I’d like to eventually be able to say I have visited all 48 counties England has. Not just drive through but spend some time, do at least one thing in each county. I don’t intend to do one mega trip crossing places off… My bank account simply won’t allow for that. So my idea is to slowly cross the counties off and blog about each county/what I got up to. If you have any recommendations of things I simply must do in a specific place please let me know!!!
In 2015 we moved to the West Midlands and left in 2016. In that time frame I obviously got to do a lot of exploring of the West Midlands. So this is a bit of a hard blog post for me to write. What to include there is just so much? Especially as Birmingham itself has SO much going on. The impressive old library, the bull ring shopping centre 🙂 All the great restaurants, the Christmas market, the science centre and sea life world…. The list could seriously go on and on but instead of focusing on Birmingham here are some other things the West Midlands has to offer.
Canal walks. To my surprise there are loads of beautiful canals which run through the west midlands which make for great walks with pubs nestled on the side of them. Imagine going for a walk to arrive at one of these tucked away pubs, sitting in the beer garden on a summer’s day sipping a pims while the kids play on the safely fenced in playground. Relaxing, watching all the brightly coloured canal boats and eccentric boat drivers passing you by. Pure bliss.
Confession time – I LOVE PIMS and can’t wait for this glorious drink to touch my lips again this summer!!!!
In the spring time another lovely walk to do is at “yew tree farm.” They have a bluebell wood which is amazing. So amazing it might make you feel as though you are tripping out and have landed into a scene from Alice and Wonderland with huge trees towering over you and the entire wood floor covered in blue as far as the eye can see. I don’t recall seeing any talking caterpillars though!
Can you believe these pictures were taken with an iPhone!? Not even the newest iPhone with the super-duper camera! We used this app called Camera+. It does zoomed in focus really well!
Of course we had to have a family picture in this magical place! Neither of the girls are really smiling, my husbands head seems to be glistening (#sorrynotsorry) and I look about the size of a whale… BUT…. BUT….. the dog is looking at the camera! That is a win in my books!!
One of the highlights of the West Midlands to me is Stratford-upon-Avon. If you head over to trip advisor it will give you so many ideas of what you can do. I think there is a butterfly farm there for the kids. Although when we went to explore Stratford we just did what I wanted to do and didn’t do any kid specific activities. A quick visit to a bakery and then we jumped on a canal boat for a little tour along the river. We got to go through a lock on the boat which was very exciting to me having never done that before. We then checked out the local market and headed to some of the Shakespeare sights.They where all very cool to see once but personally I don’t think I’d return to see it again. Some pictures of our time spent in Stratford:
On the canal boat about to go through the lock!
Thankful the tour boats have roofs. Typically it was raining..(I think we need to work on our selfie game..)
Exploring little nooks around the city.
Stratford also has a great race course! This is really a fun thing to do. I never did take the two rugrats with me as I felt they would get a bit bored…. however Stratford does put on a family day once a year! Could be a good way to introduce your kids into the gambling world. 😉
Rolling into the winter months west midlands puts on a million different firework displays for bonfire night. We went to one in Solihull.
You can also find about 1000 different Santa grottoes to visit if you happen to be there in December!
Our time spent in West Midlands was really fun. I can say that Birmingham although has lots to offer isn’t a place I personally would like to live but the smaller surrounding places are great!
Oh my god… I almost forgot to mention 2 very important things…
Coventry. Not the loveliest of lovely places but it has got to be noted it has a COSTCO! Any American/Canadian reader must appreciate this like I do!!! Also it has an IKEA! So does Birmingham but the coventry stores are a little more calm and less manic.
We also got our pup – Sophie from a breeder in Coventry. Since she is pretty much the best dog that ever walked the planet (not that I am biassed or anything) I would whole heartily recommend this breeder! So if your after a golden retriever do I have the hook up for you!