RSPB Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve
Birmingham, West Midlands
Sandwell Valley is home to hundreds of bird, animal and insect species. Summer is the best time to see the yellow wagtail or reed warblers, while wintertime attracts goosanders, snipe, and redshanks. There are guided walks and activities for families all year. Explore the nature trails, have a go at pond dipping and get close-up views of wildlife from the lakeside viewpoint. The visitor centre offers refreshments while watching birds visiting the feeders. Photo of building by Andy Purcell.
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Discover West Midlands
After Greater London, the West Midlands is the UK’s biggest county by population, and after London, Birmingham is the UK’s largest city. There’s a lot to seek out here – it has a vibrant culture, with exceptionally good nightlife. Coventry used to be more important than Birmingham, until the 18th century when the Industrial Revolution started and Brum forged ahead.
Apart from Lady Godiva, Coventry is best known for its cathedrals. The medieval parish church became a cathedral in 1918, but the Blitz on Coventry in 1940 left only the spire and part of the walls. After the war, it was decided to build a new cathedral alongside linked to the ruins.
Dudley was one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution, and this history is reflected in its architecture and the Black Country Living Museum, a recreation of an industrial village, with shops and a pub, cottages and a chapel. Stourbridge is also worth a visit, mainly due to its involvement in glassmaking, which has been going on since the 17th century, and is still a part of the town’s culture; there’s a glass museum and a bi-annual glass festival.
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