Let us show you some of the best day trips from Birmingham to keep you busy in 2023, all located within an hour or two of the city.
Birmingham – aka England’s second big city – is brimming with restoration and urbanisation projects. Gleaming shopping malls have popped up alongside beautifully touched up Victorian architecture; the Metro is getting an extension and glitzy buildings are becoming the norm. There’s no arguing the variety of sights, from canals to museums to cool cocktail bars and factories-turned-creative hubs.
Yet in spite of this cultural rebirth, sometimes you just need to get out of the city. Let’s take a look at the other Midlands offerings, beyond Birmingham’s borders.
Staying in the city, and then using it as a base for more day trips from Birmingham is a great way to see the Midlands.
Heritage sites pepper the region, ranging from irresistible landscapes to literary-themed towns like Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. We get to enjoy spa days at Leamington and learn about industrialisation in The Black Country.
With so much to see, you just need to choose your favourite day out from Birmingham to get started!
19 Best Best Day Trips from Birmingham
If you’re looking for day trips near Birmingham, these are some of the best to make the most of the city surrounds. All of these places are easy to reach on a one day trip from Birmingham.
Take a day trip from Birmingham to the medieval town that birthed Shakespeare, cradled in the Midlands like a treasured book – Stratford-upon-Avon.
Just one hour from central Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon is a classic day out in the Midlands.
Over 800 years of history can be seen in the Tudor houses, cobbled streets and dated pubs like Old Thatch Tavern. The quintessential meandering river and green livery is the perfect complement to the bustling, compact town centre.
Surprisingly, Shakespeare’s birthplace is quaint and comfortable unlike his dramatic works. We highly recommend catching a show by the Royal Shakespeare Company between your Butterfly Farm visit and catching glimpses of Anne Hathaway’s cottage. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, enjoy a boat hire for some gentle water time.
Book a tour while you’re in Stratford Upon Avon to really get to know the area.
Makes for a delightful day out from Birmingham!
2. Black Country Living Museum
The Black Country Living Museum is an open-air collective of over 50 relocated historic buildings (both residences and shops), where the industrial vestiges of the 18th-century coal and iron mines remain strong.
Exhibitions detail stories from the past, showcasing how crafts used to be made. You’ll see cast iron wares, locks, glassworks and more.
At the Black Country Living Museum, actors reenact life back in the Victorian times, throwing out random facts as they do so. You can explore the underground mine here, which is pretty cool. One of the most popular things however, isn’t so much geographical than navigational; step on the tram which will take you around the site and onto the canal arm.
Just 25 minutes away by car from the city, the Black Country Living Museum is one of the most popular day trips from Birmingham.
3. Peak District
One of our top picks for a Birmingham day trip is definitely a day out in the Peak District. It’s a further drive out, about 90 minutes, but totally worth it. If you can stay for the weekend, then do it – the many towns and villages offer both cultural delights and hiking opportunities.
Ashford-in-the-Water and Edensor are absolutely stunning villages that capture the British country vibe. If you are planning on hiking or cycling, Castleton is the perfect base. You’ll also want to drop by Chatsworth Estate, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire; not only is it royal property and one of England’s most popular stately homes, but also features a working farm, adventure play park and all-year events.
Foodies will want to drive by Bakewell, where pudding reigns supreme.
The Peak District is honestly one of those places you can visit over and over again without running out of things to see.
Visiting Worcester is like wandering into a fairytale. Even en route, you’ll come across spreads of hilly landscapes and half-hidden relics. There’s so much to see here, with Worcester Cathedral being the most well-known. The stunning structure rises in floor-to-ceiling stretches of glass, a grandiose tower with spires and intricate window alcoves. The Royal burial place of King John of England, this forest-wrapped church is lovely and restful.
Worcester is also the birthplace of Sir Edward Elgar; you’ll find a museum named after this famous composer. Still, craft beat out arts in reputation. Make sure to visit the ceramic museum which houses top-tier Royal Worcester porcelain wares and fine china.
If you like walking, you’ll love a stroll on the Malvern Hills too!
The panoramic views are worth the walk; you can even take sips from the spring of Malvern which supplies the Queen with her royalty-approved water.
Worcester is about a 45-minute drive away – the perfect distance for a relaxing day trip from Birmingham.
Lichfield offers more of that gorgeous English countryside but what it’s most known for is the three-spired Lichfield Cathedral. Not exactly what you’d expect to find in such a green-woven city – but that’s what makes it such a great day trip from Birmingham. The detailing on the façade is as dramatic as the spires, so make sure to get close up.
Other notable residents include Erasmus Darwin (the forefather of the Darwin we hear most often), who resided here in the 18th century; his house is open to the public. Literary figure Samuel Johnson is another celebrated person of interest (he wrote one of the first English dictionaries in the world); drop by the museum which showcases his life and works.
