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Coins, cash and gold – follow the money in Britain

Wednesday 11 Jan, 2017


In March this year, Britain will get a new, 12-sided pound coin, with visitors having until October to spend any old-style pounds. Find out more about the country's currency, and even see where coins are made, at one of the following money-related attractions.

Strike a coin at the Royal Mint Experience, Wales
The Royal Mint was established around 1,100 years ago, and is responsible for manufacturing all the coins in circulation in Britain. The Royal Mint Experience offers the chance to have a behind-the-scenes tour of the coin-making factory - see how the blank pieces of metal are made, and struck to become coins. You'll even have the chance to take home a unique souvenir - a coin you've struck yourself. The experience is a 20 minute drive from Cardiff, the Welsh capital.

Stay in a former bank at Hotel Gotham, Manchester
A hotel with a flair for the dramatic, Hotel Gotham in the heart of Manchester in north-west England, is housed in one of the city's grandest, listed buildings - a former bank. Its unique interiors draw inspiration from its surroundings - expect moneybag-style laundry bags, and banker-style chairs. Behind two vault-like doors on the seventh floor is Club Brass - a members' club open to hotel guests. Brass is an English slang term for money. Manchester has its own international airport - trains from London take just over two hours.

Feel the weight of a gold bar at the Bank of England Museum, London
Founded in 1694, the Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom - it issues banknotes, manages the country's currency, and is responsible for its monetary and financial stability. Explore its role at the Bank of England Museum - there's a huge collection of bank notes and coins, as well as a display of gold. You'll even get the chance to feel the weight of a real gold bar. The museum is a short walk from Bank, a station on the London underground.

See a million pounds at the Museum on the Mound, Scotland
The Museum on the Mound is in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland's capital. It is full of unique attractions from the collections of the Bank of Scotland, founded in 1695. See what £1 million looks like in genuine £20 notes, as well as Scotland's oldest banknote. There's even the chance to have a go at ‘cracking' a safe - gaining access without a key or combination. Edinburgh has its own international airport - trains from London take around five hours.

Discover the Beau Street hoard in Bath, south-west England
The ancient city of Bath was founded upon natural hot springs, with its famous Roman Baths being constructed in around 70AD. Also dating from the Roman conquest of Britain is the Beau Street hoard - 17,577 coins found in eight separate money bags buried on the site of what is now Bath's five-star Gainsborough Hotel. The coins date from between 32BC and 274AD and are now on display at the Roman Baths. Bath is around one hour 30 minutes on the train from London.

Travel back in time at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Shropshire
Britain's currency was decimalised in 1971 - meaning it changed to a system based on multiples of 10 and 100, still used today. Relive the past at open-air museum Blists Hill Victorian Town in central England, where you can exchange your money for pre-decimalisation currency - pounds, shillings and pence. Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Victorian England - treat yourself to traditionally cooked fish and chips, or something from the sweetshop, and have fun at the Victorian fairground. Blists Hill is around 40 minutes' drive from Birmingham, or around three hours from London.


For more information contact:

  • VisitBritain Media Team

Related Images
Roman baths  - A statue at the Roman Baths
Blists Hill Victorian Town - A family participating in a coconute shy at the Blists Hill...
Hotham Hotel  - The Hotham Hotel exterier in the eveing, with exterier lighting
The Royal Mint - The blue sign of the Royal Mint