Ironbridge is an important historic location in Shropshire, England. Ironbridge Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the "birthplaces of industry" and central to the story of the industrial revolution in Great Britain.
Ironbridge Gorge is on the River Severn, 5 miles (8 km) south of Telford in Shropshire. Take junction 4 from the M54, and follow the brown and white traffic signs.
- Telford Travelink (+44 1952 200005)
The National Cycle Route follows the route of a former canal and railway, now called "The Silkin Way" from North Telford, through the town centre to Ironbridge, via Blists Hill Museum.
A regular shuttle bus service (+44 1952 200005) operates throughout the Gorge every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. This bus also has limited links to the Rail Station.
If you are visiting the museums and want to see the surrounding area, a car is essential as public transport links vary from limited to non-existent. Note, however, that there is no free parking in Ironbridge itself, though parking charges are normally reasonable.
- 1 Iron Bridge. The world's first Iron Bridge, built in 1779 - there is a small visitor's centre on one side.
- 2 Buildwas Abbey, Nr Ironbridge, TF8 7BW, ☎ . An ancient abbey ruin owned by English Heritage just outside Ironbridge. It is advisable to use a car to get to as, while it is within walking distance, it is a walk of around a mile along a road with no pavement. adults £3.60, children £2.20, concessions £3.20.
- 3 The Green Wood Centre (formerly The Greenwood Trust), Station Rd, Coalbrookdale, TF8 7DR, ☎ . A forest management and conversation centre.
- 4 Tar Tunnel. 11:00am-3:00pm (From March - October 2018). A long, dark tunnel used to extract bitumen (or tar). It was previously open to the public, but is now unsafe to enter. The entrance however can still be seen by visitors.
- 5 Museum of the Gorge, TF8 7NH, ☎ . 10:00am-5:00pm. A small museum, but containing a large diorama model of the gorge at the height of its industry. A visit here first helps to put all of the museums into context.
- 6 Blists Hill Museum, TF7 5UD, ☎ . 10:00am–5:00pm. A living history museum and reconstructed Victorian town.
- 7 Museum of Iron, TF8 7DQ, ☎ . 10:00am-5:00pm. Abraham Darby's original blast furnace and a large Victorian warehouse, now housing a museum of the Coalbrookdale company.
- 8 Enginuity, TF8 7DQ, ☎ . 10:00am-5:00pm. An interactive science & engineering museum aimed at children.
- 9 Jackfield Tile Museum, Salthouse Rd, Jackfield, TF8 7LJ, ☎ . 10:00am-5:00pm. A privately-owned museum documenting the history of ceramic tiles.
- 10 Coalport China Museum, High St, Telford, TF8 7HT, ☎ . 10:00am-5:00pm. The original home of Coalport china, now a museum.
- 11 Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, ☎ . A year-long passport is available which allows entry to all the museums, and has traditionally been very good value for money if you intend to visit a number of them.
Various expensive pubs and nondescript curry houses / Italian restaurants. Also a good Thai place next to the bridge.
1 Eighty-Six'd, 1a Waterloo St, TF8 7AA, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Tue: Closed, Wed-Sun: 10:00-18:00. Cafe and art gallery with a creative menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as typical cafe drinks, snacks and desserts. Vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free-friendly.
There is a Youth Hostel at Coalport and Coalbrookdale, both campuses being part of the same hostel. The latter campus is very modern and popular, though is not ideal for self-catering visitors. No camp sites are available in Ironbridge itself, though there are more in South Shropshire and Shrewsbury directions.
- 1 Buckatree Hall Hotel, The Wrekin, Telford, TF6 5AL, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 2 The Calcutts House, Calcutts Road, Jackfield, TF8 7LH, ☎ . Well-run 18th century home with kind hosts. It is located a little outside the main town (20 minute walk), very close to the tile museum. Six rooms. £40-70.
- 3 The Valley Hotel, Buildwas Road, TF8 7DW, ☎ . A period Best Western property to the west of Ironbridge, with pleasant views overlooking the park and a particularly well regarded restaurant.
You can head out by car:
- North to Telford
- South toward Much Wenlock, Bridgnorth and Church Stretton part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- West toward Shrewsbury and North Wales
It's worth exploring Wellington which, like Ironbridge, is part of the new-town of Telford, which has a nice town park which is worth a visit if you have children.
Telford Steam Railway is also a pleasant trip on a Sundays or Bank Holidays, as is a walk up the nearby Wrekin Hill.