There’s also Drayton Manor Theme Park some 20 minutes away if you’d like to add some thrill to your day trip from Birmingham.
6. Cheddar Gorge
For breathtaking nature, hit up Cheddar Gorge for a fascinating day out. The cave system is amazing – it isn’t just an adventurer’s dream but industries have developed alongside it. For instance, the famous cave matured cheddar cheese!
The temperatures within are just right for aging cheese; sample some at the shops right outside the caves or bring some home as souvenir.
Cliff sports are available if you want to explore them in a more hands-on manner. Otherwise, visit the Cheddar Man Museum of Prehistory for artefacts and human remains that have been discovered. In any case, dress comfortably in trainers and a backpack because Cheddar Gorge is one of the most ‘outdoorsy’ days out from Birmingham. You can read about some of the best Cheddar Gorge walks here.
It is a 2-hour drive from Birmingham, making it one of the furthest trips on this day trips from Birmingham list, but if you want a fun road trip with an adventure at the end of it – it’s perfect!
Book your tickets for Cheddar Gorge in advance, here.
7. Leamington Spa
No need to travel all the way to Bath for a spa – just 30 minutes out of Birmingham is the striking royal town of Leamington Spa, which is home to an elegant collection of Regency architecture and the flowing River Leam to match. For a quick glimpse of the neighbourhoods, hire a rowing boat for some prime viewing.
Indie shops run abundant, punctuated by lovely parks and gardens. The Royal Pump Rooms Art Gallery and Museum doubles (or is it triples?) as a famous 18th-century healing spa, while the Loft Theatre offers post-meal productions to wind down your day. We recommend joining the geological walk for a thorough exploration of the town centre, where your guide will explain the different types of stone involved in the town’s construction.
Such a quaint town – we love it!
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8. Warwick Castle
Say yes to yet another British gem – the fun and exciting Warwick Castle, near Leamington Spa. If you’re a fan of everything medieval, this is a must-do experience.
Sitting on the banks of River Avon, the castle is made for families. Tours will take you up to the towers for marvellous views and down below to the drafty dungeons and secret hideouts.
A host of actors make this a trip back in time; there are frequent themed events and live action shows across the grounds. Spend some time in the aromatic Rose Garden too. With 60 acres of estate, there’s plenty of space for you to discover. It’s one of the most impressive castles in England.
A lovely, historical day out from Birmingham for you!
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9. Cadbury World
In at number nine on this list of best day trips from Birmingham is Cadbury World – anyone who loves chocolate will find it a place to die for. Even if you aren’t a chocolate fan, you’d have heard of this brand.
Interestingly, the Cadbury family actually started their business in 1831! They ended up building a village for their workers because production expanded on a massive scale. Now, Cadbury World is nestled within the original 1990 factory.
Take yourself around the premises to learn about the history of chocolate. There are 14 multi-sensory zones (and plenty of sampling stations), starting with the Aztecs discovery of chocolate and its subsequent spread. You can visit the first Cadbury shop on Bull Street too.
Stock up on your (premium priced) sweets before heading home; maybe even order a customised choccy plaque.
Book your tickets to Cadbury World in advance to save the faff on the day!
Coventry is one of our favourite Birmingham day trips because its cultural hodgepodge is finally being recognised. Did you know Coventry is the 11th biggest city in England by population?
With so many famous attractions, Coventry is tailored to every preference and interest. Coventry Cathedral definitely belongs on the list, having preserved ruins from WWII. Plenty of award-winning galleries have set up shop around town alongside museums with outstanding displays. To juxtapose the heavy history, there are gardens where you can while away the hours amid manicured hedges and blooms.
Seeking sports events? Check.
A cosy pub for a friendly hang out? Check.
Plenty to do in Coventry on one of your day trips from Birmingham!
11. Alton Towers
Alton Towers is somewhat of a British icon and the largest theme park in the UK, home to over 40 rides that include thrilling rollercoasters. Besides its theme park, Alton Towers boasts an indoor and outdoor water park, a hotel complex and a luxury spa.
Almost all Brits are familiar with rollercoasters like Oblivion and Nemesis, where you’ll travel through loops, spins and corkscrews at 50 mph. Less iconic but no less fun is The Smiler, which was the first 14-loop rollercoaster on the planet.
From Birmingham, you can drive to Alton Towers via the A38 or M6 in under 90 minutes. Parking charges start at £6 for the day. If you don’t want to drive, you can still visit Alton Towers on a day out from Birmingham with the kids by taking the train to Sheffield and then riding a bus to Farley Gates.
It’s £65 at the door, but £42 on that link!
Buy in advance to save time in line, and help you budget for the day.
