We all have our favourite social spots, but the truth is, an expedition is usually worth somewhere novel and new.
If you’re in Birmingham, you’re lucky: there’s so much choice barely 60 minutes away by train or car. After all, the less you travel, the more you can enjoy shopping, drinking or oohing/aahing as the day slips by.
Strap on your backpack or handbag – we’re rooting through excellent places that suit a quick jaunt from our fair city!
Leicester is famed for its parks, towers and woodland. Yet the National Space Centre turns the telescope on much bigger questions – not just Where’s the end of the universe? but Where’s the gift shop to commemorate it? Fill your boots with pure science at the planetarium, rocket tower and Space Oddities exhibition.
For scenic trips, we recommend hanging out at the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, or taking a tour of Bradgate Park. A bunch of venerable pubs are on call as well – some of the best include The Real Ale Classroom and The Globe, which was built in 1720!
Royal Leamington Spa
Who wouldn’t want to visit the UK’s happiest town? Royal Leamington Spa is a sure-fire hit for its beautiful gardens, open boulevards and reputation for restoration. You can spend a few hours here, and leave feeling utterly refreshed.
Jephson Gardens is worth a visit – the sculptures and palatial flowerbeds calm you down, readying a trip to the Glasshouse’s tropical beehive. Later, stretch back at Procaffeinate, which hides a drinking den behind a fridge. As you’d imagine, there are plenty of spas to pepper the time between with pools, massages and skincare.
The Peak District
Find a strong pair of boots because the Peaks can take the spring out of your step and replace it with a couple of loose stones. However, they can’t be beaten for hiking in the sun, ideally with a dog or co-explorer. Bring a mountain bike to the Jacob’s Ladder trail and ride hard in the shadow of the hills.
Otherwise, take it easy at historic sites like Chatsworth House, Thornbridge Hall or Magpie Mines. They’re perfect for a late lunch or midday coffee.
The most central city in England greets all comers. You can reach it from Birmingham New Street in 25-30 minutes, which is fantastic news for culture trips (Warwick Arts Centre, Herbert Art Gallery) or finding a table for date night (Gourmet Food Kitchen, The Old Crown, Earlsdon Supper Club).
Into your music? Visit the local museum dedicated to the region’s aural history – where else are you going to see an exhibit on The Specials and Roman wind instruments? It hosts live gigs now and then, so you might catch something out of the blue that’ll linger long after the train ride home.
Pack the swimming trunks! In a tight hour, you can drive up to Stoke on the M6, diving straight into the nation’s self-proclaimed #1 water park. With slides, spin rides and a wave pool, the big kid inside of you will re-emerge, spluttering to life.
We’re fans of Tornado Alley, which blasts you with light effects as you’re bulleted to the bottom. Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall, formerly the world’s strongest man, expanded the park in 2019 when he bought it. That means there are more rides than ever, joining Stormchaser, the tunnels weaving around the whole site.
Satisfied? We’ve only scratched the surface. Keep hunting for day trips around Birmingham, using the slick transport links we know and love. There’s plenty more happening in the city too… Keep checking back for new ideas, or talk to us about an apartment with good connections on all sides.