West Midlands

A highly populated county in the centre of the country, West Midlands is crammed with visitor attractions showcasing the county’s industrial heritage, new city centre attractions and green urban areas.

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West Midlands Overview

Welcome to West Midlands

The county of West Midlands, is landlocked and bordered by Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire and should not be confused with the West Midlands region – more commonly used to described a larger geographic area.

West Midlands has a resident population of around 5,750,000 people and includes the cities of Birmingham, the UK’s 2nd largest after London, Wolverhampton and Coventry and the larger towns of Dudley, Walsall, Solihull and West Bromwich.

The West Midlands has a strong industrial history and is one of the most populated areas of the country.


West Midlands’ history is dominated by industry and commerce. Coventry was a Middle Age centre for the woollen and cloth manufacturing industries.

Whilst Birmingham and Wolverhampton were synonymous manufacturing – Birmingham for weapons manufacturing and Wolverhampton for lock construction and brass. Coventry became a centre for the manufacture of cycles and motor vehicles.

The county’s mineral deposits – coal and iron ore – were a key driver of the Industrial Revolution as the region developed at a fantastic pace. The Black Country, an area west of Birmingham, is named after the black soil and outcrops of coal as much as the industrial grime long since cleaned up.

Places to Visit in West Midlands

West Midlands is packed with a wide choice of great days out to keep all the family entertained. Like chocolate? – then don’t miss Cadbury World to see the story of chocolate, see how your favourites are made and watch the master chocolatiers in action – did we mention the tasting – yum, yum! At Dudley you can visit Dudley Zoo and the Black Country Living Museum, an open air museum detailed the heritage of the Industrial Revolution. Fans of speed on two wheels will enjoy The National Motorcycle Museum home to over 1000 vehicles, the oldest dating from 1898. At Walsall you can tour the Leather Museum and see how Walsall became famous for producing leather goods ranging from purses to saddles. Aspiring scientists will enjoy a visit to Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. Historic buildings in the county include Dudley Castle, Selly Manor Museum and Sarehole Mill – a 250 year old working watermill museum.

West Midlands has number of important houses, stately homes and glorious gardens open to the public. The stunning Aston Hall is a Jacobean house built in the 17th century – take in the historic rooms and wander the pretty gardens. Wightwick Manor is an arts and crafts house full of history, including a collection of paintings and impressive stained glass. Outside the grounds extend to 17 acres and are a mixture of formal gardens, terraces and woodland.

Bantock House Museum & Park is a farmhouse museum that tells the story of Wolverhampton through the years. The décor characterises the arts and craft period, whilst outside there are 43 acres of gardens to explore. Garden lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses – a stunning arrangement of over 7000 plants, shrubs and trees from around the world. A tour of the glasshouses reveals tropical rainforests, cacti and Mediterranean collections. Elsewhere you will find Winterbourne Botanic Gardens and Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens.

If you are looking for sport in the county, then you are spoiled for choice – there are numerous football teams including Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Walsall, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Coventry City. The Warwickshire County Cricket Club play at Edgbaston – also an international Test match venue. The top rugby union team is Wasps, supported by a number of other clubs in the county. Basketball, rugby league and quidditch are also played in the county.

The centre of Birmingham, the Bullring, is now a vibrant area for shopping and night life. The Gas Street Basin where canals meet, made it the known as the Venice of the North, is now a great place to meet with hostelries and clubs.

West Midlands’s famous names include Olympian Denise Lewis, writer and comedian Frank Skinner, inventor of the jet engine – Frank Whittle, George Cadbury of the famed chocolate brand and former Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain.

West Midlands has a large range of annual events including the MADE Festival, Colmore Food Festival, Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, Foodies Festival – the UK’s largest food festival and the National Exhibition Centre hosting a series of events and stars.

Famous food from West Midlands includes Coventry God Cakes – a triangular puff pastry, pork scratchings – the Black Country pub snack, faggots and since the mid 1970s the popularity of the Balti has spread across the country from the area known as the Balti Triangle in Birmingham.

Want to find out more? Click here to read our guide on things to do in West Midlands.

Getting There

West Midlands in the middle of the country is easily accessed by road with the M6, M5, M54 and M42 running through the county.

The county is well served by rail and there are mainline services to cities and towns around the UK, with London under an hour and half away.

Visitors from further afield can use Birmingham International Airport and East Midlands Airport.

Businesses in West Midlands

Check out these great places to visit in West Midlands

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What to see and do…

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Village Hotel, Restaurant, Bar, & Spa- Dudley

Castlegate Drive, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4TB

Malmaison Hotel, Bar & Brasserie- Birmingham

The Mailbox, 1 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1RD

Cadbury World

Cadbury World, Linden Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B30 1JR

J.W. Evans Silver Factory

54-57 Albion Street, West Midlands

Rock Up Birmingham

Broadway Plaza, 220 Ladywood Middleway , Birmingham, West Midlands, B16 8LP