From interesting cities to delightful towns oozing natural beauty, coupled with stretches of opens spaces, West Midlands and its areas are perfect for those looking for interesting experiences, activities and Instagram-able locations with their loved ones and family. It’s a destination that has it all.
West Midlands, one of the nine official regions of the UK, comprises counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. The largest city in the region is Birmingham.
When in West Midlands, get ready to experience an eclectic melange of people, cultures and areas, while experiencing its rich history and industrial innovation. The region has given birth to world-famous manufacturing, culture and literature. In addition, visitors get to see award-winning museums and some of UK’s best-loved attractions, along with warm and welcoming population.
There are many reasons why one should visit this diverse region. Right from watching a play in Shakespeare’s birthplace; to enjoying a concert at the Birmingham Symphony Hall; or tasting both local and world cuisine at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants, one can do so many things in West Midlands. Explore castles, enjoy festivals or visit world-class museums – the West Midlands is home to a panoply of cultural interests, attracting more than 100 million visitors every year.
Potpourri of cultures
Known for having the youngest and diverse cultures in the UK, the West Midlands has been the home to leading figures from literature, music and performing arts, like Shakespeare and Black Sabbath. In a bid to celebrate the region’s cultural success, Coventry has been declared as the UK City of Culture in 2021 and will be hosting a year of cultural celebrations.
Located in the heart of England, the heritage of this region is abundant with castles, country houses and the canal network, that gives glimpses of its industrial past. Those who come here can hear stories and legends from kingmakers at Warwick Castle, as well as the conspirators in the gun powder plot and how the motor industry saw a revolution. In fact, West Midlands’ heritage attractions recorded the biggest growth in visitor numbers in 2017, which was an 11.9 per cent increase from the year before.
The region’s heritage was seen in abundance recently on an international stage through the infamous BBC Peaky Blinders drama series, set out in the 1920s. Those interested can walk in the footsteps of the Shelby’s, at the Black Country Living Museum, which was the official home of Peaky Blinders.
The West Midlands region is brimming with world-class museums and top UK attractions. Its rich history and heritage are visible at Warwick Castle, Dudley limestone caverns, while adventure seekers can have fun at Drayton Manor – one of England’s most popular theme parks. Offering both free and paid-for attractions, there are experiences and destinations for all. In 2017, the number of visitors to family attractions and galleries had risen by 2.5% and 3.4% compared to 2016.
However, an attraction that is unique to the region is the English Waterways, which span across the whole of the Midlands. The canals make for an experience specific to the region, whether on or off the water, offering amazing attractions to explore along the way.
Destination for all
The region has everything for everyone. From shopping, festivals, sports and outdoor spaces, you name it and West Midlands has it. The region received around 2.2 million international visitors in 2016, with Birmingham alone welcoming 41.8 million visitors in 2017, which was a 6.9% increase from 2016 and generating £7.1 billion worth of economic benefit.
Thousands of sports enthusiasts are expected to throng Birmingham and the region in 2022, and experience all that the region has to offer. One can indulge in various activities including spending a weekend with family experiencing one of the great festivals, running each weekend across the region and get a taste of its food, arts and culture, heritage and sport. Visitors can even opt for a luxury weekend getaway, dine at one of the region’s 5 Michelin-starred restaurants, or just go for a shopping spree at one of the top department stores in the city.
Best for Business
With its excellent facilities and wide range of accommodation on offer throughout the West Midlands, including the renowned National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Resorts World and Ricoh Arena, the region is popular for business visitors alike. Birmingham has been ranked as one of the most popular regional cities for meetings, conferences and events. Having 60,000 beds available, ranging from international brands to individual properties, as well as excellent connectivity and transport networks, West Midlands is one of the most accessible regions in the UK.