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London is one of the world's most iconic cities, packed with history and so many familiar names and places. But it's just one of many parts of England that deliver a thrilling tourism experience.
Ninety minutes by train from London and Manchester, visitors will arrive in the West Midlands, the geographical centre of jolly old England.
Birmingham is the anchor city, and the second largest English urban centre. Coventry and Wolverhampton are smaller West Midlands cities that boast big attractions, and there's also much to explore in the boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall.
Looking for things for your clients to do and see in the West Midlands? There something for every taste and desire.
- Sports fans can view massive stadiums and take in county cricket, Premier League football and rugby union matches. And next year, Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
- Book lovers can visit the largest library in Europe at Birmingham University, and explore the ancient woodlands, heaths and wetlands that inspired JRR Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings.
- The region is packed with dazzling theatres, galleries and museums, Balti restaurants serving savoury Indo-Pakistani cuisine, and shiny shopping malls.
- Birmingham home to Cadbury World, the renowned chocolate factory where guests can taste the sweet stuff fresh from the production line.
- The West Midlands played a huge role in the Industrial Revolution, and visitors can learn how the industry heritage of the region changed the world at the Black Country Living Museum.
- Stratford-upon-Avon, home of William Shakespeare, lets visitors explore the Bard's history and see one of his plays live in an atmospheric theatre.
A Closer Look
Birmingham: This former industrial powerhouse is now home to more than 8,000 acres of award-winning green spaces and parks, more than any other European city. Packed to the brim with museums, mega sports complexes and fashionable shops, the city is perfect for a romantic weekend break or a getaway with the kids. Walk the Curry Mile at night and follow your nose to a great Indian restaurant, or indulge at one of several Michelin-starred dining establishments.
Coventry: This small city is home to the medieval Coventry Cathedral, which was badly bombed in World War II. A
beautiful 20th-century replacement stands beside the ruins. Coventry's food scene brings together exciting flavours from across the world. At FarGo Village, a repurposed industrial space houses everything from top-notch eateries and street food vendors, as well as purveyors of jewellery and upcycled furniture. Coventry's leading gallery is the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, featuring everything from modern works to the Old Masters. Coventry holds the prestigious position as UK City of Culture for 2021, with events running until May 2022.
Coventry also offers some intriguing accommodation options. The Telegraph Hotel is in the space that housed a popular newspaper for more than 50 years. Now it's one of the city's most stylish hotels. For a completely different experience, Coombe Abbey is a 12th century Cistercian Abbey and the former childhood home to Queen Elizabeth I, now transformed into an elegant, atmospheric hotel.
Stratford: The rural county of Warwickshire offers glorious countryside surrounding the extended urban areas of Birmingham and Coventry. This is a place of castles, medieval towns and impressive country estates. It is also home to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare, one of history's most revered wordsmiths and playwrights. Visitors can witness live one of the Bard's plays in the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Miles of canals and stairway locks welcome tourists for relaxed pub lunches and picnics.
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