Dudley Tunnel & Limestone Mines has received the ‘Best Told Story’ VisitEngland attraction accolade as part of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme.
The VisitEngland accolades are available to attractions that are part of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme and are allocated through a scoring system based on an annual assessment by VisitEngland.
The categories include: Welcome, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food & Drink and Gold for top-scoring attractions. The accolades are announced annually.
Jeff Luesley, Chairman of Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust, says: "We are delighted to have received this accolade from VisitEngland. Our regular daily 45-minute boat trips bring the history of the mines to life with on-board commentary, a music and light show in the singing cavern, a video show in little tess cavern explaining how limestone was formed and mannequin displays in hurst cavern depicting miners working during the 18th century.
"It is thanks to decades of restoration and development work by the Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust, that this wonder of 18th century engineering, with a history dating back 428 million years, welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year to enjoy boat trips into the tunnel system."
At Dudley Tunnel & Limestone Mines’ £3million visitor centre The Portal, as well as embarking on their boat trip, visitors can enjoy an interactive exhibition in the Biffa Award Gallery, browsing in the Trust’s gift shop and waterside dining in The Gongoozler restaurant.
Major funding partners for the project to create The Portal include: the European Regional Development Fund £997,000; Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) £989,200; Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership £755,000; and Biffa Award £500,000. Other charitable donors include: The Garfield Weston Foundation; J P Getty Jr Charitable Trust; Headley Trust; The Wolfson Foundation; Dudley Canal Trust; Dudley Canal Trust (Trips); and £30,000 raised by a public appeal.
Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust also offers a variety of longer trips, including two-hour trips through the full 2,888-metre length of Dudley Tunnel, two-and-a-half hour Open Water Trips around the canals of Dudley and Tipton, and six-hour Voyages through the heart of the Black Country, taking in both the Dudley and Netherton Tunnels.
The Portal Visitor Centre is open from daily, from mid-January to December. For more information visit www.dudleycanaltrust.org.uk or call 0121 557 6265.