Scouting About In The West Midlands

The West Midlands has a rich historical heritage. It’s here that the industrial revolution got started and towns emerged around ironworks and steel mills. In a sense, the West Midlands is responsible for the emergence of the modern world as we know it. Exciting stuff.

Have you got plans to travel to the region? Here some suggestions of places to visit.

Cannock Chase, Cannock

Cannock Chase is a playground for people who love being out in nature and having fun. It’s essentially a Forestry Commission activity centre, complete with mountain biking tracks, one of which is called The Monkey Trail, as well as an assortment of cafes, toilets and Go Ape equipment. There’s ample facilities for parking as well as a bike hut where you can hire bikes to use on the trails. Use of the facilities is free, but you’ll need to pay for parking.

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, Edgbaston

Going to the zoo is one of those fun family activities that many of us remember from childhood. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on experiencing wildlife as an adult. In fact, it can be a lot of fun, especially if you go with the girls.

At the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park – to give it its full name – you’ll find Ring-tailed Lemurs from Madagascar as well as African elephants and the whole array of wild cats. Adult tickets are just £6 and is open daily. From April, summer times kick in and you can enjoy the park, from 10am to 5pm with last admission at 4pm.

Richard III, Leicester

Now Leicester isn’t technically in the West Midlands but regardless the home to royalty. King Richard III of England’s body to be exact. The British monarch who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth field and was found a few years ago in a car park in Leicester city centre. For centuries it was believed that all the stories about Richard III being physically deformed were an overstatement, designed to taint his good name. But when his corpse was discovered, his spine was deformed –  just as the medieval account had claimed. Later DNA evidence using samples from Richard III and his known living relatives proved that the corpse really was that of the dead monarch. Now Richard’s body has been reinterred at the nearby Cathedral of St Martins

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire

Kenilworth Castle is the location where Queen Elizabeth I relationship with Robert Dudley reached its inevitable climax. Visitors can stand on the very balcony where their final fated conversation is said to have taken place and observe the surrounding countryside as Elizabeth and Dudley would. Today, the castle is an English Heritage site, complete with beautiful gardens and surprises at every turn thanks to restoration work undertaken back in 2009. Tickets are £10.10 for adults and slightly more if you want to make a Gift Aid donation.

Visiting place of nature or history is something that I used to hate doing as a child but I get older I have since become more interested in it all over again. Where is your favourite historical or cultural place to visit?