Despite its heavily industrialized background, Birmingham, and its neighbouring areas, still offer some of the most picturesque landscapes and villages in the country. So, if you’ve already passed your test, or you plan to learn to drive in Birmingham, you can get back in your car and start exploring what the Midlands has to offer! Read on to find out more!
Live out your Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory dreams at the amazing Cadbury World. Located just 5.4 miles south of central Birmingham, the chocolatey goodness that awaits is just a straightforward 16-minute trip down the A38. The attraction provides fun for all with a 4D chocolate adventure, a look into how the sweet treats are manufactured, the history of Cadbury, and the chance to have a go at making your own chocolate, to name just a few of the activities involved. Cadbury World is open 9am-4:30pm daily for the remainder of August. However, pre-booking is essential, due to coronavirus restrictions. Adult tickets start from £17.10 if booked online.
Cannock Chase has been a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1958, and it is the perfect the place to get out and explore the outdoors. The beautiful district is just 23-miles outside of Birmingham and is as simple to get to as taking the M6 towards Staffordshire and the A460. However, beware as you will encounter a toll en route. Within its 68 square miles, Cannock Chase boasts ancient woodland, rivers, open landscapes, as well as some amazing wildlife, including deer and rare and endangered birds. If you can make it up to the highest point on the Chase, you’ll come across the Castle Ring, the site of an Iron Age fort. At 242 metres high, you will also be graced with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding areas. There are also designated paths for cyclists and horse riding too, so if you’ve got a roof rack, why not bring your bike with you?
The Medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon is just over 30-miles south of central Birmingham. The 16th-century West Midlands village was the home of the world-famous playwriter, William Shakespeare, and the town’s Royal Shakespeare Company pays homage to the creator of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the close by Swan Theatre on the banks of the River Avon. Aside from catching your favourite Shakespeare play, why not also visit Bancroft Gardens? Located on the river, the gardens feature a wonderful swan fountain, and the Gower memorial – another must-see for fans of Shakespeare, as it features a statue of the playwriter and four more of his famous characters. Other attractions include canal and river tours, Upton House, where Lord and Lady Bearsted lived in the 1930s, and the British Motor Museum.
Another designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Shropshire Hills are just under an hour-and-a-half drive from Birmingham. The 48-mile journey is a scenic one, mostly taking you through the West Midlands countryside. Along the way, you’ll go through the historic town of Kidderminster, over the River Severn, and past the Wyre Forest National Reserve. Once you get to the beautiful rolling hills and valleys, you won’t be short of options. The Shropshire Hills boasts over 50 individual hill tops, with the highest being the Brown Clee Hill. At 540 metres high, it is one of the tallest mountains, outside of the Lake District, in the United Kingdom. If you don’t want to trek across the hills, then not to worry as there are also plenty of river valleys, pastures, meadows and ancient woodlands to take a stroll through too!
West Midlands Safari Park
The award-winning West Midlands Safari Park is located in Kidderminster, just 20 miles outside of Birmingham. Why not do the amazing safari drive-through? The herd of white rhino, which is one of the most popular attractions, the giraffe, and the zebras will give you a taste of Africa, whilst one horned rhino, the Philippine spotted deer, and the endangered barasingha will transport you to the heart of Asia. Of course, you’ll come across the fearsome tigers, cheetahs, and Lions, as well as, the Elephant Valley, the home of the fantastic African elephants. Tickets start at just £24 per adult. Make the most of your trip to the Safari Park by visiting the Adventure Theme Park, the Land of the Living Dinosaurs, and the African Village, as well!