In the market for something a bit different to do on your next day out? Lucky for you we’ve collected our favourite unusual things to do in the West Midlands.
From epic historic sites to a chance to swim with sharks in Birmingham of all places, we've really got it all.
This historic site is definitely more than a crumbling mound of bricks and mortar, this castle once stood tall in the West Midlands. The walls that remain are gigantic – showing you just how large the castle was in its glory days. A visit to Kenilworth Castle is history-packed and super interactive (so you won’t be hearing the kids moan about how ‘booorrreeddd’ they are). Oh, and we bloody love a cuppa to make a day out, visitors can enjoy a good ol’ brew at the Stables Tearoom after exploring the castle.
P.S if you’re visiting in summer, check out the free fun adventure quest which trails across the grounds.
P.P.S Kenilworth Castle is part of English Heritage, you can save 15% on an annual English Heritage membership to enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of historic places!
Now, you won’t hear people raving about Coventry as the most exciting city in the UK (soz), but it does have some pretty cool attractions to check out – they make for some unusual things to do in the West Midlands. This wonderfully unique building was formerly known as Cathedral Church of St Michael and is the third cathedral in Coventry. Head inside and look up in awe at the beautiful hand-painted glass of the windows and the incredible architecture of the building.
If you’re looking for a slice of adventure on your day out in the West Midlands, this is the place to be. Whether you fancy taking to great heights on their Sky Trail, channelling your inner Robin Hood during Archery classes or trying out a plethora of water sports, Holme Pierrepont has it all.
Bring your little ones here and you’ll end up spending hours exploring each themed area – from the 4D cinema to the Kingdom Quest laser ride (our personal fav, it’s like next level laser tag). And if your kids are especially tiny, there’s an amazing soft play area designated to little sprogs - of course made more special by LEGO®.
This National Trust delight is home to all sorts of lovely sights – ones the whole family will enjoy, too. Once home to the Mander family, the manor itself is a stunning Victorian masterpiece (and for interior design lovers, is filled with Morris and Co. Interiors). Young ones will be chuffed to find out there’s a Woodland play area outside too, of course with its own climbing tower and balance walk. We reckon it’s practically compulsory to stop by the Tea-room for a brew and a sweet treat – it's just not the same without it.
Now, who doesn’t love a day out to the zoo? You’re right, no one. And this zoo is rather special because it opened back in 1937 – making it a well-seasoned establishment to say the least – and it sits on around 40-acres of land, so there’s a lot of exploration on offer. History buffs will just love this zoo too, you’ll see the hundreds of animals found at the zoo in and around the ruins of an 11th century castle – now that really amps up the wow factor, right? This is definitley one of our favourite zoos across the country, it really adds an unusual twist to your day out in the West Midlands.
Another excellent day out for history lovers, Wroxeter Roman City is an urban-living city from 2,000 years ago – and was actually the fourth biggest city in Roman Britain back then. This attraction will truly immerse you in the lives of the town’s residents, with visitors able to wander around the remains of the bathhouse and town houses of Viriconium (now known as Wroxeter).
We already know what you’re thinking, ‘a day out dedicated to chocolate, am I dreaming?’ Good news – no, you’re not dreaming, it’s all true. From a 4D Chocolate Adventure and Cadabra ride to Chocolate Making (and a chance to get stuck in yourself), Cadbury World really packs a sweet punch. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Cadbury World Café and Cadbury World Gift shop – especially if you fancy snagging some exclusive buys. This chocolatey day out is one of our top unusual things to do in the West Midlands.
In the market for an absolutely stunning day out? Well, we’ve found the spot for you. This country home was built way back in the 17th century and redecorated during the Victorian times – but the spectacular house is just half of the site to see. The grounds of Witley Court are perfect for a family day out. Young ones can keep busy nature spotting across the grounds and history fans can take the audio tour which shares the lives of those who have lived and worked there.
For most people, botanical gardens would definitely count as an unusual day out in the West Midlands, but for us it’s a must-see spot. The garden has four different glasshouses, each filled with different ranges of plants. Our favourite has to be the Tropical House – you genuinely won’t believe that you’re in Birmingham – but there’s also the Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid Houses to explore too. P.S there are usually loads of cool events on too, so keep your eyes peeled.
English Heritage has coined this unique day out spot as the ‘finest and best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England’ - and if that hasn’t already convinced you history lovers to visit, we don’t know what will. Now, for you not-so history lovers that need a bit more convincing, the gardens are a great spot to catch some amazing views of the grounds. Oh, and of course, there’s a Tea-room that serves up some seriously delicious lunches and cakes (alongside some stunning Shropshire views) - we should’ve started with that, right?
