Planes, trains and automobiles in Telford
Named after the celebrated civil engineer Thomas Telford, it should come as no surprise to learn that this Shropshire town is a magnet for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs and trainspotters alike.
RAF Museum Cosford
The RAF Museum Cosford is home to over 70 of the world’s most historically important aircraft, dating back to the very earliest fighter planes. Their collection follows aviation technology as it developed model by model, from the 1916 Bristol M1c to World War II Spitfires, all the way through to modern jets. The National Cold WarExhibition is a real highlight, housing the three ‘V’ Bombers that carried Britain’s nuclear deterrent until the responsibility passed to the submarines of the Royal Navy in 1968. With admission free for all, you can’t go wrong.
Severn Valley Railway
The sight of a locomotive carving its way through the Severn Valley, brightly painted and with plumes of steam billowing, has thankfully not yet been confined to history. You’ll be able to recapture the romance thanks to the Severn Valley Railway, which operates services between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, steaming through 16 miles of stunning countryside. Make a day of it with a stop at The Engine House Visitor Centre, on the line near Highley, where the Steam & Whistle Club runs a packed programme of fun-filled educational activities for kids.
Ironbridge Gorge Museums
300 years ago, Ironbridge Gorge was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, but today it’s home to ten award-winning museums that celebrate all aspects of life in the Early Modern period. Meeting the characters in Blist Hill Victorian Town will give you a taste of what life was like in Queen Vic’s day, while the eerie Tar Tunnel takes you even further back by tracing the footsteps of the miners who struck bitumen there in 1787. The jewel in the crown is the Iron Bridge itself; the world’s first cast-iron bridge has been mesmerising tourists since its unveiling in 1779.
Stokesay Castle, nestled in the south Shropshire countryside, is one of the country’s most striking and best-preserved mediaeval fortified manor houses. Constructed in the 13th century, Stokesay’s great hall has remained in place for 700 years, with the mark from the original carpenter from 1291 still visible in its ancient timbers. Other highlights include the the original mediaeval tiled floor inside the North Tower, and the beautifully ornate 17th-century gatehouse. With a Knights & Princesses Academy for children and open-air Shakespeare performances in the enchanting grounds, there’s always something happening here.
Wroxeter Roman City
Delving back a little further through history, you’ll find Wroxeter Roman City, located just over ten minutes by car from our Park Inn by Radisson Telford. Known to its residents as Viroconium, the fourth-largest city in Roman Britain is remarkably well preserved. Wander down the 2000-year-old public paths and check out the remains of the seven-metre-high basilica (the largest free-standing piece of Roman wall in the country) before touring the Roman Town House, an authentic representation of a villa urbana.