Tourism in the Midlands – part 2

When tourists visit the Midlands very few will miss the chance to visit the region’s largest city Birmingham. All routes descend on Birmingham with excellent transport entering the city including road, rail air and even water if one counts the numerous canals in the area.

Birmingham is famous for its involvement in the industrial revolution and there are a number of museums in the city that have recorded these events in great detail. The Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Edgbaston attracts many visitors during the year.

Soho House Museum in Birmingham

Another popular destination is Soho House which is the ex-home of the entrepreneur Matthew Boulton. The museum is a grade II listed building and has retained its 18th century appearance, and celebrates the successful career of Boulton plus holding many paintings and artefacts that were created during the period.

Birmingham has a vibrant nightlife and the music scene has produced many bands that have gone on and sold millions of records all over the world. In recent times the city has attracted a large number of Asian inhabitants and the city has a reputation for the quality of its Indian Restaurants. It is commonly believed that the Balti dish was founded in the city.

People who come to the Midlands for more of a rural experience often head northwards into the Peak District. The National Park spills into both Staffordshire and Derbyshire and it is surrounded by Stoke-on-Trent, Derby, Manchester and Sheffield. The easy access into the park by both road and rail means that it attracts over a million visitors every year.

The area includes the southern extent of the Pennines and the whole area is generally above 1000 feet. It consists mainly of limestone and the park is characterized by caves, valleys, gorges and escarpments. The lack of many peaks means the park is ideal for walking around giving tourists ample opportunities to enjoy the many scenic views.

There are a number of villages in the park which provide refreshments, such as cream teas to visitors. Few people who visit the Derbyshire village of Bakewell leave without experiencing its famous Bakewell Pudding. The protected status of the Park means that visitors can enjoy the natural flora and fauna of the area.

A totally different type of holiday is found just south of the Peak District at Alton Towers. The theme park, which is located just outside the Staffordshire village of Alton, opened in 1980 and today operates seven major rollercoaster rides.

Within the park there are two hotels for visitors to stay in. There is also a crazy golf course and a high ropes course. The park is the second most visited park in the UK, after Legoland Windsor.

Inside the museum at Nottingham Castle

Nottingham is in the top 10 cities to visit in the UK every year. It receives over 250,000 visitors and many of them are attracted by the legend of Robin Hood. The city has an abundance of museums but the one at Nottingham Castle remembers the story of the man and his gang’s adventures in Sherwood Forest best of all.

Many of the visitors to the city are attracted by the Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre. The site’s facilities include a regatta lake that is large enough to hold a six lane 2000-meter rowing contest. There is also a 700-metre white water rowing course plus a water ski lagoon with a ski cableway.

People who enjoy the water often head to the coast in Lincolnshire. The biggest coastal resort includes Skegness and Cleethorpes. Skegness is famed for its beach and is home to Butlins Skegness and Fantasy Island. For years it has attracted many domestic visitors particularly from the rest of the East Midlands and the North of the Country.

Cleethorpes started as a small fishing village but as soon as the tourists arrived to take advantage of its vast beach, the population of the town rose to just over 40,000. The resort is actually on the Humber Estuary and is so close to Grimsby that the town’s football side, Grimsby Town, play their home games at Blundell Park, which is actually within Cleethorpes.