Experience the region's waterways this summer
The sound of the rippling water, the sun beaming down on you and a glass of vino in your hand, this is why the canals make the perfect backdrop to your summer. Luckily, in the West Midlands we have miles of the stuff (more than Venice FYI) so you have ample waterways and waterside options.
Indulging your inner captain is always an obvious choice, and you can enjoy a couple of days chugging along the canals on your very own boat at a leisurely 3 mile per hour, why walk when you can drift? Discover this unique and relaxing holiday option with Great British Boating. However, if you do not fancy actually driving a boat you can of course walk alongside the canals and still enjoy all they have to offer.
So what to see on your journey? Well if like me you are a city gal then Birmingham city centre has many options. If you have the kids in tow, there is a handy and aptly placed National SEALIFE Centre … on the canal. With fish, penguins and sharks it is bound to keep your kids happy with lots of great eateries all around you, job done.
For culture and foodie buffs enjoy a luxury Canalside dining experience at Bank restaurant followed by a fabulous concert at the internationally renowned Symphony Hall. Finish the evening with a drink at the Canal House whilst admiring the picturesque Gas Street Basin full of beautifully decorated narrow boats.
Now one of the many wonderful things about our canals are their ability to seamlessly transport you from city to stunning countryside, and with countryside comes country pubs, and there are some crackers along the way on each of the loops. The Fleur de Lys Pub is a historic village pub at Lowsonford, which has a lovely canalside beer gardens and is famous for its homemade pies or why not try the The Greyhound Inn, a very traditional canalside venue dating form early 1800’s. It is packed full of character and warmth, and was voted the best Pub in Coventry & Warwickshire 4 times.
Between visiting canalside pubs and restaurants there is some stunning rural beauty and nature to admire along the way, and if you are feeling particularly active why not hire a bike to add a little adventure to your break.
If you’re yearning for some Shakespearean adventure, head to Stratford-upon-Avon where cultural delights fringe the waterways. With the station just a 15 minute walk away from the Rivern Severn, why not travel there by rail so more of that vino can be enjoyed? An off-peak return from Birmingham to Stratford with West Midlands Railway is just £8.10, meaning there’s more to be spent on activities - drinking said vino whilst floating down the river in a rowing boat is said to be compulsory when in the Bard’s land.
So whether you are looking to relax, be active or try something different, the canals are a great setting to your summer holiday.
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