Burton-upon-Trent grew up around its 7th-century abbey, which was famed for its healing spring waters. Brewing began here around 1700 and in the early 18th century, the River Trent was opened for navigation, allowing Burton to become a major brewing centre. Its fascinating history is brought to life through two-hour guided tours of this vast complex, which contains a museum and still has a microbrewery today. Staff can point you to Burton's other breweries and traditional ale houses.
During tours, you'll learn, for example, that Burton developed pale ale to export to colonial-era India: the origins of IPA (Indian Pale Ale) today; and also taste samples (there are soft drinks for kids).
Trains run from Derby (£7.60, 15 minutes, three per hour) and Birmingham (£16.90, 30 minutes, three per hour) to Burton's train station; a half-mile walk southwest of the National Brewery Centre.