To get a hands-on experience of life on a historic working farm we really recommend visiting Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Chichester. You can wander this 50-acre site and visit the buildings, including Bayleaf Farmstead (photo shown below) which recreate historic domestic interiors. They also run a programme of rural craft workshops and demos such as cooking in the Tudor kitchen.
If you feel inspired after your trip then have a go at baking your own, delicious bread at home. Try and get some authentic milled flour from somewhere like Weald and Downland or a local farm shop, the flavour will be so much better. We love this Jamie Oliver recipe for a basic white loaf.
If you enjoy museums which recreate life in times gone by, then don’t miss:
Blists Hill at Ironbridge in Shropshire, which is a fascinating reconstruction of a Victorian town with shops, houses and places of work. You can have fun exchanging your money in the ‘bank’ into pounds, shillings and pence and then spend it on traditional confectionery in the sweet shop or dress up in Victorian clothes and have a souvenir photograph taken.
Bradford Industrial Museum gives a glimpse into life in the spinning mills of Yorkshire. You can browse around the permanent displays of textile machinery, steam power, engineering, printing machinery and motor vehicles. Then enjoy the splendour of Moorside House where the Mill Manager lived, or visit the mill workers’ terraced houses.