Looking for some fun day trip ideas for the family this summer? From immersing yourself in historic castles, exploring what life was like in the early 20th Century in the Black Country, encounters with some of the rarest animals in the world or visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in and around the Midlands.
West Midlands Safari Park
Located in Bewdley, Worcestershire, West Midlands Safari Park is home to 165 different species of animal. Most famous for its Safari Drive-Through experience, visitors have the opportunity to see some of the rarest animals in the world including the African Lion, African Painted Dogs, African Elephants, One-Horned Rhino and Southern White Rhino.
Included within the park are a number of attractions: Land of the Living Dinosaurs (the UK’s largest animatronic dinosaur attraction), Ice Age (the UK’s largest animtronic creator attraction) and the Discovery Trail which consists of indoor exhibits and includes animal encounters throughout the day. It’s the perfect way for the whole family to enjoy a day out!
Over the summer the park has extended opening hours. From 1st August – 1st September 2019, the park opens at 9:30am, with the last Entry to Safari at 6.00pm
For more information, visit here: https://www.wmsp.co.uk/
Black Country Living Museum
Black Country Living Museum is an award-winning open-air museum that tells the story of one of the very first industrialised landscapes in Britain and offers an immersive experience for the whole family.
Whether it’s taking a ride on one of the heritage vehicles, playing old-fashioned street games, watching live demonstrations including bass, chain and nail making or testing your times-tables in a 1912 school lesson, the museum offers to chance to explore over forty carefully reconstructed shops, houses and industrial areas and see what life was really like over a hundred years ago.
Just a twenty-five-minute drive from Birmingham, Kenilworth Castle has a 900 year-old history that includes a Norman keep and Elizabethan splendour and is widely known as one of England’s most beautiful castles. Owned and maintained by English Heritage, the castle and grounds provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Tudor and Elizabethan royalty. Once a lavish palace, the castle was stripped and partly demolished and dismantled in 1650, leaving behind a stunning set of ruins.
With the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s Kenilworth in 1821 it became a popular tourist destination and in the last twenty years has undergone numerous repairs and restorations to allow for further public access. It’s a beautiful place to explore (particularly during the warmer months of the year) and a great day out for all the family!
Witley Court and Gardens is an 18th century English Heritage property that is situated in Great Witley, Worcestershire less than an hour drive from Birmingham City Centre. Once the home to lavish parties and royal visits, the impressive house (built in an Italianate style) was completely destroyed by a fire in the 1930’s and now stands as a set of stunning ruins in the middle of beautifully landscaped gardens. After an extensive restoration project and managed by English Heritage, it is possible to walk through the ruins, including the once stunning Ballroom, which extends almost the full length of the East Wing. It is possible to still see some of the charred timbers after the fire, and information boards around the grounds give an insight into how the house would have looked at its peak of opulence.
Witley Court is open from Wednesday – Sunday, 10.00am – 4.00pm. Entry for English Heritage members is free, and the entrance fee varies without and with gift aid. Adult tickets: £8.60 (£9.50 gift aid) Child (5-17 years) £5.20 (£5.80), Concession £7.70 (£8.60), Family (2 adults, up to 3 children) £22.40 (£24.80)
A disabled access guide is available on site. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access to the house, only to the visitor centre, exterior and grounds. Please note: one wheelchair available for hire.
Set in 64 acres of grounds designed by Capability Brown, the stunning medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068 and rests on the banks of the River Avon at the heart of historic Warwick. Visitors of all ages can experience the firing of the Mighty Trebuchet – the UK’s largest engine, history tours of State Rooms and the Great Hall, story-time in the Princess Tower and archer’s-eye views from the Towers and Ramparts. Over the summer visitors can also enjoy Falconers Quest – the UK’s biggest Birds of Prey show (available every day), the critically acclaimed War of the Roses jousting show and the spectacular Dragon Slayer evening show, featuring a world class light projection show and live action fire jousting.
With over 2 million visitors a year, Alton Towers in Staffordshire is the UK’s biggest theme park, and a great day trip for the whole family. The park features a range of attractions, such as Congo River Rapids, Runaway Mine Train, Nemesis, Oblivion, Galactica, The Smiler and Wicker Man. It operates a total of ten roller coasters and offers a range of accommodation and lodging options alongside the theme park. Facilities also include Alton Towers Waterpark, conference facilities, a crazy golf course, and a high ropes course. From play areas for small children and the UK’s only CBeebies Land, to white knuckle and water rides and record-breaking rollercoasters for thrill seekers, there is something for everyone this summer!
Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare is steeped in culture and history. Set on the banks of the river Avon in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, it is the perfect place for an interesting day trip from Birmingham. There’s plenty to see and do over the summer: sightseeing at Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s School Room, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, or exploring Stratford Butterfly Farm and the MAD Museum. The world-renowned RSC theatre also has a very busy schedule for Summer 2019 with programmes by Shakespeare and other authors, including As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure and Kunene and the King. With lots of shops and restaurants, it’s a great day out for the whole family!