Materials and Mining-related Visitor Attractions

Welcome to this list of visitor attractions related to various aspects of materials or mining, put together from suggestions by IOM3 members and staff.

We would welcome your comments on any of the attractions you visit plus suggestions of new attractions to add to the list. Please contact Sarah Boad with comments / suggestions.

In some cases, sites may have moved or been updated and we apologise if a link does not work. You can report a broken link via the "Website feedback" category on our contact form.

The attractions are grouped by UK region as follows:

South East    South West    Midlands    Wales    North East    North West    Scotland    Ireland

South East

Design Museum London
Showing from June 2018: Material Innovation - an installation commemorating 70 years of the Land Rover brand. The atrium seats have been re-upholstered with original materials used in Land Rover vehicles from 1948 to 2018

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Farnborough
At Farnborough you will see on display a variety of aircraft, components and test facilities, not least of which include examples of pioneering research on carbon-fibre developments.

Giants of Brede Hastings
More a morning or afternoon out great if you like engines

Imperial War Museum Duxford

Institute of Making based at UCL in London - has regular open days which are open to the public  

Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium Winchester

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising London

Natural History Museum London - Minerals Gallery

The Transport Museum London

The Science Museum London
Contains a wide range of exhibits on materials too numerous to list but including Cornish tin and meteoric iron, Michael Faraday's steel alloys, carbon fibre development, the first polyethylene, intermetallic and ceramic turbine blades, fuel cells and much more. See the link for details including virtual browsing through Museum Objects and Object-rich Galleries such as "The Challenge of Materials" and "Making the Modern World."

Victoria and Albert Museum London
A fantastic metalwork collection

South West

The Bakelite Museum 

Closed for 2020 due to relocation.

Beer Quarry Caves Beer
Underground source of that soft white limestone that went to make things like the windows in Exeter cathedral

Eden Project St Austell
China clay pits

Geevor Tin Mine Cornwall
Great Cornish pasties in the café

M Shed Bristol  includes
SS Great Britain
The New Matthew

Morwellam Quay Tavistock
World Heritage site with copper mine; coopering, forge, rope making

Poldark Mine Helston
World Heritage Site 

We the Curious Bristol
Bringing Science to Life 

Wheal Martyn China Clay Heritage Centre St Austell


Bell Foundry Museum Loughborough

Black Country Museum Dudley
Includes demonstrations of chain and nail making and a brass foundry 

Blue John Mine Derbyshire  

Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Matlock Bath – Derby

includes the National Stone Centre Matlock.

British Motor Museum Gaydon, Warwickshire

Ironbridge Gorge Museum nr Telford 10 museums in one. 

The Lapworth Museum of Geology at University of Birmingham

Lead Mining Museum Matlock Bath 

Moira Blast Furnace Leicestershire 

The Potteries Museum Hanley
An excellent collection of pottery, a real WWII Spitfire & puts on some very good exhibitions covering ceramics, coal mining & more. 

RAF Cosford Museum Shropshire 

Snailbeach Mine nr Shrewsbury 

Snibston Discovery Park Coalville
Mining/science relevance. There is even an information plaque there that mentions IOM3!!! Suitable for all ages. My 6 year old loved it! 

UK Space Centre Leicester 

Wedgwood Museum Stoke on Trent 


Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall Neath National Trust

Big Pit Blaenafon A really interesting visit - the exhibition in the refurbished bath house is well worth a visit.

Blaenafon World Heritage Site The iron works are well worth seeing with a reference to IOM3.

Dolaucothi Gold Mines Pumsaint 

Electric Mountain Llanberis

Great Orme Llandudno
Fantastic copper mine - really excellent!!

National Slate Museum Llanberis
See slate split like my granddad did it

North Wales slate mine and caverns, Llechwood

Techniquest Cardiff
‘The coolest science centre in the UK’ 

North East

Abbeydale Sheffield

Beamish Chester-le-Street
Great for general engineering and heritage stuff. 

Bradford Industrial Museum Bradford

Eureka Halifax 

Kelham Island Sheffield 

Killhope Mining Museum Durham Dales

Magna Rotherham 

National Coal Mining Museum Wakefield 

National Rail Museum York 

Thackray Museum Leeds
History of medicine and has a few great bits about biomaterials. 

North West

Catalyst Runcorn Chemical Industry Museum Runcorn

Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre Bolton 

Haig Pit Mining Museum Whitehaven 

Honister Slate Mine Cumbria   

J.B. Banks Tin Smithy Cockermouth

Joderell Bank Discovery Centre Macclesfield

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry FREE (donation suggested)

Manchester Airport
Great viewing park where you can go and watch the aeroplanes and they have a Concorde that you can book to visit 

Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate Cheshire See how cotton was processed into cloth


Aberdeen Maritime Museum Aberdeen

Dynamic Earth Edinburgh

Lead Mining Museum Lanarkshire

National Mining Museum Newtongrange   


Titanic Belfast