Housing one of the world's finest collections of Pre-Raphaelite art, with works by Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Holman Hunt, Birmingham's principal museum and gallery is located in a stunning Victorian building. The museum displays works by British and European artists, along with collections of ceramics, sculpture, silver and stained glass. You can also find archaeological, ethnographic and local history exhibits, including Egyptian mummies.
The Black Country is a large industrial area to the north-west of Birmingham and this museum is a reminder of how things used to be here 100 years ago. It comprises many historic buildings, taken down from elsewhere and re-erected to make an authentic town of a century ago. Highlights include an old-fashioned funfair, a narrowboat ride and a trip down a coal mine, light is deliberately kept to the levels that would have been experienced by the miners. All children and adults can take a lesson in an 1840s school and tour round a Victorian sweetshop, chemist's, nail-making shop and stables, among many other exhibits.
This 80-hectare (200-acre) safari park is located less than a 60-minute drive from Birmingham. It will take you about an hour to drive through the animal reserves, where you can see elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, monkeys, wallabies and tigers. The amusement park has many different rides, and a wristband ticket that gives you access to all of them. Other attractions include a seal aquarium, reptile house and sea lion show. There are also plenty of themed places to eat and buy souvenirs.
As the only surviving example of the once prevalent Back to Backs of Birmingham, these historic buildings are a rare treasure. During the 19th Century, a number of buildings were built back to back around a common courtyard to meet the demands of the rapidly growing population of the city as a result of industrialization. These houses were inhabited by the working class who managed to survive in these cramped quarters. Each of the four Back to Backs around the courtyard has been restored and refurnished as a representation of four different time periods, giving visitors an extremely rare opportunity to take a peek into the lives of the ordinary working men and women of the 1840s, 1870s, 1930s and 1970s. Only a few slots are available each day and prior reservations are a must if you wish to visit these homes.
A fun day out for children, especially since the emphasis is on close contact with the animals. Youngsters can hold newly-hatched chicks, take a pony ride and help to feed the animals. All your familiar farmyard friends are here, and some less familiar in the form of rare breeds. There are also demonstrations of traditional crafts associated with the farm, such as wool spinning. The farm is both interesting and educational and parents should enjoy it too.
The jewelry industry developed in the city from the mid-19th Century. At its peak in the early part of the 20th Century, it employed nearly 20,000 workers. Today, the Jewellery Quarter is a bustling area that produces over a third of the UK's jewelry, and you can find tons of bargains in its many small shops. It's also home to the award-winning Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and some good restaurants.
An expansive lush green community park is an asset in Stourbridge with approximately 1million visitors every year. Located half a mile away from the Stourbridge town centre, the park has an array of activities throughout the year. There is a war memorial, health pool, a bandstand, a large play area, activity center and a café in the tea gardens where you can indulge in fitness activities, group events and wildlife activities. Overall, it is a great spot for picnics and family outings where you can relax and take pleasure of the beauty around and also enjoy the park activities.
Bewdley Station was first opened in 1862 and was operated by the Severn Valley Railway company. The station saw a growth in passenger traffic over the years, however the industrialization that led to its growth eventually led to its demise as well due to the development of the automotive industry. Although the station was closed in 1970, a short four years later efforts were made to restore and preserve the station, and services began once more. Thanks to the efforts of the company and a dedicated group of volunteers Bewdley Station has retained much of its original character including the original footbridge and platform canopy. In addition, a variety of historic artifacts have been moved here from other railway stations. The station is often the venue for events and galas during which visitors are given the access to areas of this historic station that are usually closed to public. Trains being a common point of fascination for both adults and children, a visit to the Bewdley Station is sure to be an adventure for the entire family.
St Cyprian's Church, Hay Mills is a splendid example of Gothic Revival style architecture. The origins of the church can be traced back to 1860 when James Horsfall, a famed wire manufacturer, builtt a school room for the use of his employee's children. This came to be used as a chapel and was finally incorporated in to the current church building 1873. Adorned with a number of rich architectural details, what the church is best known for is its stunning collection of stained glass windows by Hardman & Co. While some depict biblical scenes, other bear images of saints. Whatever the theme, each and every one of the windows are characterized by intricate details and a vivid use of colour. Also of interest is the church's beautifully carved pulpit and the font which serves the dual purpose of being a memorial to Horsfall's daughter. The church continues on as an active parish church even today with a devoted and enthusiastic congregation.
An active Anglican place of worship, St Peter's Church in Chelmarsh dates back to the 14th Century. The church building's construction was completed probably by the year 1345 and it is made of stone. St Peter's Church building features a mix of Neoclassical, Gothic, Norman and Decorated architectural styles. A Norman style doorway, belonging to a former church is embedded in the church's north end wall. Its churchyard has a war grave of an airman from World War II. English Heritage has marked St Peter's Church as a Grade I listed structure.
Although the existing building of St. John's Church was constructed over a 12 year period ending in 1904, the structure has incorporated the tower and spire of the original 19th-century church which stood at the site. This lovely church is a testament to the architectural finesse of the architect J. A. Chatwin who was known to include not just the basic structure, but also carvings and fittings in his designs. Designated a Grade II listed building of English Heritage, the church remains active even today and continues to serve the community.
The origins of All Saints Church, Allesley, can be traced back to the 13th Century, however it is believed that a church has existed at the site since Norman times. Although the church has undergone a number of changes over the years, it has been designated a Grade I listed building and is deemed to be of immense historic and architectural importance. As you explore the church you will come across a number of monuments and memorials, taking you on a journey through the history of the church's congregation. Active even today, the church continues to serve the community and has embraced a blend of different styles of worship.