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Best Day Trips From Birmingham For Families

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Looking for the best day trips from Birmingham by train, car and coach?

Being a Birmingham local born and raised near the city means I know first-hand how this vibrant metropolitan area in the West Midlands has so much to offer families looking for great day trip destinations. 

As an experienced travel blogger and now a parent myself, I have explored many of the top family-friendly attractions and activities within an hour or two drive from Birmingham.

From adventures in nature and history to interactive museums and parks to the best eateries and cafes in the region, there are fantastic options across the region that allow kids and adults alike to make memories and have fun without traveling too far from home.

Planning your trip? Use my favorite resources!

🏨 Accommodation: I recommend Booking.com
✈️ Flights: for the cheapest flights, I use Skyscanner
🚗 Rental Car: I recommend Discover Cars
🛡️ Travel Insurance: for the best deals I rely on SafetyWing

Map of the Best Day Trips from Birmingham

Here’s a map with images of each of the attractions around the West Midlands region.

a map of the west midlands region with photos of the main day trip attractions.

👉 Short on Time? Here are the Top 5 Day Trips from Birmingham for Families:

📍1: Warwick Castle

Discover over 1,100 years of history at Britain’s quintessential medieval castle with waxworks, activities, and spectacular grounds. Book your tickets HERE

📍2: Alton Towers Theme Park

Ride thrilling rollercoasters at Britain’s #1 park like Nemesis, The Smiler and TH13TEEN, or enjoy family favorites like the log flume and carousel at this popular amusement park. Book your tickets HERE (with 33% Discount)

📍3: Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Wander the 16th-Century Tudor village of Stratford-upon-Avon and step into the home of Shakespeare, his old school, his mother Mary Arden’s house, his wife Anne Hathaway’s house, and much more. Book your tickets HERE

West Midlands Essentials Checklist:

✅ An excellent pair of walking shoes (for lots of walking)
✅ A hoodie or warm sweater (for chilly evenings especially in winter)
✅ A decent raincoat (it rains a lot here)
✅ A good quality compact camera (for taking great pics)

Birmingham: Best Day Trips with Family in 2024

Ultimate guide to all the best day trips from Birmingham for families by train, car and coach, suitable for kids, couples, young and old alike.

1. Warwick Castle, Warwick

One of my personal favorite picks is Warwick Castle, located under an hour’s drive from Birmingham in the historic town of Warwick. 

warwick castle in front of the river avon, england

Warwick Castle brings history alive through daily jousting tournaments, battle scene recreations and wax sculpture displays capturing key moments from its 1,100 year past. 

Towering on a sandstone cliff above the River Avon, this remarkably well-preserved medieval stronghold lets visitors witness archers firing arrows from ramparts, kings & queens wandering ancient halls and ride by Dragon Slayer boat underneath the iconic portcullis. 

With an extensive green where families picnic beside cascading fountains, adventure playground, rose garden and peacock roaming lush grounds, it enthralls kids for hours while stunning parents with its grandeur and magic.

Warwick Castle is considered one of the hottest attractions in the West Midlands, so be sure to book your tickets in advance and at a discounted price using the link below.

Address: Warwick Castle, Warwick CV34 4QU
Opening Times: Daily from 10am
Admission Price: From £24.99. Book your tickets HERE
Getting There: 50 minute direct train from Birmingham New Street or a 40 minute drive

👉 Insider Tip: On Sundays, Warwick Castle has special ‘Time Tower’ shows bringing different historical eras to life in fun interactive ways for families.

2. Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Home to some of the UK’s biggest and best rollercoasters, Alton Towers is a thrilling day out for the whole family.

Air rollercoaster going over a steep bend at Alton Towers theme park, UK

At Alton Towers, my thrill-seekers get their adrenaline pumping on record-breaking rollercoasters like the mind-boggling Smiler coaster with 14 loop inversions. But little ones just as eagerly line up for gentler rides like the vintage carousel, Noddy train and Octonauts rollercoaster made especially for tiny tots. 

With shows, waterplay areas and 9 themed lands – including CBebbies Land and magical forests – over 100 family rides and attractions means every age finds delight at this theme park.

