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Things to do in West Midlands

Canal and Barges, Birmingham - Picture Courtesy of www.britainonview.com

West Midlands was formed as a Metropolitan county in 1974 ,encompassing the cities of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry, together with Brierley Hill, Dudley, Solihull, Walsall and West Bromwich.

The county was made up of parts of the historic counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire.

West Midlands is still a ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant.

West Midlands Tourist Information is available in all the cities and towns mentioned above.

The West Midlands is largely an urban county, where much of England's industry is based.

Square, Birmingham - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com

The area has a long and rich history, museums, art galleries and superb shopping and dining facilities.

It also has a network of canals which offers opportunities for cruising, walking and cycling along the banks.

Botanical Gardens, Edgebaston - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com

There are three Green Belt areas within the county. Meriden Gap - some 15 miles across - lies between Birmingham and Coventry.

Barr Beacon is a hill on the edge of Walsall while the Sandhill Valley is home to the RSPB Nature Reserve and Sandwell Valley Country Park.

Tourism in West Midlands starts in Britain's second largest city - Birmingham - which offers a wealth of attractions.

To name but a few: Birmingham Museum of Transport, the National Motorcycle Museum (nearby, at Bickenhill), Birmingham Botanical Gardens, BarberInstitute of Fine Arts, The Icon Gallery, National Sea Life Centre, Blakesley Hall and Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. Statue of Lady Wulfrun, Wolverhampton - Picture courtesy of 

Wolverhampton is also situated in the West Midlands and its history goes back over 1, 000 years.

The town has a long industrial heritage and has been involved in mining, steel manufacture, aircraft production and is the home of Chubb locks.

Today Wolverhampton is the second largest town in the county and boasts great shopping along with sport & leisure and arts & entertainment facilities. Albrighton, a few miles west of the city is home to the famous David Austin Roses. Among its many attractions are Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Race Course, Bantock House, Bilston Craft Gallery and Wightwick Manor.

Black Country canal and locks - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com Dudley is part of the area known as the 'Black Country'. You can find out about the town and its industrial heritage at the Black Country Living Museum. The ruins of Dudley Castle stand on a hill overlooking the town and Dudley Zoological Garden is to be found in its gounds. Alternatively, you can enjoy the open spaces and wildlife at Baggeridge Country Park, some 4 miles west of the town. The Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve was declared as Britain's first National Nature Reserve for geology in 1956. Balancing these attractions from the natural world is Broadfield House Glass Museum - located nearby at Kingswinford.

Walsall is another of the towns in the 'Black Country'. Famous for manufacturing leather, the town still creates handbags for Her Majesty the Queen. The Leather Museum in the town is well worth a visit. Another place of interest is Walsall Memorial Gardens and Arboretum which have the second biggest illuminations in Britain. Walsall Art Gallery was rebuilt in 2000. There is a wide range of works on show here, including a children's Discovery Gallery. One of Walsall's famous sons was the author Jerome K. Jerome. His birthplace is now a museum.

The Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell comprises the towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich. Berkswell Church, Solhull - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com

Solihull, south east of Birmingham, is home of 'Land Rover' and the National Exhibition Center, amongst others. The town is a popular shopping center for the surrounding area. There are many historic buildings, including examples of Tudor style timbered framed houses. Solihull School dates from 1560 and the handsome parish church has a 168 foot spire, a landmark for miles around.

Genesis at the NEC - Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com Coventry is home to Coventry University and University of Warwick, which encompasses Warwick Arts Center - the second largest Arts Center after the Barbican in London. Coventry Cathedral is a supreme example of modern day church architecture, designed by Basil Spence. One of Coventry's most famous residents was Lady Godiva. Her statue can be seen in the city center. Places of interest include the Museum of British Road Transport, Coventry Toy Museum - housed in Whitefriars Gate and built in 1352, Herbert Art Gallery and Lunt Roman Fort.

Days out in West Midlands

  • Baddesley Clinton Hall
    Enjoy a day at Baddesley Clinton, the medieval moated manor house with hidden secrets! One the most enchanting properties owned by the National Trust, Baddesley Clinton has seen little change since 1633 when Henry Ferrers 'the Antiquary' died.
    Baddesley Clinton Hall
  • Baggeridge Country Park
    Baggeridge Country Park is today a beautiful area of countryside on the doorstep of the Black Country. Being set back from the roads, it's secluded delights are revealed to you as you explore further.
    Baggeridge Country Park
  • Bantock House Museum

    Well-hidden within Bantock Park, Bantock House has now been restored to it's full Edwardian Glory. Explore the delightful home of the Bantock Family, and on the way, you'll discover some of Wolverhampton's secret history.

