Central England

'Central England' in white text over green rolling landscape and rocks atop a hill

Central England is a diverse place which features bustling cities, beautiful market towns and plenty of culture. Here are our 4 ‘staycation’ ideas for this region.

 

Birmingham (Warwickshire)

The ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ blends a strong industrial past with modern household names. Visit the Jewellery Quarter to satisfy all your shopping needs and to see some great architecture. Plus, you’ll never go hungry or thirsty in Birmingham! There’s a wide range of restaurants, bars, pubs and speakeasies to discover in this city.

 

three tiered bronze and silver building on bank of canal with white poles rising in front
Birmingham Library is just one of many impressive buildings to see on your ‘staycation’. (Photo by Ethan Thompson on Unsplash)

 

Of course, no Birmingham ‘staycation’ is complete without the ‘Peaky Blinders’. Discover Smallheath and the other areas featured in the hit BBC TV show on a themed walking tour. For something more sedate, wander along the canal network and spot some nesting wildlife. You should also visit the Botanical Gardens in the lazy suburb of Edgbaston for some peace and quiet.

 

What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Birmingham?

Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is less than an hour away. Explore his home town and watch one of his finest plays for yourself. The Royal Shakespeare Company regularly hosts events here, with the first of the year scheduled for mid-May.

 

Tudor farmhouse on cloudy day with large garden and trees in front
Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon where Shakespeare’s wife lived as a child. (Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

 

Coventry was flattened by WW2 bombs, but has been rebuilt better than ever. The impressive Cathedral and statue of Lady Godiva are particular highlights. If you want somewhere a little quieter, head to Royal Leamington Spa. This spa town has been popular since the 18th Century thanks to the supposed healing properties of its water and is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

 

Don’t let a breakdown threaten your UK ‘staycation’ this year. Follow our Roadmap out of Lockdown before you travel.

 

Buxton (Derbyshire)

Buxton is a refreshing and relaxing ‘staycation’ but can easily be adventurous as well! It’s the highest market town in the UK and well-known for its fresh water springs. Taste the famous Buxton water for yourself at St Anne’s Well in the town centre.

 

Bronze busts of sleeping man and woman, Medieval style burial inside church
Tideswell is a small village 6 miles from Buxton home to a 14th Century church (interior pictured above) and plenty of cultural events throughout the year. (Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash

 

You should also visit the spectacular Poole’s Cavern. Explore this natural cavern with an expert guide and see the largest stalactite formation in the region. If you’d prefer to stay above ground, Buxton Country Park offers plenty of open space to stretch your legs. You can also visit the nearby Go Ape and Horse Riding and Trekking Trail for a unique perspective of the Peak District. It’s very easy to have a great ‘staycation’ in Buxton, whatever you’re looking for!

 

woman standing on rock overlooking green English valley at sunset
Look down over Hope Valley, one of many beautiful areas in the Peak District National Park. (Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven on Unsplash

 

What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Buxton?

Explore the Peak District. This National Park contains charming pubs, stunning walks and another famous spa town, Matlock Bath. Walk, cycle or drive to your heart’s content through the amazing scenery.

Bakewell, home of the famous tart, is also just a short drive from Buxton. An afternoon tea is the best way to sample the local delicacy. Then, continue on to Chester. Here you’ll find a Roman amphitheatre and city walls alongside one of the UK’s largest zoos.

 

Chester city centre from above, Tudor building line cobbled street with pedestrians walking
Chester city centre showcases the rich blend of old and new on show in the city. (Photo by Rachel Hannah Photo on Unsplash

 

Leicester (Leicestershire)

The city of Leicester is an incredibly historic place. See where the body of King Richard III, who was discovered under a car park in 2012, lies in the Cathedral. His death was one of the most defining moments in British history, which you can learn all about in the new visitor centre.

 

Stone church sitting on small patch of land surrounded by water at sunset
Normanton Church, a few miles outside Leicester, is the perfect romantic spot to watch the sunset. (Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar on Unsplash)

 

Wander down New Walk, one of the most historic streets in Leicester. It’s a rare example of a Georgian promenade which leads into the city centre. Once there, you can discover the city’s thriving nightlife as well as plenty of local pubs and restaurants. Finally, sample some local produce at the largest outdoor covered market in Europe. It’s held 6 days a week and the venue hasn’t changed for over 700 years!

 

What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Leicester?

Explore Sherwood Forest, the alleged home of Robin Hood! You should also visit nearby Peterborough, which boasts an imposing Gothic Cathedral and Flag Fen Archaeology Park. Learn about English life thousands of years ago as you wander the remains of a Bronze Age village.

 

Sandy beach and sea at sunset
See the sun set over Heacham, another great seaside resort in Norfolk! (Photo by Karen Cann on Unsplash)

 

Once you’ve had your fill of history, head to King’s Lynn on the Norfolk coast to enjoy a day at the beach. Nearby Hunstanton is the most relaxing spot in the area while you can also travel to Sandringham Estate. This is a 20,000 acre estate owned by the Royal Family in an Area of Natural Beauty. You can buy tickets to wander the grounds and gardens around Queen Elizabeth II’s private home.

 

Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire)

This city is well-known for its pottery and there is a strong art and ceramic influence wherever you go. As such, there are plenty of art museums to enjoy when they reopen, including the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. This is home to the Staffordshire Hoard, a large collection of Anglo-Saxon treasure discovered by a metal detectorist! As one of the most significant Archaeological discoveries of the 21st Century, it’s simply unmissable.

 

stern faced golden monkey sat in grass
Hopefully, you’ll be a bit more pleased to meet the monkeys on Trentham Estate than they are to meet you! (Photo by Stephen Tafra on Unsplash)

 

The Trentham Estate sits on 725 acres of land on the banks of the River Trent. It’s technically a suburb of Stoke-on-Trent, but it feels like a separate village. With a large shopping complex, Monkey Forest and garden space to wander, it’s not hard to see why. Stoke-on-Trent may not seem like a natural ‘staycation’ idea, but it’s definitely a hidden gem!

 

What else can you do on your ‘staycation’ in Stoke-on-Trent?

Alton Towers Theme Park and Resort is just 30 minutes away. As one of the biggest and most popular theme parks in the UK, it’s worthy of a mini break on its own. With a water park, spa and mini golf course alongside the main rollercoasters, it’s a perfect place for the whole family.

 

glass building on riverside in Liverpool. UK
Book a harbour tour in Liverpool to see the best sights in the city such as Albert Dock (pictured above). (Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash)

 

The cultural hubs of Manchester and Liverpool are both an hour from Stoke-on-Trent. There’s plenty of green space to explore in Manchester, alongside world-class shopping venues and two of the most famous football clubs in Europe. Liverpool has a strong maritime history and connections to the Beatles. Be sure to see the iconic Cavern Club where the ‘Fab Four’ played their first gig!

 

Book your Roadmap out of Lockdown now

Drew Hickman

Drew Hickman

Drew works for BookMyGarage writing blogs, website content and almost everything else in between. He works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts. When he’s not helping you save money on running your car or making your driving life easier, he can be found either with his head in a book or with a golf club in his hands (usually looking for his ball in the woods)