Alton Towers ranks number 1 of the UK’s best theme parks, so make sure you book tickets well in advance, and get 33% off when you book with the following link:

Address: Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB
Opening Times: Open daily from 10am, closing times vary
Admission Price: From £34 per person, get discounts when you book your tickets online HERE.
Getting There: 50 minute drive from Birmingham

You can also read my guide on how to get to Alton Towers from Birmingham here:

3. Twycross Zoo, Atherstone

For close encounters with some of the world’s most awe-inspiring yet vulnerable creatures, Twycross Zoo’s conservation efforts span four decades. 

Oumbie the western lowland gorilla sitting and relaxing at Twycross zoo

Walking trails transport families from snow leopard mountain habitats to wetlands filled with playful penguins, exploring equatorial environments under canopy domes as endangered primates like the chuckling gibbons swing through treetops. 

Special events like hands-on Animal Antics Days let kids get up close with snakes, frogs and bugs for memorable days bonding over bushbabies and lemurs.

Better still, Twycross Zoo ranks among the 20 Top Zoos and Safari Parks in the UK.

Address: Burton Road, Alrewas, Atherstone CV9 3PX
Opening Times: Open daily from 10am
Admission Price: From £21 per person
Getting There: 1 hour drive from Birmingham

4. Kinver Edge Rock Houses, Staffordshire

This dramatic red sandstone ridge offers panoramic views over Staffordshire’s lush countryside from the mile-long clifftop walk. 

an ancient house built into the red rocks of kinver edge

Kids will adore scrambling over the rock formations which have a mysterious history – from the 17th century, local families lived in the network of caves beneath to avoid paying taxes! 

Let imaginative young minds wonder what life was like living under the earth as you explore the cavern homes and winding woodland trails.

Address: Kinver Edge, off the A458, Kinver, DY7 6HJ
Opening Times: Open daily, dawn until dusk. The Garden and tea room and Rock Houses are only open on Sat–Sun from 11am–3pm.
Admission Price: £6.50; Children – £3.25; Family – £16.25; and Family (1 Adult) – £9.75.
Getting There: 30 minute drive from Birmingham

👉 Pro Tip: Kids 5 and under go free on heritage railways like Severn Valley making steam trains an affordable family adventure. Make sure to wave out the window for the full experience!

5. Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Step into William Shakespeare’s world wandering the picture-postcard Tudor streets that inspired his finest works.

view of an old church across the road with tudor houses on the side in stratford upon avon, england

Tour his impressive 16th-century childhood home and the cottage of his wife Anne Hathaway, imagining the village life that shaped the legendary playwright before seeing a performance at the stunning Royal Shakespeare Theatre. 

Away from the homages, families love punt tours drifting down the River Avon, picnicking in the riverside gardens while feeding swans and ducks, and browsing the boutique toy shops and cafes dotted through this historic town.

👉 You can book a Shakespeare’s England 3-Day Explorer Pass that gives you entry to 9 top attractions including Kenilworth Castle.

One of the highlights of Stratford for kids – and a personal favorite of mine – is the Butterfly Farm, an absolute must for families. Here, kids lose themselves in awe and excitement in the warm, tropical jungle environment packed with the most beautiful and colorful butterflies of all shapes and sizes, fluttering about, resting on leaves and sipping from freshly cut oranges.

Address: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37
Opening Times: Attractions open daily
Admission Price: Free to walk around, individual attraction prices apply
Getting There: 45 minute direct train or 1 hour drive from Birmingham

👉 Stratford-upon-Avon day trips & excursions

Use the widget below to book the most popular tours in Shakespeare’s birthplace:

👉 Read more: Funny & Famous Quotes about England

6. Cannock Chase, Staffordshire

Covering 26 square miles, Cannock Chase Forest is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with wild deer, birds of prey, and vibrant purple heather moorlands waiting to be discovered on scenic hiking trails. 

Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England

Families enjoy navigating their way through vast pine forests to find the Gruffalo sculptures hidden along a storybook trail.

Be sure to stop at one of the pretty streams and ponds to spot dragonflies, roll down grassy hills and refuel with a hearty picnic before tired little legs trek back.

One of my fave activities here is the Go Ape Outdoor Adventure park – perfect for older kids, there’s thrilling zip-wire rides and climbing walls amongst other exciting stuff.

