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Reviewed: The Black Country Living Museum

Journalist Emily Miller and family visit Black Country Living Museum.

An old fashioned street featuring Stanton's, West Bromwich Building Society and Marsh & Baxter shops
Black Country Living Museum's new 1940s-1960s Street

The Black Country Living Museum, located in Dudley, West Midlands, England, is a popular open-air museum that provides visitors with a glimpse into the industrial history of the Black Country region.

I went along with my family to see the exciting additions to the museum which includes a new 1940s-1960s street.

The museum itself offers a unique and immersive experience, taking visitors back in time to the 19th and early 20th centuries. It showcases the region's industrial heritage, with reconstructed historic buildings, streets, factories and a mining museum.

An old fashioned, vintage living room set up with wooden fireplace and brick walls

This museum provides a fascinating look into the lives of people during the industrial revolution and seeing people in character in the cottages and shops was a real highlight for me.

Shops at Black Country Living Museum are as they would have been. One of BCLM’s strengths is its commitment to historical accuracy. The buildings, machinery, and even the staff are dressed and act in a way that reflects the time period they represent. This attention to detail helps visitors feel like they've truly stepped back in time.

The museum often features interactive activities and demonstrations, such as blacksmithing, traditional crafts, silent films at the cinema, live music in the music shop with listening booths, and even rides on historic trams and buses.

I really enjoyed the opportunity it provided to give valuable insights into the industrial revolution, the development of technology, and the working conditions of the past.

It's a great place for school trips and families looking to learn while having fun. It certainly makes a refreshing change from text book learning!

The museum has several cafes and gift shops where you can enjoy traditional British fare or purchase souvenirs related to the museum's exhibits.

A little girl walks into a vintage style fish and chip shop

We enjoyed fish 'n chips at the street's authentic chip shop. We really loved our beef dripping chips from paper in a seating area outside – complete with pickled eggs and amazing batter bits!

When my daughter bought her ever favourite cake, a Victoria Sponge, from the bakery she even said: “Mum, do they even take card, I think it’s only old money!”

There were lots of other times this blurred reality happened for us, it really was like going back in time.

The Black Country Living Museum often hosts special events, seasonal exhibitions, and themed activities, including Peaky Blinders evenings and Christmas specials too.

Having it feel so authentic like this really brings history to life. I happen to think that it’s the only way to make history more exciting for children and adults alike.

Black Country Living's living museum is a unique opportunity to see what life was once like.

I loved the re-enactment style approach of this museum and can’t wait to visit again when the 1940s – 1960s street is fully open.

Tickets include re-entry throughout the year which is so great for those looking to get excellent value for money.


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