12. Malvern Hills
From the top of the Malvern Hills at an elevation of 425 metres, you can take in panoramic views of the Severn Valley, the spa town of Great Malvern and countryside vistas in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
Plenty of trails take you through this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the 30-mile Worcestershire Way that follows the Malvern Ridge from Great Malvern to Bewdley. If you’d prefer a shorter hike, there are plenty of trails in the Malvern Hills covering a distance of a mile or so.
When you need a break from hiking on your day out from Birmingham to the Malvern Hills, venture into Great Malvern to check out the impressive spa architecture. Notable landmarks include the 11th-century Great Malvern Priory and the 19th-century Saint Anne’s Well, which is now a café that gives a nod to the town’s spa heritage.
It only takes around an hour to drive from Birmingham to the Malvern Hills via the M5. Alternatively, you can take a train to Great Malvern from Birmingham New Street, which takes about an hour. There’s also a train from Birmingham Snow Hill that takes about an hour and 20 minutes.
By the way – the Malvern Hills are just one of the best places to visit on a day out in Worcestershire.
13. Ironbridge Gorge
Want to visit a UNESCO-listed landmark on your day out from Birmingham? Ironbridge Gorge became the world’s first cast-iron bridge in 1779, which – according to many – marked the start of the Industrial Revolution.
In the nearby village of Ironbridge on the banks of the River Severn, you can browse museums that tell the story of the bridge, the Industrial Revolution, and its impact on cities that include Birmingham.
Museums in Ironbridge that give you an insight into 18th-century England include the Museum of The Gorge, the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and the open-air Blists Hill Victorian Town. You can get an annual family pass to visit all those museums and more for as little £82.
The Ironbridge Gorge is located around 30 miles away from Birmingham. If you don’t want to drive, take the train from Birmingham to Telford Central, which is about six miles from the bridge.
While you’re in the area, you might want to check out more of the best days out in Shropshire.
14. The Cotswolds
With its charming villages scattered amid rolling hills and stunning countryside vistas, the Cotswolds is one of England’s most popular holiday destinations, particularly with families that love the outdoors.
As the Cotswolds covers an area of around 800 square miles, it’s best to pick just a few destinations to visit on your day out from Birmingham. Some of our favourite towns and villages include Winchcombe, Broadway, Chipping Campden and Bibury. Read our guide to the Cotswolds to find out what to see and do while you’re here.
Many Cotswolds towns and villages have train stations, but you might want to drive to squeeze as much as possible into your day trip from Birmingham. The drive from Birmingham to Broadway on the northern edge of the Cotswolds takes about an hour.
15. Shropshire Hills
Despite being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Shropshire Hills are usually less touristy than other countryside destinations in England. For us, that’s even more reason to visit.
Located in western England not far from Wales, the Shropshire Hills are picture perfect, ideal for hiking, cycling and horse riding. The walking trails of the Shropshire Hills vary in difficulty, and many include stops at traditional pubs. Given the area’s relative remoteness and vast size, you might need a car to really explore the place on your day out from Birmingham, which is about 60 miles away.
During your day out in Shropshire, you can also visit attractions that include Stokesay Castle, Benthall Hall and the RAF Museum at Cosford.
Another place in Shropshire worth visiting on your day out from Birmingham is Ludlow, a medieval walled town that played a prominent role in repelling the Welsh Marches and the English Civil War.
Overlooking Ludlow from a cliff above the River Teme is the 11th-century Ludlow Castle, which is best seen from Dinham Bridge during a walk along the riverbanks. There’s also a charming market that takes over the town’s main square every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
You can drive to Ludlow from Birmingham in about an hour and 30 minutes. Alternatively, take the train to Ludlow Station from Birmingham Central Station, which takes around an hour and 45 minutes and includes one change.
17. Twycross Zoo
Situated in Leicestershire just 40 minutes away from Birmingham by car, Twycross Zoo is home to many of the world’s adorable and critically endangered species. In our opinion, it’s one of the best zoos in England.
Some of the rarer animals include snow leopards, tiny antelopes and Sumatran tigers. You’ll also find just about every type of great ape, including chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
Besides wonderful animals, Twycross Zoo hosts the Gruffalo Discovery Land, where the kids can meet their favourite mouse and monster. For more awesome encounters, read about England’s best Gruffalo trails.
18. Trentham Monkey Forest
If you still haven’t had your fill of admiring adorable monkeys after visiting Twycross Zoo, we don’t blame you – which is why we’ve included the Trentham Monkey Forest on our list of best day trips from Birmingham.
Here, you can traverse a mile-long trail through the woodland of the Trentham Estate near the River Trent, which is easily one of the most scenic rivers in England. Better still, you can walk alongside free-roaming Barbary macaques.
It only takes about an hour to drive to the Trentham Monkey Forest from Birmingham. Public transportation is possible, but it includes two buses and a train journey.
