From tigers and dinosaurs to steam trains and tree top adventures, Worcestershire is the place for thrill-seeking families to find fun-filled days out this summer.
Worcestershire’s most popular attractions include West Midland Safari Park, a place where big cats roam, animatronic dinosaurs recreate life millions of years ago and a rumbling volcano and huge cave transports visitors back to the Ice Age. Take a self-drive safari and listen out for the roars of rare Sumatran tigers, which live alongside white rhinos, African elephants and giraffes. For a more intimate experience, follow the Discovery Trail and stop off at the new Red Panda Retreat, to admire these beautiful creatures. And don’t forget penguin cove, sea lion shows, the reptile house and the family of meerkats at The African Village.
Attwell Farm Park is the ideal place for little ones to meet friendly farmyard animals, including Aberdeen Angus cattle, fluffy sheep, cheeky goats including Pablo the Tik Tok singing sensation, not to mention Harry the Donkey and his friends the miniature horses. There’s also farming machinery to climb over and Bongos Giant Soft Play area for young ones to burn off some energy.
If Thomas the Tank Engine is a family favourite, why not take a trip behind a fully-functioning steam engine at the Severn Valley Railway. Explore the scenic 16-mile span from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, stop off at historic stations, enjoy interactive exhibitions and listen out for the sound of pistons hissing and the train’s piercing whistle. An extensive outdoor play area means there’s plenty of room for little ones to let off steam themselves, and there’s a café for when they need to top up with fuel.
Children are unlikely to ever forget an encounter with the Perseus and Andromeda fountain as it fires jets of gushing water at Witley Court, which is said to make the sound of an express train when it fires into life. This spectacular garden feature, which depicts a battle with a huge sea monster, has now been fully restored and is once again shooting water high into the air. The romantic ruins of Witley Court are a wonderland for children’s imaginations, with plenty of adventure on offer in the Wilderness Play Area, a fun and challenging space for children of all ages offering a tree house, wobbly bridge, scramble nets and outdoor musical instruments.
For all year round fun for little ones, All Things Wild is a great day out! Explore the outdoor play areas, meet lots of furry new friends, take a ride on the Dino Land Train and discover all about pre-historic animals in the Dino Barn.
Don’t leave Worcestershire without making the most of an opportunity to train a dragon by following the Wyre Forest’s Zog Trail. This interactive family route, complemented by a downloadable app, features all sorts of facts and fun activities. After completing the trail, call into Churchfields Farm for one of their delicious award-winning ice creams and to see what fun things they have to offer.
For family friendly lunches and dinners, Worcestershire has a wonderful range of independent eateries. Try the artisan woodfired pizzas at the top of Bewdley, overlooking the beautiful rolling countryside at the Rustic Kitchen, or Worcestershire’s award winning Orchards Farm Shop at Bromsgrove, set in four acres of fertile land, growing some of the UK’s rarest heritage apple varieties. For all things urban, Worcester and the surrounding areas offer an eclectic mix of tastes, from TOAST (one of the locals most popular brunch spots) and Freds of Worcester (with a farm to table food ethos), or head out towards the river for tastes of the American Deep South at Hickory’s Smokehouse.
After all that food and fun, there is an almost endless selection of places to stay, from a relaxing countryside spot at Hoppickers Rural Retreats and luxury treehouses at Treeopia, right through to the centrally located Abbey Hotel at the foot of the iconic Malvern Hills and the perfect countryside getaway at one of the area’s most exclusive hotels, The Lygon Arms in the stunningly quintessential English village of Broadway.
All in all, Worcestershire is bursting with fantastic places to visit, stay and experience and with its central location it is easily accessible from major cities such as London, Manchester and Bristol in less than 2 hours. The county is only a stone’s throw away from Birmingham city centre too, and with the Cotswolds on the doorstep, you can choose from the bustling city to the tranquil countryside, with bags of family fun guaranteed.