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West Midlands

(34 Posts)
NanKate Mon 14-Sep-15 17:30:26

In preparation for when DH asks what I want to do for my 70th in 2016 I have been making a personal list of places I want to go in the UK whilst we are both hail and hearty. We have already organised a Do for the family in the South where we live now.

I originate from Birmingham and thought it would be nice to revisit the Black Country Museum (have been once and loved it), Dudley Zoo and I think there is a steam railway nearby. Maybe the National Trust Back to Back houses too.

I am having trouble finding a nice B & B/Hotel/Farm in the area. I don't mind if we are a bit west of Birmingham. I looked at the Premier Inn in Dudley but the reviews were pretty dire.

Can anyone suggest other places to visit or stay from personal experience?

Teetime Mon 14-Sep-15 18:10:11

Not sure if its the West Midlands but we had a weekend break this year in Kenilworth and stayed at the Loch Fyne restaurant and Boutique Hotel it was lovely and such a good centre for visiting Leamington Spa and Warwick and I LOVED Coventry Cathedral.

NanKate Mon 14-Sep-15 18:59:10

Thanks Teetime I used to work in Warwick and know the area well, having said that it is 44 years ago, things will have changed. smile

Alea Mon 14-Sep-15 20:01:51

Is Dorridge too far out of your area? We liked the Forest Hotel there (and lunch at the Boot in Lapworth!)

NanKate Mon 14-Sep-15 20:30:30

I used to do my my courting in the Dorridge area Alea, but as it was before DH I think I shall keep schtum about that. grin

Thanks anyway for the recommendation I don't mind where we stay as long as it is nice.

KatyK Tue 15-Sep-15 13:09:20

Kate My DH used to be a tour guide for the Birmingham Back to Backs and I have done the tour a couple of times. If you decide to go you will need to book in advance. Also, you will need sturdy footwear as there are some winding narrow staircases. The canal area in the city centre is well worth a visit (not advisable at night with all the revellers but lovely in the daytime it's at the back of Symphony Hall). Symphony Hall is usually open in the day and you can pop in and have a look. The new library is certainly worth a look. It is located on Broad Street a few yards from Symphony Hall. There are several floors and they have little gardens on some of the floors where you can see right across the city. There are some nice National Trust places for instance Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton which are only about a mile apart (near Warwick).

Anya Tue 15-Sep-15 13:51:17

Why not try a night or two 'glamping' at Warwick Castle? (See photo) It's supposed to be a great exoerience and if you visit St Mary's Church, where I'm a guide, I can give you an exclusive tour and recommend a great place for homemade cupcake

Anya Tue 15-Sep-15 13:53:34


Nonnie Tue 15-Sep-15 13:54:05

Kenilworth Castle is worth a visit, imo better than Warwick. The back to backs don't take very long so suggest you plan something else in Brum that day. The museum is brilliant.

I can recommend Black Country Museum, we last went in 2014 and it is still as good as it was.

If you can get in a concert at Symphony Hall it is truly wonderful and I don't feel the least intimidated by the canal at night. Old perhaps but they are not in any way threatening. Just don't walk up Broad St on a Friday or Saturday night!

The Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston are good and if you want to treat yourself to a special meal Simpsons in Edgbaston is good. Apparently Brum has more Michelin starred restaurants than anywhere else outside London.

Hope you have a great time.

Anya Tue 15-Sep-15 13:55:50

PS not sure what the wooden bucket is for hmm

Anya Tue 15-Sep-15 13:58:28

But Nonnie Kenilworth Castle doesn't have a roof grin

NanKate Wed 16-Sep-15 07:33:37

Thank you ALL for these great recommendations it would be lovely to feel I am back home.

In the 1960s I worked in Ludgate Hill and overlooked the canal, it was overgrown, dirty and derelict how wonderful it has been restored.

Thanks Anja for the photos and the kind offer. I think the glamping would suit my DS and family I will show it to them. My DH feels the cold terribly I think glamping would finish him off. hmm

I really feel Birmingham and it's surrounding area is now a Star area to visit. smile

NanKate Wed 16-Sep-15 07:34:39

Anya not Anja

KatyK Mon 21-Sep-15 18:38:25

Nankate Just to add that the newly refurbished New Street Station (now called Grand Central) will opens this week. It looks pretty amazing with bars and shops and a huge concourse. John Lewis are opening their flagship store above the station itself. May be worth a look.

WilmaKnickersfit Mon 21-Sep-15 19:30:49

I'd have a nosey on too for ideas and tips about the places you choose. Lots of reviews include really helpful stuff that could make or break your day if you didn't know about it.

WilmaKnickersfit Mon 21-Sep-15 19:33:17

PS One of the most common comments today about New Street is how far you have to walk now. That could be a big deal to many for several reasons.

NanKate Mon 21-Sep-15 21:24:23

Yes thanks KatyK New street station would be worth investigating. I can remember using it in the 1960s.

Next week I am meeting up with my cousin who was one of the designers of the previous N S Station. I shall be interested to see what he thinks of it.

Also thanks Wilma I will definitely check out Trip Advisor.

I have got to go into hospital on Friday just for the day and that will give me the perfect opportunity to trawl through the Internet whilst I am waiting for the consultant to stick a tube up my b**. blush Yes I know too much info.

WilmaKnickersfit Mon 21-Sep-15 21:31:39

Hope you get a signal NanKate grin

NanKate Tue 22-Sep-15 07:20:53

Wilma I like your style of humour. grin

NanKate Tue 22-Sep-15 07:23:34

Now a new challenge for you all. Have any of you been to Ironbridge ? What did you visit and did you stay over ?

KatyK Tue 22-Sep-15 10:21:31

Nankate We've been to Ironbridge but it was a while ago. We went on the way back from Bridgnorth (which is lovely) as I recall. I can't remember much about Ironbridge except for the bridge! As far as I can remember it is quite a small place but pretty. We didn't stay over.

WilmaKnickersfit Tue 22-Sep-15 10:32:47

Couldn't resist NanKate!

There's a wonderful visitors attraction at Ironbridge now with a whole town recreated in Victorian times. Loads to see and do there. All the staff stay in character and we loved being asked by a policeman to show our licence for our dog (dogs on leads allowed). It's easy to spend a day there and have lunch in a lovely Victorian pub. There are events too, so check out the website. Be careful not to let your DH get snapped up by the army recruitment officer! Again TripAdvisor will be your friend!

WilmaKnickersfit Tue 22-Sep-15 10:34:54

NanKate Tue 22-Sep-15 15:13:57

I really fancy this Victorian Village Wilma. I think I will search for a nice Farm Stay nearby, you always get an excellent breakie at this type of B and B.

KatyK Mon 28-Sep-15 14:08:05

Just to add - we visited the new Grand Central (the station complex) yesterday, it is fantastic (in my opinion!). Very crowded but lots of shops and eateries. It would have been rude to pass the champagne bar without partaking of a glass of fizz, so we had one smile A huge John Lewis too.