There’s plenty to keep you occupied in Birmingham, but it’s also a great base for heading further afield.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is farmhouse containing many original items of family furniture, including the Hathaway Bed. It’s nestled within stunning grounds and gardens, overflowing with fragrant blooms and shrubs.
From 14th century rooms to a working 19th century windmill and 1940s prefab with tinier rooms than your average Tudor peasant lived in, there’s 700 hundred years of buildings to explore at the Avoncroft Museum.
Much of the house was built by Henry Ferrers, a lawyer, diarist and antiquarian, in the late 1500s. The house was a sanctuary not only for the Ferrers family, but also for persecuted Catholics who were hidden from priest hunters.
At the Victorian Charlecote Park, the kitchen is brought to life in cooking and costume. Across the courtyard you can explore the laundry and brewhouse which once hummed with the activity of a busy working estate.
Set in magnificent grounds, Compton Verney is a fabulous country mansion art gallery featuring two centuries worth of paintings, Chinese bronzes and the UK’s largest collection of British Folk Art.
Coughton Court is an imposing Tudor house set in beautiful gardens with a collection of Catholic treasures. Stroll through the ancient woodland, to be found awash with bluebells in the spring, or visit the restaurant for a relaxing cream tea.
The cathedral offers an exhibition and film on the thousand year history of Coventry’s three cathedrals from the 11th century to the present day. Also look out for the Blitz Experience, where you can experience life in the 1940s.
Wander through the re-created Elizabethan Garden at Kenilworth Castle, featuring a bejewelled aviary, colourful planting, perfume and fruits and an 18-foot high fountain carved from dazzling Carrara marble.
Mary Arden’s Farm
There is so much to see and do at Mary Arden’s Farm! Step back in time for all the sights, smells and sounds of a real Tudor farm and explore the house where Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, grew up.
Children of all ages will be entertained for hours within the Adventure Playground, 3D maze, boating and the Woodland Walk. Or explore the 10 interesting hectares of ‘Capability’ Brown garden.
William Shakespeare was born in this house and lived here until he was old enough to marry and spend the first five years of family life here with his new wife, Anne Hathaway, in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The fine Grade I listed English mansion is comprised of two halves; the first is a fine example of a Jacobean country house. The second, the West Wing, was designed by famous architect Francis Smith in the Baroque style.
The National Brewery Centre
If you like a pint of real ale, The National Brewery Centre, in Burton, charts the evolution of brewing and celebrates the influence the town’s pioneering methods have had throughout the world.
The Park Royal Collection
The Park Royal Collection is a Worcestershire based paradise for buyers and sellers of antique and reproduction furniture, impressively imaginative antique and reproduction household goods and decorative items.
West Midlands Safari Park
The West Midlands Safari Park features Sutton, the young elephant, with Cheetah Plains, Bengal tigers and also the UK’s largest pride of white lions. It’s the largest animatronic dinosaur attraction in the UK.