Address: Cannock Chase, Staffordshire
Opening Times: Open daily
Admission Price: Free entry
Getting There: 30 minute drive from Birmingham

7. Malvern Hills, Worcestershire

For picture-perfect views across three counties, ramble up the floral pathways crisscrossing the majestic Malvern Hills.

view of lush grass fields with a road going through leading to forest and hills in the distance.

At the peak, young explorers will feel on top of the world standing at the beacon hill iron age fort and counting the cows dotting the pastures below. 

Back at ground level there’s still plenty to keep families entertained in this pretty Victorian spa town – take a ride on mini steam trains, catch a show at the kid-friendly theatre or splash around surf waves at The Splash leisure pool and aqua park nearby.

Address: Malvern Hills, Worcestershire
Opening Times: Open all year round
Admission Price: Free entry
Getting There: 50 minute direct train or 45 minute drive

8. Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire

Dubbed the “cradle of the Industrial Revolution”, walk back to 18th century England ambling Ironbridge’s cobblestone lanes by quaint cottages to its world-famous arching iron bridge. 

view from the left side of the river Severn banks of the iconic Victorian iron bridge over the Severn Gorge, with a few houses, hills and trees in the background

Glimpse pioneering Victorian inventions at the 10 insightful living history museums from traditional porcelain-making to the Coalport China works. 

For adventure seekers, Ironbridge offers some of the best paddleboarding spots in the West Midlands. You’ll be paddling on the River Severn, one of the longest and most scenic rivers in England. Consider hiring a mega raft from Shropshire Raft Tours that can sit 5 to 8 people – perfect for families!

Address: Ironbridge, Telford, TF8 7DX
Opening Times: Attractions open daily from 10am
Admission Price: Free to walk around, individual attraction prices apply
Getting There: 45 minute drive from Birmingham

👉 Insider Tip: Having wet weather back up plans kept my family smiling even with unpredictable English weather. We adored getting hands-on in indoor discovery centres at Ironbridge and nearby zoos.

9. The Peak District

Just over the border in rugged Derbyshire, outdoor adventures await traversing through valleys blanketed in purple heather, emerald forests perfect for bike rides and hills punctuated with cozy stone villages where afternoon tea is a must. 

sweeping views of mam tor landmark at the peak district in england during sunset

Descend into fascinating caverns glittering with minerals, meet the lively residents at outdoor aviary parks, or ride rollercoasters careering down quarry mountains at adventure playgrounds carved out of old industrial mines in this breathtaking national park.

Activities that are perfect for families include this amazing abseiling experience, and this exciting treasure hunt activity in the Peak District.

Address: Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
Opening Times: Open daily
Admission Price: Free entry
Getting There: 1.5 hour drive from Birmingham

👉 Read more: Top Family-Friendly Things to Do in Derby

10. The Cotswolds

Things slow down meandering through photogenic villages where cottages glow in warm honey-colored stone and sheep lazily graze verdant pastures. 

aerial views of a tall narrow castle in the middle of vast countryside at the cotswolds in england

Fuel up at bustling farmer’s markets, old timbered pubs, and artisan bakeries before rambling down woodland trails past peaceful ponds or following the River Windrush’s curving course. 

Don’t miss bleating competitions at Cotswold Farm Park run by TV’s Adam Henson and marvel over Bekonscot Model Village’s tiny world in intricate miniature – it never fails to enchant little eyes!

PS: If you get time, run wild through the vast purple fields of Cotswold Lavender – one of Britain’s best Lavender fields!

Location: The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire
Opening Times: Attractions open daily
Admission Price: Free to visit villages and countryside, admission fees apply for attractions
Getting There: 1 – 1.5 hour drive from Birmingham

👉 Book your Cotswolds tour below:

Use the widget below to choose a tour type (private, small group etc.) for the ultimate Cotswold experience:

👉 Useful advice: Look into purchasing attraction passes that bundle multiple entries over a fixed period. They can offer great savings for families maximizing days out across the region from your Birmingham base.