    Bantock House Museum
  • Barber Institute of Fine Arts
    The Barber Institute of Fine Arts has the most outstanding collection of works of art assembled in Britain in the twentieth century and is one of the city of Birmingham's greatest cultural attractions.
    Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Bilston Craft Gallery
    Bilston Craft Gallery is the West Midlands biggest dedicated craft venue, hosting an exciting programme of contemporary craft exhibitions.
    Bilston Craft Gallery
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses
    The Birmingham Botanical Gardens were opened in 1832. They were designed by JC Loudon, a leading garden planner, horticultural journalist and publisher.
    Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses
  • Black Country Living Museum
    Discover a fascinating world when you visit Britain's friendliest open-air museum. Historic buildings from all around the Black Country have been moved and rebuilt at the Black Country Museum
    Black Country Living Museum
  • Blakesley Hall
    Blakesley Hall has been carefully refurbished and restored. It was re-opened to the public on 4th May 2002. The Hall is a timber-framed farmhouse built, in 1590, by Richard Smalbroke a man of local importance.
    Blakesley Hall
  • Broomey Croft Childrens Farm
    Our farm is set in the beautiful North Warwickshire countryside and Children just love to visit our friendly farm with its tame farm animals.
    Broomey Croft Childrens Farm
  • Cadbury World
    Cadbury World has 14 different zones, a separate Museum, the World's Biggest Cadbury Shop and the Cadbury Café to cater for all your chocolate cravings!
    Cadbury World
  • Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
    These gardens of some 10 acres, are a rare survival of formal garden design of the early 18th Century when gardens were an oasis of elegance and beauty, far removed from the hazardous and hostile world beyond their walls
    Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
  • Coombe Country Park
    It has taken ten centuries and the vision of many individuals for the magnificent Country Park to reach its present splendour. Take time to explore its beautiful garden, woodland and lakeside walks and enjoy the historic surroundings.
    Coombe Country Park
  • Coventry Cathedral
    The original Cathedral Church of St Michael was destroyed on the night of 14th November 1940 by incendiary bombs. Basil Spence's new Cathedral, consecrated in 1962, is a triumphant statement of Resurrection and life.
    Coventry Cathedral
  • Coventry Transport Museum
    Coventry is the birthplace of British road transport and the Museum displays the largest collection of British cars, buses, cycles and motorcycles in the world, it is designated as a collection of national importance
    Coventry Transport Museum
  • Dudley Zoological Gardens
    At Dudley Zoological Gardens there's a chance to get close to some of the rarest animals in the world.
    Dudley Zoological Gardens
  • Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
    The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum provides places for the people of Coventry and visitors to the City to meet, celebrate and explore their cultural and creative past, present and futures.
    Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
  • Ikon Gallery
    Birmingham is home to one of Europe's premier venues for contemporary art, showing exciting, innovative and challenging artists. Since the early 60's Ikon Gallery has championed the work of living artists.
    Ikon Gallery
  • Kingsbury Water Park
    So much to see and do at Warwickshire's premier waterside attraction! Kingsbury Water Park has 15 lakes situated in over 600 acres of country park.
    Kingsbury Water Park
  • Kinver Edge and Rock Houses
    From the remains of the Iron Age Hill Fort to the restored Holy Austin Rock Houses, people have been living in the area of Kinver Edge for thousands of years.
    Kinver Edge and Rock Houses
  • Lunt Roman Fort
    Once inhabited by the Roman Army, this ancient site provides a fascinating snapshot of Roman military life.
    Lunt Roman Fort
  • National Motorcycle Museum
    The National Motorcycle Museum is recognised as the finest and largest motorcycle museum in the world. It is a place where "Legends Live On".
    National Motorcycle Museum
  • National Sea Life Centre
    The National Sea Life Centre takes visitors on a spectacular undersea voyage with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life, creating a wonderland for visitors of all ages.
    National Sea Life Centre
  • Ryton Gardens - the home of Garden Organic
    Garden Organic Ryton - run by the charity Garden Organic (formerly known as HDRA) - attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year.
    Ryton Gardens - the home of Garden Organic
  • St Marys Guildhall
    St Mary's Guildhall has stood at the heart of Coventry for over 650 years and witnessed events of both local and national importance.
    St Marys Guildhall
  • The New Art Gallery Walsall
    The New Art Gallery Walsall opened in February 2000 in the heart of Walsall town centre. A unique civic building for Walsall, the gallery is also a rare example of a brand-new building for the millennial arts.
    The New Art Gallery Walsall
  • Transport Museum Wythall
    The Transport Museum, Wythall was founded in 1977 and its three large halls house a broad collection of around 100 buses, coaches, fire engines and battery-electric vehicles from all parts of the Midlands and beyond.
    Transport Museum Wythall
  • Wightwick Manor and Gardens
    This fascinating house contains one of the finest collections of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Visitors can explore this Victorian masterpiece with its Great Parlour and timber-framed exterior.
    Wightwick Manor and Gardens
  • Wolverhampton Art Gallery
    Established in 1884, Wolverhampton Art Gallery is an award winning hands-on art gallery situated in Wolverhampton city centre.
    Wolverhampton Art Gallery
  • Wolverhampton Racecourse
    Wolverhampton Racecourse is Britain's first floodlit horse racing track bringing you the thrills of racing, day and night.
    Wolverhampton Racecourse

