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Top 10 things to do this summer in and around the Midlands and Shropshire

By Nathan Briant | Entertainment | Published:

Stuck for activities to keep the whole family entertained this summer? Luckily in the Midlands and Shropshire, we are surrounded by an array of attractions filled with fun for everyone.

Kingsbury Water Park

In no particular order, here are just ten top things for you to fo in the summer holidays:

Take to the water

Kingsbury Water Park

If you don’t mind taking a drive out, you can visit Kingsbury Water Park in North Warwickshire for a great day out.

It has access to a bike hide and donkey rides and peddle hire boats and has something for everyone.

Fishermen can buy day tickets for their activities and the park boasts miles of flat footpaths for people of all abilities to take to two wheels.

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Refreshments are available at the park’s on-site cafe and it also boasts a gift shop.

A changing places toilet has been installed at Broomey Croft side of the water park.

Nearby, the Ryton Pools Country Park has two new play areas and a new pirate trail installed this year.

It is five miles from Warwick and Leamington Spa and has two new play areas –one for small children and a bigger one for older kids.

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Go to the beach

Aberdovey from the river

Another activity that will require more of a drive out of the Midlands – and into another country – the beautiful sandy beaches of Wales await.

It sits on the northern side of the Dyfi estuary and has been a bustling resort for years. It has the benefit of sitting in the Snowdonia National Park and is a great place for people who want to have an active holiday, enjoying watersports and making use of the sea. You can take part in sailing, sailboarding, fishing and boat trips.

Fun is not just limited to water-based activities though.

The Talyllyn Railway, which starts in Tywyn, is a regular tourist attraction and there are other famous sites nearby. They include the Cader Idris and Aran Fawddwy mountain ranges.

Go for a bike ride

Cannock Chase

Take your bike out onto Cannock Chase and explore all of the historic sites it has along the way.

The trail helps people explore places and events around the area.

Each trail is graded – easy, moderate, difficult and severe.

Green trails are good for beginners in good health with basic bike skills and most types of bike will be able to cope with them. They are relatively flat and wide.

Undertake the Route to Health Sculpture Trail, which is only a mile long, and is a collaboration between artists, students, schools and community groups.

The Sherbrook Valley Trail is more difficult, at 7.5 to 12.5 miles, and is classed as moderate.

They’re for riders in good health, with basic off-road skills with typical mountain bikes.

Red trails are more difficult and for proficient mountain bikers with good off-road riding skills and fitness.

Whereas take your time on black routes, which are for expert mountain bikers who are very fit.

Go for a picnic

A view of The Mere in Ellesmere

Take a packed lunch to Ellesmere for its award-winning park, lake and gardens.

It is the largest of nine meres in the beautiful Shropshire landscape.

The mere’s promenade, gardens and the Boathouse Visitor Centre have all been restored with lottery funding

Money has come from the Big Lottery, Heritage Lottery Parks for People and the European Regional Development fund.

The nearby Colemere is one of the country’s most beautiful mere and is surrounded my woodland and has other hay meadows.

Discover how chocolate is made

Cadbury World

Take a trip to Bournville and enjoy a weekend with some of your favourite characters at Cadbury World.

Over the summer holidays you’ll be able to enjoy weeks of fun at Cadbury World. You can be entertained by a host of hilarious entertainers for the whole family – from Freddo, the Caramel Bunny and their friends – to magicians and ventriloquists.

All the fun will run throughout the summer holidays until September 3. Into the autumn, Cadbury World will run a heritage weekend over September 9 and September 10.

If the weather allows, you will be able to talk a sight-seeing tour around Bournville village and through the history of Cadbury’s home town.

There will be three walks around the village – which still doesn’t allow pubs there in a nod to its Quaker roots – and you’ll be able to see just how George and Richard Cadbury’s vision has been realised.

For younger children, it might be worth hanging on until September 16 and 17 when Sooty will be having his birthday with Sweep and Soo. You’ll be able to celebrate with them at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

For more information on what’s going on there, visit Cadbury World’s website, www.cadburyworld.co.uk/whats-on/summer.

Take a step back in time

Black Country Living Museum

Visit the Black Country’s favourite museum over the next week as it celebrates the 1940s.

Costumed characters will enjoy dreading back into the 1940s as they blast tape windows, dig out the ratio books and set up Anderson shelters.

Visitors will be able to hear about rationing and learn how to make food last even longer.

And they can make do and mend with the clothes they’re in and learn about the importance of sewing and knitting when clothes – along with other things, food being the most obvious – were rationed.

Time travellers will also be able to write their name in Morse code on an evacuee luggage label at St James’ School.

For more information on what’s happening visit www.bclm.co.uk

Take a walk

A Family of Swans at Cascade Pool Priory Woods in Sandwell Valley. Photo by: Steve Higgins

Take a walk around Sandwell Valley Park and take part in their activities scheduled for the summer holidays.

The first, Flutterby with Butterflies, will take place from Wednesday, July 26 until Sunday, August 27. If you’ve ever wondered how far a butterfly can go in just one day or what kind of flower they like most, then this is the thing to do for you.

You’ll be able to come to the park during the holidays and look over the fun butterfly facts, butterfly crafts and butterfly activities.

Children up to 12 can take part – and it’ll cost £2 for children who aren’t RSPB members and £2.50 for non-members.

For more information visit www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events.

Get close to the animals

Sheep races at Hoo Farm

Get in touch with your animal side this summer, whether you’re young or old(er) at Hoo Farm.

The attraction is a family-run countryside zoo located amongst 32 acres of woodland and paddocks on the outskirts of Telford.

The farm its has been used as a dairy farm, a Christmas tree nursery and an award-winning farm attraction. For more information about what is happening every day over the summer holidays, visit www.hoofarm.com

Take a train trip

Telford Steam Railway

The Telford Steam Railway will also step back in time and celebrate the 1940s in a different style over the Bank Holiday weekend, August 26 and August 27.

After the Allies succeeded in capturing the enemy operative last year in the German-occupied Lawley Lines they are back again. But again the Allies’ll have to battle through as the war hangs in the balance.

Beth Berwick-Lowe will keep everyone entertained with her singing over the weekend and people will be able to get 1940s hairstyles from just £5.

There will be American World War Two-era jeeps, and the furnaces tearoom serving spam fritters, trench stew and other wartimes foods with cakes and whipped ice cream.

Tour a historic house

Bantock House

Take a trip to Bantock House Museum, which has now been restored to its Edwardian glory. It is set within 43 acres of parkland and surrounded by delightful formal gardens.

It is complete with carved oak panelled rooms, decorative glass, tiles and period furnishings.

You can also enjoy its displays of enamels, japanned ware, jewellery, toys, dolls and Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

There are also views over the Dutch Garden and its courtyard cafe serves good homemade food, drinks and ice creams.

Nathan Briant

By Nathan Briant
Senior Reporter - @nbriant_star

One of the Express & Star's Walsall and Staffordshire team.

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