As the name suggests, the Midlands is an area situated across central England, which is made up of two regions, West Midlands and East Midlands, and encompasses many counties including Derbyshire and its stunning Peak District, Shropshire, a rural area with plenty of greenery and rolling hills as well as being home to the famous Ironbridge over the River Severn, Warwickshire and of course its famous Warwick castle, Nottinghamshire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The largest city within the Midlands is Birmingham, England's second most populous city, where you can visit the Cadbury World chocolate factory, the National Sea Life Centre, museums and houses and gardens as well as hundreds of other activities to keep you occupied while you stay in a holiday home in the Midlands. There are a lot of rural areas and quaint little towns and villages in this part of England, meaning it is a great place to rent a cottage for you walking holiday if you feel like you need to get some fresh air and inspiration. The Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for example, is the place where Edward Elgar, one of England's best known composers, as well as poets and writers such as William Langland and J.R.R. Tolkein found their inspiration.
Birmingham is one of the most current, up and coming cities in England, and it has many large cultural institutions with international reputations, such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Toyal Ballet and the new Library of Birmingam, which is the largest in the UK and also the largest regional library in all of Europe! This is a large Birmingham tourist attraction, due to the impressive postmodern, high-tech architectural style and the numerous significant collections within the library, as well as rooms such as the Shakespeare Memorial Room which was designed in 1882 and later rehoused from the first Central Library and then moved once again when the new library was built. There are so many tourist attractions for visitors staying in holiday rentals in Birmingham that it would be impossible to list them all, but a few of the favourites are tours of the Birmingham back to backs, where time has been stopped in the 19th century to allow visitors do discover how people lived in the past (from the 1840s to the 1970s) in these small, back-to-back houses with a communal courtyard; the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter where you can even watch a demonstration on techniques for jewellery making; the heritage attraction of Winterbourne House and Garden with its beautiful botanic gardens boasting thousands of plant species; the Birmingham Hippodrome, stage of its Royal Ballet and the busiest theatre in the UK; and the Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum to name just a few. Whether you're coming for a weekend with the family or visiting with a group of friends to check out the nightlife (of which there is plenty – sophisticated pubs and cosy taverns, chic cocktail bars and lounges, and the bar hopping hotspot Broad Street really do provide everything you could be looking for on a night out), there will undoubtedly be enough to keep you occupied during your Midlands holidays in Birmingham.
Things To Do and Places to Visit
Although the Midlands doesn't always experience the best climate – especially in the winter when it can get quite cold and there is a lot of rain and clouds, and in the summer it tends to be fairly dry and sunny but not particularly warm, there are still plenty of things to keep you occupied no matter what the weather! The Midlands houses one of Great Britain's favourite theme parks, Alton Towers in Staffordshire, which is a top activity for all the family come rain or shine. If you're interested in history then there are plenty of things for you to do, such as paying a visit to the Black Country Living Museum, an open air museum where you can experience life as it would have been as far back as in the 1920s in this canalside village filled with original buildings, a fairground, mine, silent cinema and characters dressed in period clothing who are all enthusiastic and ready to tell you all about what they do and give demonstrations. This is particularly popular amongst children, who are always fascinated to learn all about a lifestyle that they are so unfamiliar with. There are also numerous castles, houses and gardens to view, as the Midlands is an area full of natural beauty and impressive historic buidlings. The West Midlands Safari Park is also not to be missed – itreally does make a great family day out with hundreds of different animals and also rides and games for the family to enjoy. Stratford-upon-Avon is also a pretty town to visit, and of course it is also the place where Shakespeare was brought up. Here you can visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre, as well as 5 houses related to his life which are now looked after by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, view the famous clock tower, the Stratford Butterfly Farm and some of the town's oldest streets such as Sheep Street and Henley street.
Walking Holidays in the Midlands
One of the most popular destinations for walking holidays in England is in the United Kingdom's first national park, the Peak District. This is an ideal area not just for walking, but also for other outdoors activities such as birdwatching, mountain biking, horse riding and paragliding to enjoy the views, and its gritstone outcrops are often considered some of the best sites in the world for rock climbing. There are lots of natural cave systems here too, for example Peak Cavern which links to the Speedwell cave system in Winnats, and also to Titan near Castleton, which is the deepest shaft in Britain. The Peak District also has large reservoirs where you can take part in water sports like fishing, canoeing and sailing. Another popular area for walking is in Cannock Chase, where you are likely to see wild deer roaming through the woodland. The hills in Shropshire near Church Stretton are known for their diversity as there are many different walks available for walkers of all abilities. The Long Mynd hills are usually the favourite amongst visitors, and Carding Milld Valley is also very scenic with a stream you can splash about in (if weather permits!). The top of Clent Hills in Worcestershire offers beautiful panoramic views across the Cotswolds, Wales and Shropshire, making it another popular destination for walkers. Wherever you choose to book your holiday rental in the Midlands, have a good time!