I visited a living Victorian town in the UK – with its own timewarp pub, vintage fairground & school | The Sun

GOING back in time isn't technically possible, but there I was, standing in front of a Victorian blacksmith's hut, making way for a horse and carriage, feeling very much like I was in the late 1800s.

There were a few telltale signs that I wasn't – people usingsmartphones, the contactless readers in the pub and of course the prices in the chippy.

But aside from those minor discrepancies, Blists Hill offers a truly immersive experience, that lets people get a pretty good understanding of how life would have been more than 100 years ago.

The living Victorian town is one of several historical sites that make up the Ironbridge Gorge museums in Shropshire.

It invites visitors to "step back and experience the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian life" through recreated buildings and staff dressed up in authentic outfits that would've been worn during the time.

The first of these to greet me was a friendly policeman, Guy Rowlands, who has been working on the site for more than 20 years.

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He also leads the singalongs in the New Inn, the on-site working pub, which take place every afternoon.

The singing copper keeps an eye on the streets of Blists Hill, which encompass almost every aspect of society in one form or another, with shops, an ironworks, a chapel and houses among the myriad of buildings.

The rest of the cast politely and enthusiastically informed me about what life would've been like for those running the bakery, working on the printing press, or even living in a toll house, as I made my way around the town.

The experience became all the more enveloping in places like the pub, the confectioners and the chip shop, where products can be bought and enjoyed on-site.

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Staff recommended I take a bag of chips into the pub to enjoy with a pint on arrival, but as I was driving, I settled for a dandelion and burdock instead.

Nevertheless, I was still able to enjoy the incredible levels of detail throughout the bar, including old local football fixtures written in cursive on the blackboard and 'wanted' posters hung up on the wall.

Away from the town centre, the village green provides more insight into Victorian life, with a fairground in operation.

Simple rides, coconut shys and dart games are accompanied by traditional fairground organ music that can be heard far and wide.

Next to it is a traditional school, in which sample lessons take place, demonstrating how children would have been educated, while a small farm shows a Good Life-esque existence people would have lived, with livestock in their own back yards.

Meanwhile, another of the town's characters was found huddled by a fire in the small two-roomed squatters' cottage, explaining how families of up to nine people might have had to spend their home life living on top of one another in such a building.

It's people like him, and the other ardent members of staff, that really breathe life into their well-crafted surroundings and make you feel like you're witnessing a day in the life of a real Victorian town.

So much so that it felt strange walking through the exit and getting into my car and driving off back to modern life when it was sadly time to leave.

A single entrance ticket to Blists Hill Victorian town costs £23.50 for adults and £14 for children and students.

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