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:
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.
Institute of Making based at UCL in London - has regular open days which are open to the public
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium Winchester
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
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
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
Great for general engineering and heritage stuff.
Bradford Industrial Museum Bradford
Kelham Island Sheffield
Killhope Mining Museum Durham Dales
National Coal Mining Museum Wakefield
National Rail Museum York
Thackray Museum Leeds
History of medicine and has a few great bits about biomaterials.
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)
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
Lead Mining Museum Lanarkshire
National Mining Museum Newtongrange