Places to Visit in West Midlands

  • Aldridge
    Aldridge is a very attractive town, in which each neighbourhood is very well looked after, with trees and well cut grass. There is also a beautiful church, a library, and a tree-lined courtyard including a children's play area.
  • Barston
    Lots of ideas for things to do in Barston and nearby including the best attractions and nearby towns and villages. Lots of photos.
  • Birmingham
    Birmingham is Britain's second largest city and is situated right in the heart of England. Friendly, bustling and thriving, Birmingham is one of our most visited cities and welcomes visitors all year long.
  • Castle Bromwich
    Castle Bromwich retains a village atmosphere despite growing in size over recent decades and forming part of the Solihull Metropolitan Borough. Centred around a village green given to the residents by Viscount Newport.
  • Coventry
    Coventry, dominated by its stunning state-of-the-art Cathedral, has wide pedestranised streets, modern architecture, good shopping facilities, fashionable restaurants, luxurious modern hotels, parks and gardens, theatres, and sports venues.
  • Dudley
    The large town of Dudley in the West Midlands is 11 miles north west of Birmingham city centre and six miles south of Wolverhampton.
  • Halesowen
    Halesowen is a town in the West Midlands, nine miles south west of Birmingham city centre and close to the M5 motorway.
  • Lye
    Lye is a leafy suburb between Stourbridge and Halesowen. It is less than two miles from open country, and the landscape is hilly. Lye itself consists chiefly of a main high street, containing all manner of shops.
  • Meriden
    The village of Meriden is situated between Coventry and Solihull in the West Midlands.
  • Oldbury
    Oldbury is at the centre of Sandwell, both geographically and as the site of the borough's Council House. The town dates from the 13th century, and for most of its history it was part of the parish of Halesowen in Worcestershire.
  • Rowley Regis
    The secret of Rowley Regis' success is its firm foundations. The Romans first came to the area 2,000 years ago, attracted by the hard rock of the Rowley Hills; the legacy of quarrying is still part of the local landscape.
    Rowley Regis
  • Smethwick
    Smethwick - From a rural community of farms and cottages, through the transformation of the Industrial Revolution to the bustling community of today - in many ways Smethwick is Sandwell in microcosm.
  • Solihull
    Solihull is a vibrant, stylish and friendly place to live, work and visit. It has many shops, pubs, resturants, bars and parks for everyone to enjoy.
  • Stourbridge
    The historic glass-producing town of Stourbridge is in the West Midlands, 13 miles west of Birmingham between Dudley and Kidderminster.
  • Sutton Coldfield
    Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands is about eight miles northeast of Birmingham City Centre.
  • Tipton
    Little is known of Tipton's earliest history, the area was once part of the Royal Forest of Cannock, and records survive of land ownership in Norman times. By the 12th century there was a church (St. John's) and a moated manor house.
  • Walsall
    Walsall is an important industrial town in the West Midlands, about 13 miles northwest of Birmingham city centre and close to the M6.
  • Wednesbury
    Wednesbury is one of the oldest parts of Sandwell. The 'bury' part of the name indicates there may have been an Iron Age fort or 'beorg' on Church Hill as long ago as 200BC.
  • West Bromwich
    West Bromwich is the borough's largest town and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. At the time Bromwich - 'the little village on the heath of broom' - was among the possessions of William Fitz-Ansculf, Baron of Dudley.
    West Bromwich
  • Wolverhampton
    The city of Wolverhampton is in the West Midlands, 18 miles northeast of Birmingham and close to the M6 and M54. It is on the main railway line to London.
  • Wordsley
    Wordsley is situated between Stourbridge and Kingswinford in the heart of The Black Country, West Midlands. It is a village community with a host of shops and eateries and more fine ale houses than you can shake a stick at.

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