9 ideas when in pursuit of outdoor activities
Put the iPhone down, leave the TV box-set on the shelf and keep the games console controller in the cupboard, the weather is beautiful outside (OK, the weather is quite warm... well, it’s not raining... much). What better time than the West Midlands summer to dust off your trainers, get your bike out of the shed or take the covers off your sailing boat, which has been collecting cobwebs in the garage? You haven’t got a sailing boat? We won’t judge you.
Here at Visit Birmingham, we love outdoor pursuits – they get us out of the office and allow us to enjoy our natural surroundings, keeping us physically and mentally on top form. And there are plenty to pick from across Birmingham and the wider region. So allow us to take you through nine suggestions, if – like us – you’re in pursuit of some outdoor adventure this #summerinbrum.
Birches Valley Forest Centre, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ
Go Ape, according to the good people themselves, is “the UK’s number one forest adventure”... and, believe us, they’re not monkeying around. If you think you’re wild enough to climb 40ft up a rope ladder, Tarzan swing into a giant rope net, then zip wire through trees, crawl through tunnels and tackle high wire rope bridges, then Go Ape in Cannock Chase is definitely for you. The venue is open throughout the summer, staff are friendly and accommodating and all ages are catered for.
Golden Hillock Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B11 2PY
Just three miles from Birmingham city centre, Ackers Adventure is a well-established centre with so many activities to try out, set across 70 acres. There’s a 100m dry ski slope, 20m snowboard lesson slope, two climbing walls, a 20m high tower for climbing and abseiling and two archery courses. The venue also benefits from the Grand Union Canal, making it ideal for water-based activities such as canoeing, kayaking and bellboating.
Icknield Port Road, Birmingham, B16 0AA
If you like water-based outdoors pursuits, such as (wait for it...) canoeing, sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, rowing, powerboating, rafting and windsurfing, then Edgbaston Watersports will, ahem, float your boat. The company is based at the huge Edgbaston Reservoir, an “oasis of peace”, which overlooks Birmingham city centre.
Closer to the Edge
Sandwell Valley Country Park, Salter's Lane, West Bromwich, B71 4BG
Based at Sandwell Valley Country Park, in the heart of West Bromwich, Closer to the Edge is an aerial adventure course for “serious adventurers and those who have never experienced the thrill of jumping, swinging and balancing at height”. There’s plenty to choose from – a low and high traverse, zip wire, climbing wall and the intriguingly-titled powerfan descender! You’ll be floating on air once you’ve given all that a go – and there are lots of ground-based activities too, such as orienteering.
NPF Bassetts Pole – Paintball
London Rd, Bassetts Pole Birmingham, West Midlands B75 5SA
Set in 200 acres of Midlands woodland about half an hour from Birmingham city centre, NPF Bassetts Pole Paintball offers a fun day out for families looking to experience the thrill of combat games. Alongside paintball, there’s also quad trekking, woodland lazer combat and a 45m inflatable assault course.
If racing around on two wheels is your thing, Birmingham and the wider region has got it covered – there’s the Birmingham BMX Track, an international level BMX race track in Perry Park, plus mountain biking trails in Sandwell Valley and Cannock Chase, home to the popular Follow the Dog and Monkey Trail routes.
Outdoor Leadership Centre at St. George’s Park
St. George's Park, Newborough Road, Needwood, Burton-Upon-Trent, DE13 9PD
Home to the England football team, St. George’s Park in Burton – set in 330 acres of Staffordshire countryside, 30 miles north of Birmingham city centre – boasts an Outdoor Leadership Centre catering for corporate teams, conferences and events, social clubs and staff development programmes. The site has a 40 foot climbing tower, linear high ropes course, a Powerfan and an archery range. You’ll have a ball.
Golden Putter, Cannon Hill Park
Cannon Hill Park, 2 Russell Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8RD
At Visit Birmingham, we’re not the best at golf. Last time we played, our ball landed 10 feet off the fairway, though that was just a rough estimate. If the aforementioned activities are a little too exhilarating, let’s calm down a little and have a round of golf, courtesy of the Golden Putter mini golf course in Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston. The 36-hole course features hills, trees, water features, multiple bridges and islands – overlooked by a two-metre waterfall!
Ah, the great outdoors. Birmingham and the wider region is full of green spaces, offering you the chance to enjoy the fresh air and go for a stroll / march / hike (delete depending on how energetic you’re feeling). There’s Sutton Park, the Lickey Hills, Woodgate Valley, Cannon Hill Park, Clent Hills, Sandwell Valley and loads more...
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