Last updated on January 11th, 2022
With its middle of the country location, the diverse city of Birmingham is well placed for visitors to take day trips. The surrounding area has many theme parks, lots of interesting history, beautiful countryside and plenty for people of all ages to do.
Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, also has many canals coming from the Sherborne Wharf. Here there’s a great selection of vibrant bars and busy cafes. The city centre is home to many museums, art galleries and jewellery shops. Looking for the best day trips while spending a few days in the city ? Here’s our top 10 of top activities, things to do within easy reach of Birmingham UK.
This medieval market town is in the West Midlands, only 38.9 miles from Birmingham. Well known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon has many places that are unique and quite quaint. A not to be missed building is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which can be found in the middle of town.
There are wonderful shops, the delightful River Avon and parks to explore. Pick up a map and walk along the winding streets to see what is around the corner. For something a little different, spend a day at a working farm to see various animals and learn about farming.
Just over an hour’s drive from Birmingham is Alton Towers Theme Park. Enjoy a thrilling day with fun, laughter and adrenalin-filled rides. Dare you take a spin on the Nemesis or the Smiler? These two exciting white-knuckle rides go upside down, are suspended in mid-air, corkscrew, loop and spin to give you a heart-pounding experience.
Have lots of laughter and scary moments on the Congo River Rapids or take the little ones into another world to see Big Fun Show Time. There’s also the imaginative Something Special Sensory Garden where children follow a trail and find special objects. Buy tickets.
Warwick Castle was originally a wooden fort built by William the Conqueror in the year 1068. The town of Warwick is on a bend of the River Avon and only a 40-minute drive from Birmingham.
Wander through the Great Hall and State Rooms to see how life was lived all those years ago. The beautiful interior and furnishings will take your breath away. Enjoy a tour of the Castle Dungeon with its spiral staircases, strobe lighting and special effects, not for the faint hearted! The castle grounds and gardens are absolutely stunning, so find time to have a leisurely stroll.
4. Leamington Spa
Around three quarters of an hour away from Birmingham is Leamington Spa, a perfect place for a day trip. Explore the quaint Jephson Gardens with a lovely lake and greenhouse that has exotic, tropical plants. Stop off at Victoria Park, the kids will love the play equipment, skate park or just wandering about on the well-kept lawns.
On the outskirts of town is the 17th century Chesterton Windmill. It’s a magnificent Grade I listed building so don’t forget your camera. With its unique broad roads, Regency architecture and award-winning parks, Leamington Spa is the ideal location for a day trip.
Go behind the scenes to find out how the Harry Potter movie series was made. See for yourself where movies were brought to life in front of the camera. You can explore Hagrid’s hut, Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor Common Room and the Great Hall. Check out the props, costumes and the many sets from different Harry Potter films.
6. Ironbridge Gorge
When you’re looking for a day trip from Birmingham, history buffs will enjoy an Ironbridge Gorge tour. Known throughout the world as a symbol of the Industrial Revolution, this English Heritage Site is the first iron bridge of its kind in the world. Built in 1779 to link the towns of Broseley, Madeley with the centre of Coalbrookdale, the gorge carries the Severn River south to the Bristol Channel.
Go back to the past taking in the remains of foundries, factories, workshops, mines, warehouses and public buildings. The historical, rugged landscape captures the imagination of years gone by.
Leaving Birmingham by train you will soon be in a most beautiful part of the UK, the Lake District. Sitting with a friendly guide providing live commentary in an air-conditioned minivan, full day Lake District tours are not to be missed.
After spending some time at Lake Windermere, you’ll be taken to Kirkstone Pass. Next on to Ullswater and a visit to Patterdale then if you’re feeling fit, a trek to the top of Helvellyn, one of the highest mountains in the Lakes. After seeing nine lakes and four mountain passes, your last stop is Rydal Water, absolutely breathtaking.
8. The Cotswolds (by train)
One of the best ways to take a day trip from Birmingham to the Cotswolds is by train. There are a few changes on route but it’s well worth it. At Batsford Arboretum which is about a mile away from Moreton in Marsh you’re in for a treat.
See snowdrops, daffodils, hellebores and Japanese ornamental cherry trees in full bloom. If having a fine meal and exploring a pretty village appeals to you, then Kingham ticks all the right boxes. Sudeley Castle and Snowshill Manor are two historical buildings well worth a visit too.
9. Oxford (by train)
A relaxing journey by train from Birmingham to Oxford makes for a great day trip. See Oxford in all its glory from the famous University, the Botanic Gardens and Arboretum, museums, not forgetting a Harry Potter location tour. Visit the splendid Blenheim Palace or treat yourself to a G & D ice cream.
Take a cruise down the river and if you’re feeling brave, join a ghost tour that has all the tricks, props and costumes to chill the spine. You could also watch a favourite movie at the Ultimate Picture Palace to end a great day.
10. Severn Valley Railway (first train to Kidderminster)
One of the most popular day trips from Birmingham UK is to take the first train to Kidderminster onboard the Severn Valley Railway. This heritage railway runs between Shropshire and Worcestershire, a 16-mile journey. Following the River Severn, you will pass ancient towns and villages surrounded by the most wonderful countryside.
Step back in time travelling on this steam train and pop into the Engine House Visitor Centre. There you’ll see full-size steam trains and many other interesting exhibits like the King George VI Royal Saloon.
To ensure you have the best trip possible and do so in great comfort, book the best hotels for all your accommodation needs.
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