With travel abroad more restricted, there’s no better time to enjoy a holiday in the UK. From buzzing cities and lively market towns, to outdoor pursuits and family days out, a staycation in the midlands is the perfect break for friends, couples and families alike.
Visit bustling Birmingham
Known as England’s second city, Birmingham has it all – from independent shops to elegant bars, activities for the family and some of the UK’s best shopping. The Jewellery Quarter is a must visit for anyone visiting the city. Home to over 200 listed buildings, it was once the home of Britain’s jewellery trade. Today it’s packed full of independent cafes, bars and restaurants.
Digbeth is another must see area in the city. It was named the Coolest Neighbourhood in Britain by the Sunday Times, thanks to its independent shops, cinemas and arts venues. At the heart of this is the Custard Factory – 15 acres of beautifully restored Victorian factories which play host to cafes, bars, restaurants, and the Mockingbird Cinema.
Close by, you’ll find Bullring – the UK’s largest city centre shopping centre, filled with high street staples and high-end retailers, plus one of only four Selfridges department stores.
Local towns and cities
Away from the Midlands’ metropolis, you’ll find plenty of smaller towns and cities, brimming with charm and character. Coventry, the largest, was a medieval city badly damaged by the German Luftwaffe in WWII, however some medieval streets remain. The city has three cathedrals – two of which are in ruin and another rebuilt after the war – which offer a glimpse of this ancient city through time.
Just a few miles away lies the historic town of Warwick – a time warp back to medieval times. With timber houses, local markets and the River Avon running through its heart, it’s the perfect day out. But the main star of the show is Warwick Castle, a stunning fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1068 that looks like it’s taken straight out of a fairy tale.
Three miles east of Warwick, you’ll find Royal Leamington Spa – a prosperous spa town built around natural spa springs that were discovered in the nineteenth century. Today, the town is a lively centre of shopping, food, nightlife and culture, known for it’s stunning Regency architecture and blooming parks and gardens. It was even voted the happiest place to live in the UK.
Stratford-upon-Avon, best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, lies a little further south west. The Tudor town is steeped in history with Shakespeare’s birthplace being the main attraction. Take in the playwright’s childhood home or his humble grave at the Holy Trinity Church, visit Mary Arden’s Farm or catch a theatre performance at the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company.
Local walks and outdoor activities
The Midlands is home to miles of rolling countryside, dotted with small towns and villages, parks, gardens and areas of natural beauty. If you’re looking for a break from towns and cities, your options are endless.
Just to the north of Birmingham, you’ll find Cannock Chase, a vast woodland offering walking and cycling trails, plus activities including orienteering, mountain biking and Go Ape. To the west of Birmingham, you’ll find the Shropshire Hills, one of 46 designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. As well as walking and cycling, here you can enjoy canoeing, wild swimming and fishing, to name a few.
If you’re looking for a bit more of an adrenaline hit, or for a day out with the kids, Drayton Manor is the place to go. The theme park and zoo has over 100 rides, from thrilling rollercoasters to family rides. There are plenty of activities on offer, from crazy golf to the Thomas the Tank Engine Live Show. Plus, there are fifteen acres of open plan zoo, home to over 100 animals and providing support for conservation projects around the world.
If thrill rides aren’t for you, Twycross Zoo is another great way to spend the day. This larger zoo is home to over 500 animals including larger mammals, creepy crawlies and endangered species. It is home to the largest collection of monkeys and apes in the western world. Many of the zoo’s animals are part of Conservation Breeding Programmes, which help to ensure the continuation of species in danger of extinction. Be sure to check out The Belfry’s Twycross Zoo family offer with overnight stay and breakfast.
If you’re looking for indoor activities in the Midlands, Cadbury World is an excellent choice for the kids. Find out how chocolate arrived in Europe and how it is made with fun-filled theatre presentations. Learn about the history of the Cadbury brand, from the story of John Cadbury to Gill Cook’s collection of Cadbury memorabilia. All this, plus a 4D cinema experience, a magical ride through a chocolate wonderland and a make-your-own experience. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, check out The Belfry’s Cadbury World family offer.
Whether it’s a romantic trip for two, or a family staycation, there are endless things to do in the Midlands. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, The Belfry Hotel & Resort is the perfect retreat lying right at the heart of it all. View our offers and book your stay today.