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North Warwickshire Tourism

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English Tourism Council
Awarded 4 Stars


Places To Go

  • Introduction
  • Culture and Entertainment
  • Food and Drink
  • Did You Know
Birmingham's Bullring shopping, Herefordshire cider and Cotswold countryside

In a Nutshell

Romans, Shakespeare and the Industrial Revolution have all left their mark on Central England. Cities such as Coventry, Gloucester, Warwick and Norwich are dominated by majestic castles or glorious cathedrals. Picturesque villages punctuate the undulating countryside, mineral water gushes from the steep Malvern Hills and a canal network criss-crossed the region from the Black Country to the Fens. The forests of Middle England were once the haunt of the outlawed – Robin Hood being the most famous.


Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Royal Shakespeare Company

Drayton Manor

Coventry Cathedral

Bullring Birmingham

Highcross Shopping Centre Leicester

Art Treasures

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery boasts the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the world. Walsall’s New Art Gallery has works by Monet, Degas and Van Gogh. Wolverhampton Art Gallery is famous for having the biggest collection of Pop Art in the country, while the Milton Keynes Gallery focuses on Brit art. The Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts in Norwich houses an eclectic global collection in a Foster-designed building, and Coventry's imaginative Canal Art Trail is Britain’s longest outdoor art gallery.

Ballet

Nottingham's Royal Centre stages ballet, opera, shows and concerts. Birmingham Royal Ballet calls the Birmingham Hippodrome home but also tours throughout the region.

Classical Music and Opera

Edward Elgar, one of England’s finest composers, lived and drew inspiration for his music from the imposing Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, and the region is celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2007. Symphony Hall in Birmingham is staging some of his finest works. Nottingham's Theatre Royal regularly welcomes Opera North and The Philharmonia orchestra regularly tour to Leicester's De Montfort Hall.

Shows

Birmingham Hippodrome lifts the curtain on touring shows and West End musicals, Warwick Arts Centre is one of the best cultural venues in the Midlands with a dynamic programme of circus arts, dance, West End theatre and University of Warwick drama productions. The Theatre Royal in Norwich welcomes touring shows as well as music, comedy and pantomime.

Theatre

Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, is the internationally renowned home of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s three theatres which stage the Bard's plays all year round. The Nottingham Playhouse is renowned for quality new writing and classic productions.

What to Expect

Central England offers a veritable smorgasbord of cuisine, both traditional and international. Leicester’s Golden Mile and Birmingham’s Balti Quarter can both lay claim to serving up some of the country’s finest curry. Seek out traditional country pubs throughout the region for hearty regional meals made from local produce. The Stagg Inn in Herefordshire was the first pub to gain a Michelin Star and, surprisingly for a small town, Ludlow in Shropshire has two Michelin-starred restaurants, the same number as Birmingham!

Food

Under cheese law, bona fide Stilton can only be produced within the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, so don’t accept any imitations. Melton Mowbray Pork Pies from Leicestershire are protected from inferior imitations by the European parliament. Make sure you try delicious Herefordshire beef, traditional faggots (meat balls) from the Black Country. Britain's favourite pig, the Old Gloucester Spot are traditionally reared in the apple orchards of Gloucestershire. They make delicious bacon, ham and sausages. Look out too for speciality sausages, the Warwickshire Whizzers. The Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire is famous for asparagus and is a major producer of fruit and vegetables grown under cover. Those with a sweet tooth should head for Cadbury World in Birmingham. It was here George Cadbury built Bourneville in 1824, a purpose-built village to house his chocolate factory workers and today you can drink liquid chocolate through a straw!

Drink

Derbyshire is at the heart of the real ale movement (CAMRA), so the region has a host of pubs serving pints from local independent breweries. Herefordshire produces 63 million gallons of cider a year - more than any other area of Britain. The Coors Visitor Centre houses the UK's premier museum dedicated to brewing, and quality English wines are produced at vineyards such as Astley and Tiltridge in Worcestershire.

Breaking the Ice

Central England has the highest concentration of football teams in the country (Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Walsall, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest) so the Beautiful Game is always a good talking point. However, don't judge a person's allegiance by their accent - a West Midlander could just as easily support Walsall as Aston Villa.

In the Know

The expression 'sent to Coventry', which means not talking to someone who had done something wrong, originated during the Civil War, when captured Royalists were imprisoned in this heavily fortified and strongly Parliamentarian city. Apparently they were given a very unpleasant time by the locals. If greeted by a local in Nottingham with Hey-up me duck they are simply saying 'Hello my dear'.

Famous Faces

Author George Eliot lived and went to school in Coventryand Shrewsbury was the home of naturalist Charles Darwin. William Shakespeare was said to have jilted a woman from Coventry on the eve of their wedding so that he could marry Stratford-born Anne Hathaway. The Reverend Spooner, whose ability to get his words topsy turvey gave us the term Spoonerism, had his roots in Shropshire.

Gifts to Take Home

Fine cut glass and crystal from the Black Country, delicate lace from Nottingham or silver rings from Birmingham's world famous Jewellery Quarter. The Cotswold town of Broadway in Worcestershire has one of the largest collections of antique shops in the country.