Days Out in or near Birmingham

(31 Posts)
CointreauVersial Wed 20-Mar-13 13:30:02

Despite having grown up a mere 20 miles away, Birmingham isn't a place I really visited as a child, so I don't know much about it.

We have a couple of days staying with relatives nearby over Easter, and I would really love to do the "tourist" thing with the family and get to know a new city. We have a car, or can train it. We have been to Cadbury World, but that's about it, and I have vague memories of a museum about canals/industry. There are three demanding DCs to entertain - DS (13), DD1 (nearly 12) and DD2 (9).

Sooo.....can anyone recommend any fun/interesting places to visit in and around Birmingham?

CointreauVersial Wed 03-Apr-13 20:58:55

Just got back - had a lovely time!

Black Country Museum on Monday - very chilly, but that somehow made it more realistic, going into the little houses and chatting to the ladies in period costume huddled by the kitchen ranges. Lots of machinery and metalwork for DS, street games for the DDs and a plateful of faggots and mushy peas for lunch for me. grin

Then we blitzed central Birmingham on Tuesday; I'm afraid culture didn't get a look-in, but the shopping was great. We parked cheaply at the NIA as suggested, and apart from a comedy few minutes trying to find our way out of the carpark and down to the canal, it was perfect. The canals looked beautiful in the sunshine, and we were impressed generally with the city centre (there's even a Zara under the Rotunda - yay). Not blown away by The Mailbox (posh shopping centre), though - very chilly and soulless.

Today was Gadget Show Live at the NEC; also good fun. Next time we'll try the Science Museum, and might go back to the Black Country Museum, as we have a year's return entry. And there was talk of a narrowboat holiday one day....

Thanks again for your tips!

BackforGood Fri 29-Mar-13 16:39:45

I was in Erdington on Tuesday and in the afternoon most of it had melted, same in Perry Barr yeaterday, but on the South side of the City, it's only just starting to melt today. Lots of very icy pavements still, and piles of snow where snow was piled to clear other areas. It's still pretty parky. Roads are clear, but not pavements / gardens.

NewFerry Fri 29-Mar-13 16:34:48

Is the snow still bad?
We were at the NIA on Sunday and all the pavements wre treacherous.

EduCated Fri 29-Mar-13 15:19:05

Just so you know, it's flipping freezing here at the moment. I'm sure Birmingham is always colder than anywhere else. So wrap up warm!

BackforGood Thu 28-Mar-13 23:09:20

I agree with FaceLikeAPickledOnion - if you are going to the ThinkTank (Science Museum) that's a day on it's own. You could fill a different day with shops / Art Gallery / wander round the canals and 'squares' etc but won't have time for that and the Think Tank. Most people are fascinated by the Jewellery Quarter, and you can spend an hour mooching round there.
Depends what you like really, Birmingham has 2 Cathedrals as well as St Martins in the Bull Ring if you want a bit of history.

CointreauVersial Thu 28-Mar-13 22:53:09

Hot tip on the parking, Willdoit, thanks. I printed off a load of maps today so I'm all set.smile

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Thu 28-Mar-13 21:37:30

We spent a whole day at think tank, and could of spent longer. Have fun smile

Willdoitinaminute Wed 27-Mar-13 23:11:18

NB hint for parking. If you park at the NIA it is half the price of anywhere else. And you can walk alongside the canal to the Mailbox then into the central shopping area.

Willdoitinaminute Wed 27-Mar-13 23:06:55

I love the city Art Gallery. They usually have something on for children and you can go and have a look at the new library. If you are National Trust members there are lots of interesting properties around Brum. They often have Easter Egg hunts and activities.

