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The many worlds of the West Midlands: 4-day travel itinerary

From its rich industrial past to its cultural highlights, the West Midlands is one region with many worlds. The home of both William Shakespeare and the Peaky Blinders, it has many stories to tell. Whether you’re into immersive art, being active or are a foodie seeking out new flavours – the heart of the UK will set every visitor’s pulse racing on this four-day tour of the region. 

DAY 1: Discover Birmingham

The Bear Grylls Adventure. Outdoor activity centre near Birmingham.

Take your pick from these experiences:

Take to the water

Whether you’re a keen kayaker or a first-time paddler, take to Birmingham’s canals on a kayak tour for a new way to experience the city. Alternatively, head to the enormous Edgbaston Reservoir, a tranquil 70-acre site, where you can test your balance with stand-up paddle boarding.

Seek something different

For a unique hangout try Birmingham’s Tilt, with craft beer, speciality coffee and pinball machines. Or face the daring high ropes and extreme activities of The Bear Grylls Adventure centre.

Take in a show

Alongside the Commonwealth Games, the Birmingham 2022 Festival has a packed agenda of exhibitions and performances to catch, until September.

Head to Swordfish 

Music devotees will love this haven filled with classic collectables and eclectic artwork. You’ll be joining an impressive list of customers, from Dave Grohl to Franz Ferdinand and Duran Duran.

Have a brush with Digbeth’s art scene 

Wander down to Digbeth to discover its funky arts scene. Eastside Projects is brimming with artistic flair and exhibitions, or celebrate the female Birmingham art scene at Stryx. Follow a self-guided art tour to see the graffitied walls of Digbeth come alive. If you find yourself here in September, don’t miss the Birmingham Pride celebrations.

Tuck into Birmingham’s diverse food scene

With its canal-side setting and an abundance of eateries, The Mailbox is a favourite for those seeking some sustenance. For magical cocktails head to Aluna, where you can even shake things up at a cocktail masterclass. Alternatively, tuck into hearty food and sample over 60 beers at The Canal House, or enjoy Indian spices at Indico Street Kitchen.

For vegan delights, try The Birmingham Stable – with its sourdough vegan pizzas and bottomless brunch, or for food that’s made with love and a little bit of dancing pick up a burger at Ba-Ha.

DAY 2: Pack your bags for Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021

Group of friends at Fargo village featuring artworks by artists Snub23 and My Dog Sighs. Coventry, West Midlands, England

Take history to new heights

Discover Coventry Cathedral where old meets new. Climb the tower for a birds-eye view of the city, then marvel at the modern interiors of the cathedral.

Immerse yourself in art

For an out-of-this-world experience, voyage into Machine Memoirs: Space, a collaboration between NASA and artist Refik Anadol at The Reel Store, the UK’s first permanent digital art gallery.

Tuck in at the food village

Discover FarGo Village – an industrial space filled with cool eateries and artisan street-food vendors, like Factory and Gourmet Food Kitchen, before picking up some unique artwork and gifts.

DAY 3: Follow in the footsteps of the Bard in Stratford-upon-Avon

Explore Shakespeare’s birthplace

A visit to the West Midlands wouldn’t be complete without seeing Shakespeare’s Birthplace. After seeing where the Bard began, you can take in a play or enjoy a backstage tour at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Head up the building’s tower, for its far-reaching views.

Once the sun goes down, the ghosts come out play on the Tudor World Museum ghost walk, with spooky tales of Stratford-upon-Avon’s past.

Get on board for a boat tour

Hop on a gin-tasting cruise from Avon Boating, and sample gins from the award-winning Shakespeare Distillery as you voyage down the Avon.

Discover dining delights

With fabulous views, the Royal Shakespeare Company rooftop restaurant is a great place for a cocktail and bite to eat. Alternatively, try Salt, Stratford-upon-Avon’s first Michelin-starred restaurant.

DAY 4: Travel back in time in dramatic Dudley

Couple aboard a boat tour in Dudley, West Midlands

Let history come alive at the Black Country Living Museum

Head to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, where you can relive life during the Industrial Revolution and walk in the footsteps of the Peaky Blinders, as filming for the hit TV series took place here.

Go underground on Dudley’s canals

Glide into an underground world on The Dudley Underground Experience boat tour. The magical subterranean world comes alive with stories of the area’s mining past coupled with light and sound displays.

Have a day out at Dudley Zoo

There are not many zoos built around an 11th century castle, so Dudley Zoo is a day out with a difference. Over 40-acres of wooded hillside, there’s everything from Sumatran tigers to orangutans, red pandas, giraffes, lemurs and reindeer.

28 Jul 2022(last updated)

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