When people talk about England, they always speak of it in terms of the North and South, and the distinct character in each region.
The North is typically thought of as the colder end of the country where it always rains, but at least the locals are friendly and there are some hidden gems. Whereas the South is the posh, expensive region of the country where you get more sun.
Those stereotypes are a big generalization and the country is a lot more diverse than that, and they also miss out the midlands. There’s all this talk about North and South, but what about the midland?
Most people have heard about the midlands but they think it only consists of Birmingham and nothing else, which isn’t the case at all. It’s actually a great region that has so many amazing destinations, especially in the west midlands. These are some of the best destinations in the midlands outside of Birmingham.
One of the reasons that Birmingham is so popular with a lot of people because it has a rich industrial history that captures a lot of the changes that happened in Britain before and during the First and Second World Wars. You can find a lot of that same history in places nearby like Coventry, but in a quieter location than Birmingham.
If you’re not sure where to stay in Coventry, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding some great hotels at a reasonable price. There are some great museums like the transport museum and the Midland Air Museum so if you’re interested in British history, Coventry is a great place to go.
Sutton Coldfield is not far from Birmingham, but it’s a completely different experience. When you think of Birmingham, you probably picture a big industrial metropolis, and you’re not far off. It’s a great city but not ideal if you’re a nature lover.
Sutton Coldfield, on the other hand, is surrounded by lots of beautiful parkland and nature reserves to visit. Sutton Park is one of the biggest urban parks in Europe, and you’ll even find ponies grazing there. There is a large conservation area so all of the old cottages and manor houses have been preserved.
Some of them have been converted into hotels so there is no shortage of beautiful places to stay while you are there as well.
It’s hard to find a town that is truly in the countryside when you are so close to a big city like Birmingham, but Solihull is just that. It’s rated very highly on the livability scale, which is always a good indication that it’s a nice place to go and spend some time.
The town is in a green belt so development is very restricted and as a result, there are lots of beautiful green spaces everywhere. You are also close the Jaguar-Land Rover factory where you can take a tour and see behind the scenes of their manufacturing operation. If you’re interested in cars, this is a must see.
Birmingham is a great city, but it’s not the only place in the Midlands, so next time you visit, why not try one of these destinations instead?