One of our days out from our stay at the beautiful Darwin Forest was to Crich Tramway Village, only 12 minutes or so away. Crich is a museum created over 5o years ago and contains a large number of trams from around the UK and even further afield.
The trams are renovated and each day several are running on the line through the village and up to Glory Mine. When we visited there were 3 trams running, one double decker and two single deck trams. We were also lucky to be there when their oldest tram was in use, the horse drawn tram.
On the way up to Glory Mine the tram doesn’t stop, unless you request to. However, it stops at each of the tramway stops on the way back down the line. We took several up and down the line without getting off, although we did take one tram to Wakebridge and then walked back along the woodland walk and sculpture path.
The village itself also has several different buildings. From a sweet shop, to the Red Lion pub, gift shop, tea room, softplay and various exhibitions. We brought our own lunch so didn’t stop for a bite to eat, but the lunches available a both the pub and tea room did look pretty tasty.
Of course the biggest highlight of visiting the tramway village is to ride on the different trams. When you arrive you’re given a 1d coin for adults or 1/2d for children and you can exchange this for an all day ticket on the tram (unlimited rides). We were there during the week and there were 4 different trams being used, so it’s good to get a chance to try out each different tram. Although the boys voted unanimously for the double decker tram as their favourite!
We were fascinated watching how the trams worked, particularly when the trams need to go back again. Instead of turning the tram around the back of each trams seats can be lifted to face the other direction.
When we first arrived we went into the George Stephenson Discovery and Learning Centre, which had a great amount of information on the early years of trams. There were plenty of interactive parts for children too, which is always a bonus.
You can walk through to the workshop viewing area here too, watching whatever restoration work is going on. Our two were particularly interested in building their own wooden trams from the pieces provided in this area of the building.
The tram depot is filled with trams of all sizes and from a variety of different places. My husband had fun counting all the Scottish ones, I can’t remember how many but there were certainly plenty of Glasgow trams. Next to the depot is the Great Exhibition Hall, which houses may more trams and several different interactive exhibits.
The last exhibition area we visited was the Derby Assembly Rooms for the exhibits on trams during the wars. Our 4 year old was pretty pleased to be able to try on the tram drivers jacket and hat!
We were lucky to have fantastic weather when we visited. So the boys were more than happy to spend the majority of the time outside. There is a lovely little soft play for children beside the Great Exhibition Hall. Both my two enjoyed it, although I would guess its aimed more for 5 and under.
We spent a bit more time in the adventure play ground further up the village. There were lots of different play areas at the park, but our two seem to be going through an obsession with flying foxes. So of course we spent the entire time at the park on the flying fox!
Woodland and Sculpture Walk
If you would like to stretch your legs a bit more then you can have a leisurely walk through the woods, spotting sculptures. There were plenty to see, from mysterious heads carved into tree trunks, to Mr Potato Head that you could remove/add limbs/nose/ears and even a drum set!
I was impressed with all the carvings, although I think I particularly enjoyed this bookcase. It was near a wizard sculpture and we assume from the book titles it’s his library.
The sculpture walk is only 1/2 a mile long and takes you to the adventure play ground. It’s nice to spend a little time wandering around the woods.
Find out more about special events and offers on Crich Tramway website. Including how to get 12 months free with a full price ticket!