Ticket prices for Trentham Monkey Forest start at £11.50 for adults and £9 for children, with concessions available for students and senior citizens (children aged 2 years and under can visit for free). Buy Trentham Monkey Forest tickets online for discounted prices.
19. Go paddleboarding
Check out these great places to go paddleboarding in the West Midlands for another fun day out from Birmingham.
20. Ackers Adventure, West Midlands
Located near Birmingham in the West Midlands, Ackers Adventure is one of the best places in the area for ski lessons. Whether you’re starting to learn the basics for the very first time or picking up where you left off from a previous lesson, the team at Ackers Adventure can help you. It’s one of the best places for skiing lessons in England.
Their range of courses and lessons means there is something to suit all levels and needs, plus you can switch to snowboarding if you prefer. With floodlit synthetic bristle matting slopes, the lesson area can be used at any time during the year (not just when it’s snowing!). If you’re worried about getting in the way of the pros on their 100 metre main slope, don’t panic. Ackers Adventure also has a 30-metre nursery slope which is where any beginners will have their lessons.
Unmissable Days Out from Birmingham
So, there you have it! A day out from Birmingham can include rollercoaster rides, countryside walks, monkey encounters, history lessons, and much more. With so much variety in attractions located just an hour or so from Birmingham, there’s no reason to waste a second of your holiday time in the Midlands.
Have we missed any attractions you think deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments below.
FAQ about days out from Birmingham
With so many day trips from Birmingham available, you won’t struggle to fill your trip to the West Midlands with a bunch of fun-filled activities. To help you make the most of your time, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about trips from Birmingham.
What are the best Birmingham day trips by coach?
If you don’t want to worry about parking, countless Birmingham coach trips make getting out of the city straightforward. You can take Birmingham day trips to theme parks including Alton Towers, Drayton Manor and the West Midlands Safari Park. You can also embark on a coach trip from Birmingham to heritage attractions like Warwick Castle, Stowe Gardens and Charlecote Park.
Fancy exploring a new city on a day trip from Birmingham? York, Chester, Gloucester and Oxford can all be seen on a guided coach tour. Birmingham day trips by coach even visit seaside resorts like Blackpool, Skegness and Weston-Super-Mare.
Can you recommend Birmingham days out for couples?
Romantic Birmingham days out for couples include trips along the canal and strolls through greenspaces like Sutton Park. If you want to treat your better half to something special, explore the Jewellery Quarter. In the evening, catch a performance by the Birmingham Royal Ballet after indulging yourself in the city’s incredible dining scene.
What are the best Birmingham days out for toddlers?
If you’re travelling with toddlers on a day out from Birmingham, we suggest heading to the West Midlands Safari Park to encounter animals ranging from giraffes to big cats. Cannon Hill Park has parks and playgrounds to keep the kids entertained. To sip hot drinks while the kids create works of art, head to Café Craft in Bearwood.
Where are the most scenic viewpoints near Birmingham?
Nothing beats a day out in Birmingham like a good view – of Birmingham. Beyond its vast urban centre, Birmingham is home to country parks, bogs, countryside vistas and much more.
For the best views of Birmingham’s skyline, visit the Beacon Hill Toposcope or the Birmingham Panorama. You’ll find amazing natural viewpoints at Frankley Beeches, Moseley Bog and Licky Hills Country Park. Head to the Airport Viewing Area to watch planes taking off and landing.
Are there any major cities near Birmingham?
The list of Birmingham nearby places is long – lot’s opportunities for a day away from England’s second-biggest city. Close places to visit include Wolverhampton (12 miles), Coventry (16 miles) and Leicester (35 miles). Cities such as Derby, Stone-on-Trent, Nottingham and Milton Keynes are less than 60 miles away from Birmingham.
How to get from London to Birmingham?
Birmingham is about 120 miles away from London, but getting between the cities for a day trip is straightforward. Driving from London to Birmingham will take just over two hours, while the bus (which can cost as little as £7) takes just under three hours.
The fastest way to get from London to Birmingham is to take the train, which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Tickets tend to cost between £40 and £150, though you can pick them up from The Train Line for under £20 if you book far enough in advance.
What is the closest beach to Birmingham?
Be prepared to travel a fair distance if you want to visit the beach on a day out from Birmingham. The nearest significant beach to Birmingham is located in Weston-Super-Mare, which is about a two-hour drive away. It might not be on the doorstep, but Weston-Super-Mare provides a welcome retreat for landlocked Brummies.
Quick list of the best days out from Birmingham
- Black Country Living Museum
- Peak District
- Cheddar Gorge
- Leamington Spa
- Warwick Castle
- Cadbury World
- Alton Towers
- Malvern Hills
- Ironbridge Gorge
- The Cotswolds
- Shropshire Hills
- Twycross Zoo
- Trentham Monkey Forest
- Go Paddleboarding