At its peak, the Templeborough steelworks was the world's most productive steel smelter, with six 3000°C furnaces producing 1.8 million tonnes of metal a year, and a 10,000-strong workforce. It is now an unashamed celebration of heavy industry, and a hands-on paradise for kids of all ages, with a huge range of science and technology exhibits. Magna is 4 miles northeast of Sheffield, just off the M1 near Rotherham; phone before visiting as it closes at 2pm some days. Book ahead for a small discount.
A vast, dimly lit building, smelling vaguely of machine oil, hot metal and past glory, houses a series of displays based on the themes of earth, air, water and fire. The latter section is especially impressive, with a towering tornado of flame as a centrepiece and the chance to use a real electric arc to create your own tiny puddle of molten steel (if only for a moment or two). The hourly 'Big Melt' – a massive sound, light and fireworks show – memorably reenacts the firing up of one of the original arc furnaces.