The West Midlands has something to offer just about everyone, from art galleries and museums to historic cathedrals and theme parks. You can see important works of classic and modern art, view stunning church architecture from the Middle Ages, ride roller coasters at Drayton Manor or get wild in the outdoors with climbing walls and zip lines. Walk serene gardens or see the ruins of medieval fortresses. Check out some of the best things to do in the West Midlands, from art galleries and museums to theme parks and adventure for your next family or couples holiday.

    1

    Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

    Get artistic, creative and historic all in one complex

    • Families
    • History

    The Herbert Art Gallery is a museum, art gallery, media studio and creative arts facility that's dedicated to the mission of preserving and educating the public about the arts. The gallery holds permanent and temporary exhibits and also offers an insight into the rich cultural and social history of the city. The museum offers natural history exhibits and hosts guest speakers and lecturers on a regular basis. Inventive and interactive workshops and classes are offered for adults and kids of every age. Permanent exhibits include Archaeology, Industry, Social History and Visual Arts, among others.

    Location: Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday from noon to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)2476 237521

    Map

    photo by Andy Lewis (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    2

    Coventry Cathedral

    Witness a stunning marvel of neo-Gothic architecture

    • Unusual

    Coventry Cathedral is the colloquial name for the Cathedral Church of St Michael, which serves as the seat of the Bishop of Coventry in the Church of England. It's a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture first erected in 1951, and its spiked towers and breathtaking arches draw many thousands of visitors every year just to wonder at the construction and stained glass inside. It is a functioning church, but its doors are open to visitors all year long. Fans of church architecture or architecture in general consider this a must-see location.

    Location: Priory St, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from noon to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)2476 521200

    Map
    3

    Aston Hall

    Walk the halls of Jacobean history

    • History

    Aston Hall is among the last houses built in the Jacobean style and a fascinating museum and public garden. Listed as a Grade I historic site, Aston Hall was built between 1618 and 1635 and boasts a magnificent scope and design. The rooms are still furnished with period artefacts and original decor. Outside, the grounds feature rolling green grass with bright, scented flowers that you can see on scenic pathways. You can also find a perfect souvenir and grab a bite at the cafe and gift shop at the day's end.

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    Location: Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6JD, UK

    Open: Hours by appointment only

    Phone: +44 (0)1213 488100

    Map
    4

    The Bear Grylls Adventure

    Get your rugged on and tackle physical adventures

    • Families
    • Adventure

    The Bear Grylls Adventure is an indoor and outdoor adventure sports centre in Marston Green that offers all types of exhilarating activities. Named for the famed outdoorsman and adventurer, the centre offers everything from outdoor zip wires to indoor skydiving. You can walk an underwater shark dive route while coached by a pro dive team or tackle the indoor climbing wall. Cage snorkelling experiences let you get up close and personal with dangerous and deadly beasts of the ocean, while indoor archery lets you master this age-old skill. You can spend time at a shooting range, master the challenge of an escape room, assault the obstacle course or brave the Fear Zone.

    Location: National Exhibition Centre Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PA, UK

    Open: Thursday–Friday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 5.30 pm (closed Monday–Wednesday)

    Phone: +44 (0)1217 252616

    Map
    5

    Winterbourne House & Garden

    Explore the rooms of an early-20th-century mansion and garden

    • History

    The Winterbourne House & Garden is the botanic garden and Edwardian historic home with tours, a tea room and a gift shop. Kept and maintained by the University of Birmingham, the home was originally designed in 1903 and served as a family home for John and Margaret Nettlefold. Today, it's a unique example of Edwardian architecture and an attraction that not only hosts serene garden walking paths, but also a gift shop and tea room where you can relax in luxurious surroundings. You can also view one of a number of operational 19th-century printing presses through demonstrations and workshops. The press is also used for paperwork sold in the gift shop.

    Location: 58 Edgbaston Park Rd, Birmingham B15 2RT, UK

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1214 143003

    Map

    photo by Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Dudley Castle

    Catch a historical re-enactment

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Dudley Castle is a ruined fortification and public park that hosts re-enactments of historic events. Originally designed as a motte and bailey castle enhanced with stone, the Dudley Castle was demolished on the orders of King Henry II. Today, the castle and its courtyard are open for lively historic re-enactments of important events. It's also rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of the Grey Lady. You can experience the ghost yourself and learn all about the dark history with a ghost walk. The location is also a popular venue for concerts, children's events and falconry shows.

    Map
    7

    Ikon Gallery

    Check out the most important artists of our day

    • History

    The Ikon Gallery is a gallery of contemporary art in Brindleyplace with a variety of permanent and rotating exhibitions. Housed in a Grade II listed building famed for its neo-Gothic architecture, it was once the Oozells Street Board School and was originally erected in 1877. The gallery hosts permanent and rotating exhibits, with the temporary exhibitions situated over 2 floors that showcase work from prominent global artists in a range of media. Exhibits feature sound, mixed media, film and video, photography, painting, sculpture and installation art. The gallery also features a specialist art bookshop and a cafe with gourmet food and cocktails.

    Location: 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1212 480708

    Map
    8

    Edgbaston Reservoir

    Walk the shores of a serene nature preserve

    • Adventure

    The Edgbaston Reservoir is a canal feeder reservoir in Birmingham that's perfect for serene walks and fishing in scenic surroundings. First built in 1827, the canal feeder is still in use for outdoor recreation. The reservoir sits on a vast site that is largely open water, but it's surrounded by grassland and woodland with about 2.8 kilometres of walking and jogging trails around the water. Birdwatching is popular here, as the waterways support an array of bird life. Rangers lead regular guided events and activities where you can learn about the local green spaces and wildlife.

    Map

    photo by Oosoom (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Drayton Manor Theme Park

    Ride a roller coaster or wet ride at a classic amusement park

    • Families

    Drayton Manor Theme Park is a zoo, resort and family park on the grounds of the former Drayton Manor. The park welcomes around 1.5 million guests to enjoy its features every year, from roller coasters and water rides to miniature golf and a dinosaur trail adventure where kids can walk amongst lifelike animatronic creatures from the prehistoric era. Kids will also like the onsite zoo with dozens of species of exotic animals. Other highlights include amusement rides and games, park-style food and days of fun and excitement for adults and kids alike.

    Location: Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3TW, UK

    Open: Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm, Monday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed Tuesday–Thursday)

    Phone: +44 (0)1827 287979

    Map

    photo by Stefan Scheer (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    StarCity

    Enjoy a day of family fun, from bowling to mini-golf to cinema

    • Families

    StarCity is a family entertainment and leisure complex located in northeast Birmingham with a cinema, restaurants, bowling alley and more. You and your family can tackle the challenge of an escape room or divide into teams and tackle the laser-tag course. A couple looking for a fun and quirky activity can hit the miniature-golf course, while kids will enjoy the Goals Soccer Centre where they can take football lessons and play a match. Little ones will enjoy a soft play centre, and older kids will delight at the BB gun and archery ranges.

    Location: 32 Watson Rd, Nechells, Birmingham B7 5SA, UK

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1212 704455

    Map

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