Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Greater Birmingham make up the West Midlands of England.
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Herefordshire is a mainly rural county of pastures and green hills. The cider industry, the black and white villages, and the cathedral city of Hereford complete the unique aspects of the county. The county’s main town is Hereford, location of its cathedral with the famous chained library. The Wye River valley provides scenery and walks. There are several interesting historic houses in Herefordshire.
Shropshire has a variety of scenery from meres to hills and dales. Historic towns and castles provide much of interest. Shrewsbury, on the River Severn, is of particular note with more than 660 listed historic buildings. Ludlow has 500 historic listed buildings. Ironbridge Gorge, a World Heritage Site, is a historic industrial area preserved for visitors to explore the past. Gardens and historic homes contribute to the mix of attractions. Don’t miss Acton Scott Working Farm. Kids love it.
Staffordshire’s potteries have a place in history. Their museums tell the story. Thirty-four listed buildings are found in the town of Tutbury. Stately homes and gardens are found in the county. Among them are Wightwick Manor and Biddulph Grange gardens.
Warwickshire is the site of Shakespeare’s Stratford-on-Avon. Kenilworth Castle, visited by Queen Elizabeth I is an exciting visitor attraction. Warwick castle dates back to the time of William the Conqueror. Historic houses are of interest and include Baddesley Clinton, Arbury Hall, and Ragley Hall.
Worcestershire is a mixture of river valleys, woodlands, fruit orchards, pastoral landscapes, and villages. The Malvern Hills are of special interest. The Almonry Heritage Centre in Evesham is full of historical paraphernalia. Croome Park and Spetchley Park Gardens offer walks and scenic views. The Cotswold town of Broadway is in Worcestershire. The main town of the county, Worcester, has a number of interesting medieval buildings, a cathedral, and museums.
Greater Birmingham grew due to its industry. Museums and a jewellery quarter are of interest. Several historic houses and a cathedral are other visitor attractions.
Photos by Barbara Ballard except Birmingham skyline courtesy Birmingham Press. Reminder: all photos on the website are copyrighted and may not be used without written permission.