Published on July 16th, 2015 | by BirminghamLiving0
Worcestershire Activities, Birmingham
Worcestershire Activities – Cathedral
Stunning cathedrals, idyllic market towns, rare white lions and Britain’s premier steam railway? It can only be Worcestershire.
Worcestershire offers a superb choice of attractions. Start your visit at beautiful Worcester Cathedral, a magnificent sight as it rises majestically above the River Severn. Founded it in 680, it has been described as possibly the most architecturally interesting of all England’s cathedral’s.
A glorious Grade 1 listed site dating back to the 12th century, The Commandery has had a long and varied history that is reflected in its range of architectural styles from medieval to Victorian. The Commandery, also known as St Wulfstan’s Hospital, is a fascinating site which displays about the history of the building as well as the English Civil War. With a full programme of activities and events throughout the year, and with its own gardens and nearby Fort Royal Park, the site makes for an ideal family visit.
Offering exciting stories to tell you about power, greed, war, wealth, romance, death, society and industry. Using audio interpretation, you can step back in time to relive this empowering story and catch a glimpse of the lively characters that have inhabited this ancient building during the past seven centuries. New facilities and a re-opening has happened at the Commandery recently after a major £1.5 million refurbishment with great financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The great outdoors is around every corner in Worcestershire, from the magnificent Malvern Hills and the Vale of Evesham to the Forest of Wyre. Enjoy a dollop of Worcestershire’s breathtaking scenery at Go Ape in the Wyre Forest. A smattering of tree-top wires, crossings and wind-in-your-face zip wires; finished off with a liberal dose of people in search of their inner Tarzan!
You could do all of this for free of course and swing your way through the Malvern Hills, yet it’s highly recommended you don’t do that and you all experience, safely, Go Ape. If you love the outdoors, you’re going to love it – If you hate heights, you’re going to love it! Adrenline pumping is definitely the word and it’s suitable for almost all of the family (excluding your grandma, grandad and small children). Certainly a great ativity if you want to experience the nature of Worcestershire, off foot.
West Midlands Safari Park
Are you ready to SAFARI and come face to face with some of the fastest, tallest, largest and cutest animals around?… If you are in Worcestershire, make sure you head to the West Midland Safari Park, There are over 30 wildlife parks alone in the UK and this safari park was voted ‘Most popular tourist attraction in the West Midlands’ by children and parents from the region. Safari Parks are a great day out for the whole family – they’re fun, educational and exciting!
If standing in front of a clear window or behind railings is just not enough for you, a safari is brilliant. Whilst on your drive through the four mile park, you will come face to face with some of the fastest, most intelligent and cheeky animals that there is, around. Maybe when you’re on the way home and you’re driving with one windscreen wiper, you may consider leaving your car on the car park next time and view the animals from a safe distance, just kidding – but it’s very likely! One of the park’s most popular sights is the elegant giraffe, not to mention the zebras! African Plains, Wild Asia, Carnivores & the cutest Elephant Valley can be found here with a range of animals to fit everybodys enjoyment.
The West Midlands Safari Park is the UK’S LARGEST animatronic dinosaur attraction. As you can imagine, this was a huge hit after Jurassic World was released. So if you are a massive dinosaur lover or are fascinated by the latest attraction, you can now get ready to be transported back to 65 million years ago where Dinosaurs were once roaming around the world.
There is a theme park here as well aside from animal sight-seeing. Adventure and Tiny Tots Theme Parks are open from 11.00am daily during the summer season. There is something for the whole family, no one wants to sit out all of the time because they don’t reach the height requirements, hence why their is an adult section and a tiny tots section.
Set in a historic Butchers Shambles, fascinating displays give an insight into the trades and crafts of the Wyre Forest area. With hands-on activities and regular craft demonstrations there’s plenty to see and do for the whole family, including the brass foundry, jails, resident crafts people, air raid shelter tours, varied exhibitions and events. Make sure you also take time for a well-earned break in the café, set within attractive walled gardens. Home made refreshments are served all day in a delightful setting. With a stroll around the delightful museum grounds and the adjoining Jubilee Gardens, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.
The Shambles – Originally built in 1784 to house the town’s butchers. It now contains galleries, displays and craft studios. Find out about the rich history of the Wyre Forest area through fascinating displays and hands-on activities.
The Town Jails – Dare to enter the old Town Jails and learn about the crimes of the 19th Century.
The Air Raid Shelter – Go underground in the World War II air raid shelter. Guided tours help to recreate the 1940s experience. During the second world war, Bewdley’s Post Office was housed in the large black and white building next door to the Museum. Its Air Raid Shelter was built in 1940 by the Ministry of Defence, for the use of the staff employed in, and by the post office. The air raid shelter is open subject to the availability of our volunteers. To avoid any disappointment, please ring the museum prior to your visit to check that the shelter will be open.
The Brass Foundry – Explore the 250 year old Brass Foundry, hear stories from the people who worked there. Christopher Bancks came to Bewdley in 1697. He was one of the country’s most famous brassfounders and pewterers. The brass foundry was owned by several generations of his family until 1828. It continued to trade under a succession of owners until 1923, when it was purchased by H J Exley whose family ran the foundry until it finally closed in 1964.
The Herb Garden – Relax in the recently Museum’s Herb Garden and see a working watermill and bee garden. The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Gardens provides an area for quiet contemplation and features a recently restored orchard.