Bordering onto the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, we reckon this one just about counts as the West Midlands. This is one of our favourite spots for simply taking in the view and having a picnic on the grass – and what a view it is, the ruins make for a tranquil place. And we don’t wanna hear it about picnics only being suitable for summer – that's SO not true. With our winter picnic tips and tricks you can have a comforting (and money-saving) lunch from any spot just like this one.
This little town is packed with far more history than you’d ever expect. Famous for its glass industry and the Stourbridge Lion locomotive – which just happens to be the first train to run in the USA waaaay back in 1829. The town is based on the outskirts of the Black Country and is less than 15 miles away from Birmingham – but you’ll feel worlds away from modern day living as you learn about Stourbridge’s rich past. P.S don't forget that unique nugget of knowledge for your next pub quiz - guess Stourbridge turns out to be a very handy AND unusual day in the West Midlands.
This unique West Midlands day out is packed full of history – from the Anglo-Saxon monastery founded there in 680 by King Merewalh of Mercia and its rediscovery in 1101 to the re-founding of the land by the Normans as a priory of the Cluniac monks, it’s literally dripping in history. Explore the Chapter House, Cloister Garden and Medieval Tiles of the Priory and prepare for an educational day out.
Budding astronomers will absolutely adore this unusual day out in the West Midlands. The space centre has six interactive galleries, a 42m high Rocket Tower and not-to-mention the UK’s biggest planetarium. Head to the ‘Into Space’ themed area and walk in the steps of the world’s best-known astronauts – including Buzz Aldrin, part of the Apollo 11 crew (who has actually visited the National Space Centre himself).
This town is an excellent spot to head to a market or two. Our personal favourite, the Craft and Artisan Market (held every first and third Saturday of the month), is a great place to snag unique finds and cool gifts. There are loads of other funky seasonal events too – keep your eyes peeled for Spring and Summer one-off markets.
Located just Northwest of Birmingham, this West Midlands location is often forgotten about, but we reckon it’s worth a stop. Shopaholics will rejoice in many of Wolverhampton’s shopping spots – whether you’re into the high street classics or fancy something unique from an independent retailer, the city has it all.
Not only will you experience the history of the Black Country through some seriously informative exhibits, but you’ll also genuinely feel like you’re there with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Black Country. Exploring houses, shops and industrial workshops rebuilt in the Canalside village, you'll time travel through the Industrial Revolution and post-war prosperity.
Ever thought about visiting the UK’s only 360° Ocean Tunnel? SEA LIFE Birmingham is definitely the right place (y’know, since it’s the only one in the UK). Other than that gem of knowledge, you can also meet 2,000 (yes, 2,000) species of sea creatures – and see their unique ocean habitats.
Based in Baggeridge Country Park, an area of stunning countryside landscapes, the Baggeridge Miniature Railway is a sight to see. The railway runs during the warmer months of the year and is quite an unusual thing to do in the West Midlands – but definitely worth saying you’ve been. If you’re visiting with kids, make sure to stop by the adventure playground – fully equipped with climbing structures, sandpits, swings and a very ominous-sounding (but ultimately harmless, we think) death slide.
Thinking about investing in a Land Rover? Just wanna ride around in one for a few hours? Either way you’re sorted at the Jaguar Land Rover Experience. Just outside of Birmingham, you’ll find yourself trying out one of their many experiences ranging from one to seven hours of exploration. Feel like making your kid’s year? Buy them the Young Off-Roader Experience which allows up to two 11–17-year-olds to drive (instructor led) for an hour in one of their world-famous vehicles.
You may not have known, but the anchor used for the Titanic began its life in the West Midlands’ town of Netherton, before travelling to Belfast to begin its journey. To honour the role that the Black Country played in the manufacture of anchors and marine chain, a replica of the Titanic Anchor sits proud in Netherton – right by the Black Country Living Museum too.
Who knew you could swim with sharks in Birmingham? Well, we did but that’s because we absolutely love visiting Bear Grylls Adventure. If shark diving is a little too much for you, feel free to spend some time throwing axes, giving archery a go or exploring the high ropes – expect a good dose of adrenaline no matter what you do. Oh, and included in each ticket allows free entry to the Navy-style assault course on-site.
This independent museum is entirely run by unpaid volunteers and exhibits music from across Coventry and Warwickshire. Don’t know much about music from the West Midlands? That’s about to change for good. From the likes of well-loved bands like Jigsaw (from Rugby Town) to progressive rock artists like Indian Summer. This is a super unique thing to do in the West Midlands that won’t break the bank either, with admission at just £5 per adult.
They really weren’t kidding when they called these funky homes ‘Rock Houses’, they’re literally carved into sandstone. Head inside the Restored Holy Austin houses which show exactly how life was lived in the rock until the 1960’s. Kinver Edge is an Iron Age hillfort which makes for some excellent views of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
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