Let’s face it, no matter the time of year, a very British day out might involve tea and biscuits - but more likely intermittent rain showers.
If you’re planning a day trip somewhere but the weather’s not looking so promising have no fear. There are a whole host of activities available just a short distance from the biggest city in the West Midlands - to help you escape from the drizzle (or showers).
Don’t let a rainy forecast get in the way of your plans - some of the best day trip destinations are geared up for bad weather. Hop in your hire care and make the most of the gloomy skies, no matter what.
What better way to make the most of a drizzly day than sampling Cadbury’s various chocolate delights? With half a million chocoholics paying homage to this one-of-a-kind factory every single year, it’s time you discovered the secrets behind the recipe of a classic Cadbury Dairy Milk.
It’s only 20 minutes drive outside of Birmingham city centre, in the lavish suburb of Bournville.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 23 mins / 5.5 miles
The industrial landscape of Victorian and Edwardian Britain has been reimagined time and time again and now is the chance for you to experience it for yourself. With over 40 buildings carefully reconstructed, this living museum is so realistic that the epic gangster drama Peaky Blinders was filmed on location here.
While this award-winning open-air museum is partly open-air, it’s really quite atmospheric in the rain. There’s something quite special about the red brick two up, two down houses, its joinery and old inn. Besides, you can hide from the rain by dashing into one of the 40 houses, shops, and industrial areas.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 34 mins / 9.4 miles
A particularly fascinating legend in royal history has got to be the image of King Charles II hiding in an oak tree. Well, just 45 minutes drive from Birmingham is Boscobel House, the English Heritage site which gained its reputation as the hiding place of King Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. You can visit the lodge, marvel at the priest hole under the floorboards, and visit the White Ladies’ Priory, another place that Charles hid. From the window, you’ll even be able to see the descendant of the Royal Oak tree in which Charles supposedly stowed himself away.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 44 mins / 27.3 miles
Mad about planes? Then don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind aviation museum tucked away just outside of Wolverhampton. Not only is Cosford home to the British Airways Museum collection, but it also houses the National Cold War Exhibition.
You’ll be able to marvel at V bomber planes and other Cold War aircraft in a cutting-edge exhibition building of over 8 thousand square metres. Designed with ‘silo theatres’, this museum will bring the tensions of the Cold War period to life in a fascinating exhibit.
And just over 45 minutes drive from Birmingham, it’s ideal for quickly getting out the traffic jams that often build up around the city.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 2 hours 14 mins / 125 miles
If it’s too wet above ground, why not head underground? The natural cave system in the stunning surroundings of the Forest of Dean has been mined for more than 4,500 years, as long as humans have mined iron ore. A visit to the caves will allow you to relive life under the ground, as you listen to the miners’ stories and make your way through nine different caverns in a picturesque setting.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 1 hour 40 mins / 73.7 miles
Follow the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione at Gloucester Cathedral, whose cloisters also doubled as Hogwarts’ corridors in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets and the Half-Blood Prince.
One of its best secrets is the Whispering Gallery, a space that enables you to hear a whisper from the opposite side of the gallery. Watch out not to reveal any guarded secrets - they’re sure to be overheard!
Driving distance from Birmingham: 1 hour 16 mins / 52.7 miles
Experience the incredible ceramic heritage of the Potteries at this destination just an hour’s drive up the M6 from Birmingham. The craftsmanship of Josiah Wedgwood has come to represent all that is great about British pottery, and a day exploring the factory, shop, tea room and museum is the ultimate cure for a rainy day.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 1 hour 40 mins / 40.6 miles
Get lost in the UK’s largest tropical butterfly attraction, and admire some of nature’s most beautiful winged creatures. Hundreds of free-flying butterflies will dance about as you wander through waterfalls and exotic flora. Oh, we forgot to mention that it’s entirely indoors.
For budding naturalists, this is an excellent way to get up close and personal with insectalia. You’ll be able to learn about their lifecycle: how they’re born as a caterpillar, wrap into a chrysalis and hatch into butterflies.
Driving distance from Birmingham: 47 mins / 36.7 miles