How to get here:
Load Street, Bewdley,
Telephone: 0845 603 5699
Avonscroft Museum of Historic Building
In Bromsgrove, the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings rescues and cares for historic buildings including an earth closet, windmill, interactive National Telephone Collection (including a TARDIS) and Britain’s premier steam railway.
Avoncroft Museum is home to over 27 different structures which have been rescued and re-built in rural Worcestershire. The Museum is spread over 19 acres and includes a wildflower meadow, period gardens, a traditional cider and perry orchard as well as the collection of buildings.
In 1967 Avoncroft Museum was opened to the public following the rescue and reconstruction of a medieval merchant’s house from Bromsgrove. Then, as now, our priority was to retain historic buildings in their original location. Over five decades, Avoncroft Museum has continued to rescue structures where this had not been achievable and the museum now displays and cares for twenty five historic buildings that range in date from Worcester Cathedral’s fourteenth century Guesten Hall roof to a post second world war prefab from Birmingham.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the peaceful countryside as well as explore the historic buildings, enjoy the Edwardian Tea Room and discover the past.
How to get here:
Avoncroft is situated close to both the M5 and M42 motorways approximately two miles south of Bromsgrove.
Exit via Junction 5 of the M5 (signed Webbs of Wychbold) or Junction 1 of the M42.
Brown tourism signs direct you once you are nearby.
The Museum’s postcode for sat nav is: B60 4JR.
The Museum is about a 30 minute walk from Bromsgrove Railway Station.
The 141 bus from Droitwich to Bromsgrove passes the Museum.
The 144 from Birmingham to Worcester stops about 7 minutes walk away (alternatively change to the 141 at either Bromsgrove Bus Station or Droitwich Victoria Square).
By canal boat
The Museum is about a 10 minute walk from the Birmingham to Worcester Canal – moor near the bottom of the Tardebigge Flight of locks and walk up Sugarbrook Lane.
Severn Valley Railway
Don’t forget to jump on board a steam-hauled train on the Severn Valley Railway between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. For nearly five decades, the Severn Valley Railway has graduated from relative obscurity to a prominent position in British steam railway preservation. Nowadays, the initials SVR are not solely part of the specialist jargon of keen railway enthusiasts, although the line is still happily invaded during the popular enthusiast weekends.
The History of SVR
Increasingly, the general public has visited the line, thanks partly to extensive TV coverage, which has ensured that very few weeks pass without Severn Valley steam trains appearing on TV screens across the nation.
What is the Severn Valley Railway?
The Severn Valley Railway is a full-size standard-gauge railway line running regular, mainly steam-hauled, passenger trains between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, a distance of about sixteen miles.
The journey is full of interest, as the route follows closely the meandering course of the River Severn for most of the way on its journey between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. One highlight of the trip is the crossing of the River Severn by means of the Victoria Bridge – a massive 200-foot single span, high above the water which, incidentally, features in the film ‘The Thirty-nine Steps’ with Robert Powell in the leading role.
There being few roads in the Severn Valley, some of the views are only visible from the Railway. The scenery is varied and largely unspoiled, punctuated by the quaint ‘olde worlde’ charm of country stations, each one giving ready access to local villages and riverside walks.
The History of SVR
A remarkable feature of the Railway not readily appreciated by visitors is that it is very largely run by unpaid volunteers, with a paid staff of around 70 people responsible for administration and commercial activities, plus regular track and rolling stock maintenance. Throughout the year, volunteers appear on the Railway to perform many tasks, including repairing and repainting stations, reconstruction of viaducts and bridges, and rebuilding locomotives and rolling stock not to mention the operation of the trains !
Many of the trades involved require training. This is provided by professionals who give their time free of charge. The volunteer atmosphere is friendly, and more people are always needed.
How to get here:
Spy Mission Drive Trail
For a different perspective of the Malvern Hills, try out the Spy Mission Drive Trail. This is an all family activity, as they are pleased to state that they are recommended over at childfriendly.co.uk. The Malvern Hills boast scenic views over both Herefordshire and Worcestershire. This circular driving Spy Mission Trail around the North Malvern Hills takes about 2.5 hours. Crack the clues to save Malvern’s famous water! Here is an insight to what you’ll be facing…
The evil Dr Horrid is up to his dastardly tricks again! This time he has planted a ‘dirty’ bomb somewhere in the Hills aimed at contaminating the famous Malvern Water industry and poisoning locals. Our agent, Jane Pond, has learned that the de-activation code for the bomb is hidden in clues around the Hills. Can you find the code and save the day?
The Malvern Hills are a famous beauty spot, with scenic views over both Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The Hills run north/south for about 13 km (eight miles), in between Great Malvern and the village of Colwall, and overlook the River Severn valley to the east, with the Cotswolds beyond. The highest point of the hills is the Worcestershire Beacon at 425 metres (1395 ft) above sea level (OS Grid reference SO768452), though they give the impression of looking considerably higher. The hills are famous for their natural mineral springs and wells, and were responsible for the development of Great Malvern as a spa in the early 19th century.
This is a Spy Trail. It is a circular driving (or cycling) Trail around the North Malvern Hills. There are 5 stopping places where the clues can be found and solved and a £3 day parking ticket will enable you to park in the car parks around the Hills. The more energetic of you can divert from the Trail to walk up to the peaks if you wish. There are glorious views throughout and picnic spots, hostelries and places of interest to enjoy. This is one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of the catalogue of the Treasure Trails you can find in Herefordshire and Worcestershire! The Trail will take you approximately 2 and a half hours from start to finish and the amount of walking is around 1 mile.