CointreauVersial Wed 27-Mar-13 22:58:54

Thanks all for your input! We've planned our itinerary:

Monday - Black Country Museum (weather forecast OK)
Tuesday - central Birmingham, mooch around shops/canals, maybe Science Museum if I can be dragged oit of Selfridges there's time.
Wednesday - (DS won this one) - Gadget Show Live at the NEC hmm

Looking forward to it....smile

Pollaidh Tue 26-Mar-13 17:36:00

Black Country Museum (reconstructed houses, people in costume, vaguely educational, canal trips where you get to leg through tunnels, mines) great for children, mainly outside so wrap warmly (also drips from canal tunnels stain clothes, so don't wear your best coat).

Bewdley Safari Park still going and has a small amusement park too.

Ironbridge Gorge Museum, a bit like Black Country Museum, try old fashioned food and drinks in pubs, change money for old money, go to school. Really very good.

Severn Valley Railway is brilliant. Runs from Bewdley to Bridgnorth. Maybe present it as a 'Harry Potter' experience? Bridgnorth is pretty and old (more for parents), plenty of tea rooms, a steep inland fenicular railway is fun to go on.

For some countryside and hills (not sure about the weather!) try Cardingmill Valley, in the Shropshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

MelArt Tue 26-Mar-13 14:39:22

blog.hotel-latour.co.uk/visiting-birmingham/easter-in-birmingham/ some ideas here for Easter :-) The Easter Funday at the Botanical Gardens sounds nice and family friendly.

NewFerry Mon 25-Mar-13 09:46:55

Thanks for helping out with the name.
It was very snowy and icy round there yesterday!

EduCated Sat 23-Mar-13 10:53:26

The Mailbox, Newferry wink

Brindley Place is where all the restaurants are by the canal, also where the Sea Life centre is. You can walk down from there to the Mailbox, which is by New St, which is a nice walk.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Fri 22-Mar-13 17:02:15

I'm not sure how far away this would be, but Dudley Zoo was lovely when we went.They had "proper" animals like Tigers, Giraffes and Lions. It was beautifully landscaped too. I think they've just reopened the chair lift.

CointreauVersial Fri 22-Mar-13 16:58:40

Sounds interesting, Newferry.

NewFerry Thu 21-Mar-13 23:07:37

Correction, the old joint stock.
(Just looked it up on google)

NewFerry Thu 21-Mar-13 23:05:43

We did a lovely walking tour last Easter. Started at the library walked past the shiny debenhams, through the bullring, out by the post box (?), ended up by the canals at a cafe rouge for a late lunch.
We went with relatives so I think they just took us on a tour they devised, but I'm sure you must be able to get walking tour suggestions. It was great and we're hoping to do the same next week when we go up again.
Possibly not much use with children, but we stopped for a drink at a pub with a tiny theatre upstairs. Called something like the old exchange? confused

CointreauVersial Thu 21-Mar-13 22:51:21

Thread hijack permitted....!

I think I went on Severn Valley Railway as a child. DS would have gone nuts for it a few years ago, but he's now too cool for school at 13.

I heard somewhere that there's a Canal area in central Birmingham which is nice to walk around - anyone know what's to see there (apart from canals, obv)?

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Thu 21-Mar-13 20:50:24

I love Bewdley! That's where Dh is from. House prices a bit too high there for us, so will have to make do here and just visit. But our aim is to move to Bewdley.

Sorry for thread hijack Op.

sassytheFIRST Thu 21-Mar-13 20:46:11

Bewdley tho in Kidd at the mo as temporarily bunking with inlaws while our house is renovated

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Thu 21-Mar-13 20:41:20

Woohoo < hi 5's sassy> do you live in kiddy too?

sassytheFIRST Thu 21-Mar-13 20:29:14

Pickled onion - you and I are neighbours!

FaceLikeAPickledOnion Thu 21-Mar-13 20:05:18

I live 1 minute down the road from safari park, It's great but very expensive. Although you do get a free return pass to use again before November.

Think tank is excellent.

Severn valley railway, also very, very close to me, is excellent.

EduCated Thu 21-Mar-13 20:01:07

The rotunda is still there wink I love the Black Countey Museum, but it is open air so may want a plan for very bad weather (I would still go in drizzly rain).

ThinkTank is now the new science museum over at Millennium Point.

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