How to have an unexpected adventure in the West Midlands

Turn up the volume on your trip to Birmingham and beyond, with these dramatic new ways to discover the region. Leave the museums and galleries for a day and head into the great outdoors for an unforgettable experience.

Like Birmingham’s canals

Gas Street Basin at the heart of the city centre, the meeting point of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the Birmingham Canal Main Line. Historic buildings. Passenger boats moored.

Birmingham has 56 km of canals – more, famously, than Venice – and travelling around or on them makes for a great day out. Whether you walk or cycle alongside the city’s waterways and explore its industrial past, or take a boat trip along the canals, it’s the best way of seeing the many sides of the city from its heart.

Love the Dudley Canal Tunnel

For something truly unforgettable, take an underground boat trip through the 2,900.5 m Dudley Canal Tunnel and caverns, with the Dudley Canal Trust.

Explore the West Midlands waterways

If a day on Birmingham’s canals inspires you, then speed off, albeit at 6 km per hour into the sunset, on the wide network of waterways, taking the Grand Union Canal to Warwick, or the Oxford Canal, which goes all the way to the City of Dreaming Spires. There are many narrow boat hire companies in the region such as Grand Union Narrow Boats.

Like Go Ape outdoor adventure

 Sky diving experience at Bear Grylls Adventure

Swing through the tree-tops with the popular Go Ape franchise, which has forest sites all over the Midlands, including Buxton in the Peak District, Cannock Chase, Coventry and Wyre Forest. It makes a brilliant day out for children and adults – we challenge anyone not to enjoy the mega-zipline at the end.

Love The Bear Grylls Adventure

We’re not going to lie, shark-diving in Birmingham isn’t something we’d expect either, but The Bear Grylls Adventure offers just that in its awesome indoor/outdoor activity centre. Other extreme pursuits include a high-rope challenge, free-flying and new for 2022, axe-throwing, we kid you not.

Explore Ackers Adventure

For more unexpected high-adrenaline activities, head to Ackers Adventure in Sparkbrook, where you can hit the dry ski slope and try everything from abseiling to archery, climbing to canoeing.

Like the Peak District National Park

 Three people, two women and a man, rock climbing at Stanage Edge, Peak District, Derbyshire, England.

The Peak District was Britain’s first National Park and is still one of its most popular. There are loads of ways of enjoying it, from a leisurely walk and afternoon tea, to something more energetic, with one of its many adventure tours. How about a spot of weaselling (squeezing yourself between rocks), climbing, abseiling, caving, or mountain-biking?

Love Cannock Chase

We know forest-bathing is good for our health, so take a tree prescription and walk or cycle around the lovely forest Cannock Chase, or go horse-riding on one of its bridleways.

Explore the Malverns by foot

There’s no better way (apart from maybe a Morgan Driving Tour, which sounds pretty good) to see the Malverns, than on foot. As one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes, this protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has many walks, from easy to strenuous.

Like a day trip to Warwick Castle

 Warwick Castle and the River Avon, Warwick, Warwickshire, UK. View of Warwick Castle from the River Avon. Grand castle. Trees and green space next to the river.

For a spot of medieval adventure, you can go all dungeons and dragons at Warwick Castle. The almost 1000-year-old castle has loads of immersive experiences, Bird of Prey events and live shows, as well as a Horrible Histories maze. Castles have never been so energetic.

Love a day at Chatsworth House

The estate of the grand Chatsworth House in Bakewell is so vast, it covers 1,000 acres and you can roam through the rolling landscape all day – before you even tackle the 105-acre formal garden and maze.

Explore Kenilworth Castle

Walk in the footsteps of Elizabeth I in the restored Elizabethan Garden of the vast Kenilworth Castle, near Coventry. This medieval fortress is one of the country’s biggest historical sites. 

29 Mar 2022(last updated)

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