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Review of Dartington Crystal

Dartington Crystal
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Highworth, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2013

The factory was a little predictable so was the factory shop. We found it dissapointed with Dartington Glass.

Visited October 2013
Thank philipgrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue F, Manager at Dartington Crystal, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
Thank you for posting your response regarding your recent visit to Dartington Crystal.

Sorry to hear that you found the walk from the car park rather a long one, but unfortunately the configuration of this site is that of a hill and to get to certain parts of the site it does mean a walk along a safe designated route. I should point out that at the time of your visit the loading area may well have been empty, however, there are many times throughout the day when vehicle activity is very heavy. I'm sure you will appreciate we take the safety of our customers extremely seriously and therefore we ask all our visitors to follow a white line. In no way is our signage meant to be intimidating just there to ensure safety for everyone.

We are pleased to learn that you enjoyed the informative Visitor Centre that includes the detailed history of Dartington Crystal and as you rightly comment we bring skilled employment to a rural area that was suffering economic decline in the 1960's. Today we remain one of the largest employers in the area and we are still very much a craft based factory using traditional glassmaking skills. Therefore we are very proud to say that we are home to the only remaining large scale Crystal & Glassware manufacturer in the UK.

We thank you once again for your time and your feedback and should we ever be in a position to change the layout of the site we will most certainly consider your comments.

Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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415 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great cream tea! :)”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

My other half, his mum, sister and I went to the cafe and had some drinks. My OH had carrot cake and I went for the cream tea with fruitless scone. His mum and sister opted for tea only and shared a teapot between them.

Scone was nice but very crumbly so was hard to put a nice amount of clotted cream and jam on it without it breaking up in your hand. You get given a cute little jar of strawberry jam and a good sized dollop of clotted cream which was perfect for me as I don't use such condiments sparingly and I also have dysphagia from my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Staff were lovely both in the cafe and shop and it didn't cost too much either.

Nice place to go to stop off before looking around the shop and would come back.

Visited October 2013
Thank Jo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“OK for an hour or two.”
Reviewed October 5, 2013

Visited one afternoon when the weather was a bit damp. Arrived about 2.15 or so.

A bit of a roundabout way to get to the visitor centre from the car park. Like a previous visitor we found out about the two-for-one ticket which is available via the internet, but not a lot of use to someone on holiday with just a mobile phone. So, we had to pay the full price. If you're visiting the area, worth seeking that offer out beforehand. It will save a couple about £7.

A short introductory film is useful in explaining the background to the company and shows the way that production is run now. The visitor centre also has an extensive time-line round the room giving interesting facts and key dates from the start of the factory to the current day. Many items are on display and well labelled. Before entering the factory you get a chance to see the engraver at work.

The factory is a bit rough and ready but you're quite close to the group of guys working on one design of jug. You get an appreciation of the heat of the place, and moving up to the viewing gallery you get a better overview of the process from above. About 8 guys work together on seperate parts of the process, which is interesting, especially as the way they seamlessly work as a team without any hint of burning each other with the hot glass as they pass the items between them!

The viewing gallery leads into another building where people finish and pack a range of products, a lot of which we hadn't seen actually being produced. This wasn't so interesting. The walkway continues under the roof of the factory, with a few window displays, to bring you down into the shop. The whole upper walkway is inaccessible to wheelchairs, etc.

The shop seemed well-stocked with a range of prices from small to large items. The staff were helpful, especially the lady who walked through to the visitor centre to fetch my wife an item which she'd seen there, but which couldn't be found in the shop.

We left the shop at just after 4pm but found the restaurant closed and in darkness. We'd thought that we could at least get a cuppa up until 5pm, so that's worth noting. The website clearly shows opening times, and we hadn't seen the cafe. Subsequent checks do reveal the cafe and in fact it does close at 4pm, and the last time for the factory experience is at 3.15pm.

There's also an Edinburgh Woollen Mill outlet there, although that was of no interest to us.

As previously seen in other reviews, the toilets are not the best, but the company have indicated that they are aware of this and plan to update them soon.

Not a bad place to visit, but not a swish new purpose-built centre as some companies put up these days. Interesting though.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank StagsBOD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We had vouchers for £1 off each ticket. Having paid I was a bit miffed when the couple behind us mentioned a 2 for 1 deal on the website and so were admitted for half the price. As we were the only other people in there it seemed a bit unreasonable for the receptionist not to have mentioned the offer.

Anyway, it was quite interesting, the glass blowers. Clearly enjoy their job and it's fair to say they're very good at it.

Shop is well stocked with some bargains to be had.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank LisaTHartlepool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit!”
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

Armed with our groupon voucher we booked online for a 0900 visit, which was half price, and gave us entry to look around, plus painting a glass ourselves and taking it home. Be wary of your arrival times as the guys on the shop floor producing the goods stop for lunch at 1045-1200 as they start so early. After a slightly less than enthusiastic initial welcome by a Stoney faced woman, we were told what to do and in what order, and as the only people there, wandered off to look about the display area.It was surprisingly good, and surprisingly interesting...the shop floor tour is very clever in that you see the whole process from creation to packing mostly from above the shop floor on a suspended gangway. These guys work very hard in hot and a very noisy environment, and are always on the go. As soon as they finish one piece in a few minutes, they immediately take up another, and so it cycles around, teams of 4-6 glass makers, making 4 different item ranges each day. Really fascinating to see handmade glass being blown and the end result. Afterwards we were given a glass each and shown to the glass design area, where we could design and colour/paint our own by hand. Clearly designed for kids, but aren't we all kids at heart given the chance?! Great fun, and we now have 2 coloured and child-like vessels to amuse ourselves. There is also a jewellery making area for glass jewellery. It took us 2 hours to look about, but a worthwhile trip especially if its raining and you have kids. They also gave us a £3 voucher to use in their shop for items over £20 if we purchased the same day...and we did! Great value and great quality....lots of discounted goods, and the seconds were cheap and quality mostly with blemishes you wouldn't even notice.
Surprise yourself and see how much you'll enjoy half a day here! We did!

Visited September 2013
Thank Original_Tall_Paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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