the front of the classroom along with many other ladies.



We all stood at the front looking at each other while everyone else was giggling at us including my daughter.  The teacher was explaining that no art work should be displayed on our hands and that back in the day a tap with the cane would have been given, instead today, he made the class shout out ‘shame on you'. 


It was a great eye opener of how the children used to be taught many decades ago, several year groups all in the same hall and with very strict discipline.



Can you eat there? 


Firstly, I have to mention the on site fish and chip shop! Hobbs & sons. This is where we stopped half way through our visit for something to eat.  Although the queue was very long, the food was worth the wait. Their chips are cooked in beef dripping which makes them unusual but rather tasty. We found a lovely picnic bench outside and tucked into our chips. A highly recommended stop!


There are pubs and cafes on site to purchase food and drink and you can even bring your own picnic to enjoy in the designated areas.  We had a little half pint of ale in one of the pubs and really enjoyed the atmosphere.


In the main Street you will find a small bakery which sells homemade cakes (don’t worry you can use your card to pay), together with the cutest sweet shop nearby also.  The sweet shop is set around the 1900s and a wide selection of traditional sweets are available to purchase.



Lots of walking & accessibility 


I am usually not one for long periods of walking, I'm just not a fit person. There are plenty of places to sit down and take the weight off your feet and also to admire the scenery at the same time. 


Some of the areas are on an incline and many of the streets are cobbled, so wheelchair users will need to plan their route ahead of their visit.  Some of the shops have stepped access but I am assured that a ramp is available if you ask.



Something for the little children 


You will find plenty to keep the little ones entertained. Not only a walk around the homes that are set up but all of this below:


Entertainment in the streets - they have skipping ropes, hula hoops and throwing bean bags into buckets.


Bus rides


A fair and a playground


Many events coming soon


The museum hosts many events outside of visiting hours. You will need to view their website for further details and book tickets.  Below are just some of the following that are coming up:


Descriptive tours

Vintage vehicles

1940s evening 


Anything else?


There certainly is! I feel like I could write about this place all day long. 


I would like to mention the underground mine experience.  Let's not forget about the huge industry in 1850 - coal mining. The tour is informative learning about what life was like in the mines and how they were built.  Best of all this experience is included in the price.

There is a lovely automotive museum displaying some iconic vehicles. My partner was a particularly big fan of this part.



And the last comment, all of this above can be experienced more than once. Your tickets allow for a return within 12 months. What’s better than that? 


Below is the link for the website to book your tickets and read up on the history behind the homes and shops available to visit:


Please let me know if you do visit, or if you have visited in the past tell us about your experience?


If you could buy a sweet from your childhood again, what would it be?

Add comment


Graham Crosby
a year ago

I love places like this. The attention to detail is always spot on and this one looks great.
Thanks for sharing!

a year ago

You're welcome and thanks for reading. It was a great day out indeed.

a year ago

Sounds like a fascinating museum! I do love strolling around museums and learning about different things x

a year ago

Same here! In particular for me is the past, I struggle sometimes to think what it would have been like, so this was a great eye opener

Transatlantic Notes
10 months ago

This would absolutely be a day out that I would love! I wish I could visit right now as I love the (ongoing) history here!

8 months ago

New parts are being added, so I will be making another visit soon too. Thank you for commenting x