Holidays to Midlands
England’s Midlands region offers quintessential countryside views, from gentle rolling fields to picture-postcard village greens. Running the gamut of former industrial centres like Birmingham to the agricultural heartland of Lincolnshire, Midlands holidays are perfect for families. You’ll find a wealth of world-class museums and galleries, as well as picturesque centuries-old villages of thatched timber houses and welcoming pubs.
The top 5 things to do in the Midlands
1. Explore Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle is an impressive 11th-century castle which dominates the town. Home to a number of vibrant displays and exhibitions, the castle is particularly pretty at Christmas. You'll find a wealth of child-friendly activities and displays on-site, including falconry and weaponry. The gardens are a treat to explore and there are a fine number of historic sites in town as well.
2. Admire Chatsworth House
Perched in the foothills of the Peak District, Chatworth House is a crowd-pleasing stately home that has featured in countless TV shows (including Pride & Prejudice and The Crown). The grounds are postcard-perfect pretty, with ornamental gardens and regal rooms. This is where Mary, Queen of Scots was once housed, and you'll find excellent historic displays throughout the estate.
3. Bone up on the history of King Richard III
Leicester's King Richard III experience is a first-rate museum revolving around the discovery of his royal remains in a car park in 2012. Titled "Dynasty, Death & Discovery", the museum does a fine job of outlining the War of the Roses, King Richard’s legacy and the excavation of his unexpected resting place.
4. Discover Lincoln Cathedral
The Midlands has plenty of important cathedrals and churches to visit, including the modernist Coventry Cathedral and the Magna Carta-housing Hereford Cathedral. Lincoln Cathedral, however, is among the most impressive and is too often overlooked. Once among the tallest buildings in the world, it is now the fourth largest cathedral in the UK and a true pleasure to visit. Make a day of it and visit the neighbouring castle as well.
5. Sample local heritage beer
The Midlands is home to a number of well-regarded beer breweries with a long and deep heritage spanning centuries. For a history tour, consider the excellent National Brewery Centre in Burton-upon-Trent. Alternatively, you can visit the UK's only Trappist brewery, Mount St. Bernard Abbey, near Coalville, for a monk-led tour.
Our best hotels in the Midlands
Located in the heart of Warwickshire, Ardencote Manor is ideally situated to visit the famed Warwick Castle. The hotel itself is immaculately decorated with a fine blend of traditional and modern tastes. There's also a swimming pool and wellness centre for in-house relaxation.
Set within an alluring Gothic mansion, Brownsover Hall transports guests into the Victorian era with its ornate rooms and well-kept grounds. Situated in the heart of the countryside, it's ideally located to visit Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, Bosworth Battle Field and Coventry Cathedral. With a welcoming roaring fire, you’ll love returning to the hotel after a stroll in the country.
Set within 500 acres of pretty grounds with a lake, this 12th-century abbey is a true historical wonder. Linked to the infamous gunpowder plot, the rooms have been tastefully restored to their former regal glory. Expect tasteful, stately decor, with an irresistible dining experience after a day out touring the Midlands.
When is the best time to go on holiday to the Midlands?
The Midlands' high season between June to August sees warm weather and higher accommodation rates. To avoid the crowds, you can consider visiting during the spring and autumn shoulder seasons, when the weather is still crisp and the landscapes beautiful. Winter is also a fantastic time to visit the Midlands' pretty market towns with Christmas lights and events. The region hosts a number of festivities throughout the year that make for ideal days out, including Shrovetide in Ashbourne during Lent and the Stratford Literary Festival in spring. If you're looking to hike the Peak District or Shropshire Hills, consider the summer season for ideal weather.
Getting around the Midlands
The Midlands is well connected by road and rail, with convenient bus and coach connections to smaller villages and towns. In terms of arrival, East Midlands Airport connects the area with the wider United Kingdom and parts of Europe. You'll also find the handy Humberside Airport in north Lincolnshire, although connections via larger London airports and train are also convenient. The East Midlands Railway and West Midlands Railway connect the areas with London and the north, with CrossCountry Trains cutting across the Midlands.
How long should you stay in the Midlands?
You can easily explore the best of the Midlands in a week, with city and town destinations like Leicester and Birmingham making ideal weekend trips. If you want to explore the top sites in the region, consider renting a car to discover the area’s pretty villages and natural sites.
Are the Midlands family-friendly?
The Midlands is a firm favourite with families owing to the wealth of museums and attractions at hand. The chocolate experience of Cadbury World, Nottingham’s Robin Hood-related Sherwood Forest and a wealth of historic castles and manors make ideal days out for little ones. There’s also a kid-friendly Science centre, Enginuity, in the picturesque Ironbridge Gorge, among countless other attractions.
The Voyage Privé travel expert’s opinion on the Midlands
The Midlands is England’s beating heartland. With a wealth of pastoral viewpoints and postcard-perfect chocolate-box villages, this is the England of your imagination. Add to that the wealth of historic sites and castles to explore, and you have one of the UK’s best tourist destinations. Midlands holidays can be anything you want them to be. History, culture, art and landscapes collide in this central and easily accessible region.