museums and attractions

Attractions in South West

The South West region has a fascinating industrial, mining and railway heritage. From Cornish tin mines to steam railways and many types of museums all set against the stunning scenery of the West Country.

The Steam Heritage Guide includes contact details, opening times and description of preservation and heritage attractions across the South West of England including Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Aerospace Bristol

Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol, Bristol, BS34 5BZ.
Tel: 01179 315 315.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Full disabled access

The stunning centrepiece is Concorde Alpha Foxtrot: the last of the iconic supersonic passenger jets to be built and the last to fly. It's a chance to…

Transport / Aircraft

Simonsbath Sawmill

Simonsbath, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 7SH.
Tel: 01392 860 895 .

  • Parking

A historic, water-powered sawmill and estate workshops lying in a beautiful riverside location in the heart of Exmoor National Park.

Other Sites of Interest / Wind/Water MIll

St Mary’s Mill

London Road, Chalford, Gloucestershire, GL6 8PX.
Tel: 01453 766 273.

  • Part disabled access

This beautifully situated c.1820 mill houses a large waterwheel and a powerful Tangye Steam engine, which can be seen in action (although not by steam…

Other Sites of Interest / Wind/Water MIll

Gigg Mill

Bristol Old Road, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, GL6 0JF.
Tel: 01453 766 273.

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

The mill is built on the Horsley brook at a spot where the stream plunges down in to the Nailsworth Valley. In the early 1900s power was still provided…

Other Sites of Interest / Wind/Water MIll

Dawe’s Twine Works

High Street, West Coker, Nr Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 9AU.
Tel: 01935 862 938.

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

Dawe’s Twineworks in West Coker, Somerset, is believed to be the only surviving rural twineworks with its original Victorian twine-making machinery in…

Other Sites of Interest / Industrial

Hayle Heritage Centre

John Harvey House, 24 Foundry Square, Hayle, Cornwall, TR27 4HH.
Tel: 01736 757 683.

  • Souvenir Shop
  • Full disabled access

Hayle dominated the world engineering market throughout the 19th century with its two rival foundries. This legacy is preserved through an industrial history…

Other Sites of Interest / Industrial

Darkhill Ironworks

Parkend Road, Coleford, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL16 7LX.
Tel: 0000.

  • Parking

It is an internationally important industrial remains associated with the development of the iron and steel industries, started by David Mushet around…

Other Sites of Interest / Industrial / Open Access

Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre

Areohub 2, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4GP.
Tel: 01637 861 962.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Part disabled access

Set amongst the massive, looming silhouettes of a complex of ex-RAF HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelter) buildings is a collection of classic aircraft. Sit…

Transport / Aircraft

Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum

Norden Station, Nr Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5DW.
Tel: 01929 481 461.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Part disabled access

Dedicated to the history of Purbeck Ball Clay mining, the industrial heritage of Purbeck and the Purbeck narrow gauge railways.

Other Sites of Interest / Industrial

Shipwreck & Heritage Centre

Quay Road, Charlestown , St. Austell , Cornwall, PL25 3NX.
Tel: 01726 69897.

  • Part disabled access

The shipwreck and historical artefacts on display in the centre are the largest private collection of this type on public display in Europe. The many and…

Transport / Maritime

Moretonhampstead Motor Museum

The Old Bus Depot, Court Street, Moretonhampsted, Devon, TQ13 8LG.
Tel: 01647 440 636.

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

A collection of over 120 vintage vehicles, from Victorian horse-drawn carts to cars, motorcycles and light commercial vehicles from pre-1920s to the 1990s.…

Transport / Road

Dulverton Heritage Centre

Fores Street, Dulverton, Devon, TA22 9EZ.
Tel: 000.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Part disabled access

Gives visitors a taste of old Dulverton, with a working model of Dulverton Railway Station.

Other Sites of Interest / Country Life

Steamship Freshspring

The Quay, Bideford, Devon, .
Tel: 01237 479 730.

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

Built in 1946, SS Freshspring is on the National Register of Historic vessels. She was the last of 14 Fresh Class water carriers to be built, all of which…

Transport / Maritime

Gauge Museum

The Railway Station, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 3BX.
Tel: 01823 433 856 .

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

Museum of artefacts such as signalling and uniform items, tickets, signs, etc. of GWR or local origin housed in 1862 Goods Shed. Includes a GWR sleeping…

Railways / Railway Museum

Brunel’s ss Great Britain

Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 6TY.
Tel: 0117 926 0680.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Full disabled access

Discover the ship that changed the world. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on board for Victorian passengers and crew. Descend under water…

Transport / Maritime

Ashton Windmill

Off A38 then on minor road between Weare & Wedmore, Stone Allerton, Somerset, BS26 2PP.
Tel: 01278 789 859.

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

This unique 18th century flour mill stands on the 'Isle of Wedmore', a ridge giving commanding views of Cheddar Gorge, the Somerset Levels and Brent Knoll.…

Other Sites of Interest / Wind/Water MIll

Saltford Brass Mill

The Shallows, Saltford, Somerset, BS31 3EY.
Tel: 07823 321 768 .

  • Parking
  • Part disabled access

Situated on the banks of the River Avon in the village of Saltford, the Brass Mill is the only surviving building, still with a furnace and working waterwheel,…

Other Sites of Interest / Industrial

Watchet Visitor Centre & Boat Museum

Harbour Road, Watchet, Somerset, .
Tel: 01984 632 101.

Started life as a goods shed built in 1862 as the terminus for Brunel's Bristol & Exeter Railway. In the museum can be seen many different types of flatner…

Transport / Maritime

RAF Davidstow Moor Memorial Museum

Davidstow, Camelford, Cornwall, PL32 9YF.
Tel: 01840 213 266.

  • Parking

Housed in the former sergeants’ shower block, the museum gives a truly atmospheric feel with displays of authentic memorabilia and photographs connected…

Transport / Aircraft

Bude Castle Heritage Centre

The Castle, The Wharf, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8LG.
Tel: 01288 353 576.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Full disabled access

Home to inventor and steam engineer Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, and commemorates his life. The Bude Canal is also featured, as are figureheads and artefacts…

Other Sites of Interest / Other

Instow Signal Box

Marine Parade, Instow, Bideford, Devon, EX39 4HX.
Tel: 07854 590 503.

  • Part disabled access

Restored Instow Signal Box built 1872. Only all equipped box of its type in the south-west and first signal box to be 'Listed' in UK. Box adjoins relaid…

Railways / Railway Museum

Sherborne Steam & Waterwheel Centre

Oborne Road, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3RX.
Tel: 01935 816 324.

  • Part disabled access

The centre brings alive the history of Sherborne's water supplies. Watch the steam engines in operation, other vintage exhibits and visiting attractions.…

Other Sites of Interest / Industrial

BDAC – Old Sarum Airfield Museum

Hangar 1 South, Old Sarum Airfield, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 6DZ.
Tel: 01722 323 636.

  • Parking
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Part disabled access

A collection of aircraft, cockpits, weapons, trials equipment and models. Take a tour or sit in powered cockpits and aircraft. Watch the light aircraft…

Transport / Aircraft

Jet Age Museum

Meteor Business Park (Gloucestershire Airport), Cheltenham Road East, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2 9QL.
Tel: 01452 260 078.

  • Parking
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenir Shop
  • Part disabled access

Celebrates Gloster-built aircraft, including Britain's first jet fighter, the Meteor, as well as the Javelin and more. Tour of a Vulcan cockpit and lots…

Transport / Aircraft

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