Malvern hills

Day Trips from Birmingham: Make the Most of your City Break

It’s common knowledge that when it comes to city breaks, Birmingham has plenty to offer. You could spend weeks in a luxury Birmingham serviced apartment, and we bet you still wouldn’t run out of things to do and see in the sprawling city. In fact, the only thing that could improve a staycation in ‘Brum’, is venturing on one, or several, of the many excellent day trips from Birmingham. Join us as we detail the very best Birmingham day trips to be enjoyed, whether with family, friends or a loved one.

Shrewsbury

1 Hour – Train/Car

Shrewsbury top day trips fromBirmingham
Shrewsbury’s beautiful 16th century market square remains a popular attraction (Image: Gnesener1900 / CC BY-SA)

At just under an hour away by train or car, Shrewsbury is perfectly placed for a Birmingham day trip. Escaping to this historical market town, with its medieval streets lined with listed buildings, offers a distinctly different experience from the bustling modern city centre of Birmingham. For those who love to shop – or simply browse – for fine local ingredients and produce, the Market Hall is a must. From specialist wine vendors to amazing art exhibitions, there is something for everyone, even if you don’t plan on making a purchase. Afterwards, you can take a picnic (perhaps featuring some market hall delicacies) to the magnificent 29 acre Quarry Park. Nestled along the banks of the River Severn, this green getaway is a perfect place for kids to let off some steam, and is also home to the Shrewsbury Flower Show.  For a more regal affair, the National Trust’s Attingham Park is just the venue. This 18th century mansion and estate not only features beautiful gardens, but also has a Deer Park Walk and even a WWII walk for more seasoned walkers and history buffs. With such a range of history and activities, Shrewsbury is one of the best day trips from Birmingham for all the family.  

Malvern Hills

1-1.5 Hours – Car

Malvern Hills
The Malvern Hills offer a breath of fresh air for walkers and cyclists

Known for its spring water (made famous by the bottled water brand), and the 19th century spa town of Great Malvern, the Malvern Hills district is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s easy to see why. The hills offer sensational views across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and even further on especially clear days. Along the way, you may just spot some of the area’s celebrated wildlife, which includes Pied Flycatchers, Adders and Grayling Butterflies. Besides being a beautiful walking destination, the hills also provide plenty of historical intrigue. A wealth of archaeological evidence found in the hills points to Bronze Age settlers, and the Iron Age earthworks of British Camp are still visible to this day, as demarcated by ridged hill tops and crests. But if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous from your Birmingham day trips, the Malvern Hills are home to a variety of sports, including: fishing, horse riding, orienteering and even paragliding!

Warwick Castle

40 minutes – Train/Car

best day trips from Birmingham at Warwick Castle
The impressive Warwick Castle exterior is a photographer’s dream

The ancient Warwick Castle is deceptively close to the busy Birmingham city centre, but on arrival you’d think you had been transported back to medieval times. Set on a sandstone bluff beside the River Avon, the castle is a majestic, awe-inspiring structure that resembles the typical Arthurian castles we imagine as children. Originally built by William the conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle has undergone many incarnations in its long history, resulting in the striking 14th century military frontage we see today. Along with the beautifully preserved grand halls and rooms of the castle, visitors can explore the chilling Castle Dungeon, which features a host of spooky characters and effects. There is also a Horrible Histories Maze – perfect for the little ones – and shows featuring birds of prey and even archers and knights. The castle also has its own working siege engine, based on 13th century sketches – all in all Warwick Castle is undoubtedly one of the very best day trips from Birmingham on offer.

Stratford upon Avon

50 minutes – Train/Car

Anne Hathaway Cottage
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is the preserved childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife

So close to Birmingham you’d be a fool not to visit, Stratford upon Avon is an historic market town with strong links to William Shakespeare. Home to the birthplace and gravesite of the bard, the town brings in thousands of visitors keen to explore this literary treasure. For those keen to see how Shakespeare lived, you can visit the 16th century timbered house where he is believed to have been born. You can also visit the childhood home of his wife, Anne Hathaway, as well as the Royal Shakespeare theatre, which is dedicated to the playwright and his works. But beyond its strong associations with Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon has many reasons to visit. With many glorious Tudor buildings lining its streets, countless eateries and cafes, as well as majestic views across the Avon (and the chance to take a boat trip along the waterway), a trip to the town is well worth adding to your list of day trips from Birmingham. Particularly appealing to couples looking for a romantic time together in a picturesque town, Stratford upon Avon is sure to please.

Alton Towers

70 minutes – Car

Alton towers day trips from Birmingham
Alton Towers is an adrenaline junkie’s dream (Image: Christophe Badoux / CC0)

This Birmingham day trip is a must for families looking for a fun filled day out. Alton Towers is the second most visited theme park in the UK, and its extensive range of rides explains why. Located on an estate that originally opened in 1860, the idiosyncratic park has an interesting mix of historical grounds and cutting edge, thrilling roller coasters. Famed for nerve shredding rides such as Nemesis and Oblivion, the park also contains activities and rides for younger children, including Congo River Rapids and the Runaway Mine Train – and not forgetting the endearing CBeebies Land. For the more relaxed adult, there is a spa, water park and crazy golf course. Whoever you travel to Alton Towers with, you are guaranteed to enjoy yourself – just avoid the haunted house if you don’t like getting spooked!

Begin planning your day trips from Birmingham; book one of our excellent short stay apartments to get started. Still on the lookout for things to do in the city? Read about the best hidden bars in the city, or consider the ideal things to do with your children to make sure your visit is well spent.

Charles McIntyre

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