These fabulous attractions, and many more, are all within an hour’s drive of Birmingham, making them well worth an inexpensive trip out over the school holidays.
Whilst there, you could make a day of it by grabbing a bite to eat at a local pub and doing a spot of sightseeing too.
Always call ahead to double check opening times and any additional prices for special events so as to avoid disappointment, and do take some change in case you need it for parking.
Beacon Hill Country Park
Where? Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire, LE12 8TA
If you want to feel on top of the world, Beacon Hill in the National Forest is a good place to go.
Rising to a height of 245m, this is one of the highest points in Leicestershire and it boasts pectacular views of Charnwood Forest and the Soar Valley.
Pack a picnic and explore the woodland, heathland, wetlands and rocky outcrops in this massive 128ha expanse.
Look out for grazing sheep, cattle and alpaca, together with dragonflies and frogs in the ponds and a great many birds in the trees.
There are cycling and walking routes available.
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum
Where? Foregate Street, Worcester, WR1 1DT
The museum lives in an elegant Victorian building in the centre of Worcester, making it easy to reach by train from Birmingham.
Check out the Worcestershire Sauce archive, some dinosaur footprints, a real Roman mosaic, a Native American totem pole and a Victorian chemist shop.
This is a family-friendly museum with interactive galleries and lots of changing exhibitions.
RAF Museum Cosford
Where? Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8UP
Explore more than 70 aircraft on display at this special museum, which is very child-friendly.
There’s also tanks, cars, a folding motorbike from WWII and an exciting 4D experience where you get to be an airfighter (this does have a fee) or to take part in a ravine race.
Kids can see Roland Rat and Percy the Penguin, there are touch screen kiosks to bring history to life and a high level viewing gallery to look down on the mighty Belfast Transporter. There’s also the 1:1 scale Airfix Spitfire featured on the James May Toy Stories series shown on BBC2.
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
Where? Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP
History, art and the natural world are brought to life on a free children’s trail where you can investigate fossils, birds amd mammals in the multi-sensory Elements gallery, discover legends through storytelling and puzzles, dress up in Medieval costumes and even smell the medieval toilet if you dare!
And throughout the school holidays, there are always additional activities to encourage families to have fun and learn together.
Staff at the museum go the extra mile to make sure kids are accommodated for with buggy storage, baby changing facilities, a breastfeeding friendly policy and a child-friendly cafe.
Northycote Farm and Country Park
Where? Underhill Lane, Bushbury, Wolverhampton, WV10 7JF
See Shropshire sheep, Hereford Cattle, pigs, Norfolk Black Turkeys, geese, chickens, ducks and guinea fowl at Northycote Farm and Country Park.
The park itself offers lots of lovely nature walks, and there’s also a tea room and picnic area plus facilities for baby changing.
Do check before you head over there because it’s not open every day. There are often special events on too for holidays, which may charge a small fee.
Redwings Oxhill Horse Sanctuary
Where? Banbury Rd, Kineton, Banbury, CV35 0RP
Home to almost 90 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys, Redwings Oxhill gives visitors a chance to meet their residents large and small.
There’s an impressive Shire Major and a mischievous miniature Shetland Wensley plus a friendly group of cobs known as “The Breakfast Club” because they’re all named after breakfast items!
The staff offer regular ‘Walk and Talk’ tours and there’s a café and gift shop too. Open all year round, every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10am to 4pm.
Telford Town Park
Where? Hinkshay Road, Telford, Shropshire, TF3 4EP
This is so much more than just a park, making it well worth a day trip out.
There’s a great water play area for all ages throughout the summer season, where kids can have fun with pressurised water jets, sneaky soakers and a musical fountain!
And, to complete the holiday feeling, there’s a large sandpit with diggers. All you need to take is your bucket and spade. There’s normally an ice-cream on hand too.
Older kids can spend hours on the play areas, which feature a daring rocket slide and a challenging spiders web to climb, whilst toddlers can have fun on a fort climbing area.
And, with nature and heritage trails and a visitor centre too, there’s plenty to keep you busy on a sunny day out.
Erasmus Darwin House
Where: Beacon Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 7AD
Visit the home of Charles Darwin’s grandfather!
Dr Erasmus Darwin was an 18th century inventor, poet, botanist and scientist, and his beautiful Georgian townhouse features hands-on science exhibits, Georgian dressing up and games, a reading area, various crafts and activities and prizes!
Throughout the holidays there are events and workshops to explore too.
Coombe Country Park
Where? Brinklow Road, Binley, Coventry, CV3 2AB
If the sun’s shining, get out there and enjoy 500 acres of beautiful woodlands, grasslands, gardens and lake at Coombe Country Park.
There’s a childrens play area designed for children under 12 and a climbing forest out in the woods especially made for children over eight.
Kids can get up close and personal with nature in the accessible bird hide, or do a spot of fishing, and there’s a visitor centre with a gift shop, cafe and discovery centre.
You will have to pay for parking.
You could also pack a picnic and take along your own footballs, bikes or scooters to make the most of the wide open spaces.
There are lots of events and activities to get involved in over the school holidays too, check the website for more details.
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