11. Trentham Monkey Forest, Stoke-on-Trent

One of the most popular attractions in Stoke-on-Trent, wander the trails through Trentham Monkey Forest as cheeky Barbary macaques swing through treetops, groom each other and playfully tussle over snacks. 

family of monkeys relaxing on a ledge at trentham monkey forest ins toke, england

Get up close viewing from observation platforms and along the pathways running through their woodland habitat as these remarkable tail-less primates’ curiosity leads them to approach visitors. 

When you’ve had your dose of monkey mischief, the vast gardens surrounding Trentham Estate offer 750 acres of riverside trails, secret gardens planted with flowers arranged by color, and a quaint shopping village to continue making memories.

My cheekiest monkey tale comes from Trentham. A baby monkey clambered his way onto my toddler’s stroller to try snatch snacks when we stopped to give little legs a rest. Thankfully he just got packaging while we rolled away quicker than you can say banana!

Address: Trentham Monkey Forest, Stone Road, Tittensor, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9HR
Opening Times: Daily 10am – 5pm
Admission Price: £9 Adults, £8 Children, £32 Family (2 adults, 2 children)
Getting There: 1 hour drive from Birmingham

12. Waterfall Country, Wales

Tucked within the dramatic Brecon Beacons National Park in Powys, Wales, prepare to be awe-struck voyaging through misty valleys thriving with tumbling waterfalls fed by rivers flowing through the peaks.

man sitting on a rock in front of a wide waterfall at the brecon beacons, wales

One of the most stunning cascades is Henrhyd Waterfall, plunging 90 feet (27 meters) over a rocky overhang into a magical green pool that carved out the gorge through centuries of roaring water.

Just upriver, the Triple Falls glow amber under dappled sunlight as the River Mellte splits and drops 30 meters in three parallel veils.

Further south, the River Mellte surges down steps of boulders forming 30-foot (9 meter) Sgwd Clun-gwyn waterfall, memorizing visitors gathered on the viewing platform gazing through rainbow mist.

Pack a picnic blanket while watching salmon defy gravity as they leap up the sloping waterways.

When you’ve had your fill of nature’s hydraulic majesty, there’s still zip wires, underground caverns and canal walks with hand-operated locks to captivate young adventurers in the national park.

For those who want a guided tour of eight amazing waterfalls, you can book this top-rated tour here, which comes with lunch, boots and transport.

Location: Waterfall Country, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Opening Times: Open daily
Admission Price: Free entry. Book a guided tour of 8 waterfalls HERE
Getting There: 2 hour drive from Birmingham

👉 Related: Top Things to See and Do in Cardiff

🚅 Best Day Trips From Birmingham For Families By Train

Many of the top family-friendly days out from Birmingham are accessible by direct train. 

Here are your best options to visit by train instead of car, due to faster travel time and convenient access via train stations:

➤ Warwick Castle – 50 mins direct
➤ Stratford-upon-Avon – 45 mins direct
➤ Malvern Hills – 50 mins direct
➤ Ironbridge Gorge – 45 mins with one change

The train is a great option that allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery en-route – something the kids will love! Plus, you avoid the parking and traffic headaches at busy tourist spots.

🚗 Best Day Trips From Birmingham For Families By Car

The following places are better suited for visiting by car due to convenience, quicker duration, and parking facilities:

➤ Alton Towers – 50 mins
➤ Twycross Zoo – 1 hr
➤ Kinver Edge – 30 mins
➤ Cannock Chase – 30 mins
➤ Peak District – 1.5 hrs
➤ The Cotswolds – 1-1.5 hrs
➤ Trentham Monkey Forest – 1 hr
➤ Waterfall Country – 2 hrs

✈️ Best Day Trips From Birmingham For Families To Other Countries

If you fancy venturing further afield, Birmingham Airport has lots of short-haul flights to family holiday favorites.

Here are some top picks:

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 1hr flight

Families can float past pretty bridges and gabled houses on canal cruises along the picturesque waterways threading through the city. 

view of a calm canal lined with tall pretty buildings on both sides in amsterdam, netherlands

Meander through Vondelpark’s lush sculpture gardens and unique Dutch playgrounds. Spark curious minds at NEMO’s captivating science museum with over 400 hands-on exhibits to fascinate all ages. 

Find reprieve from the bustle at Begijnhof’s hidden 14th century courtyard oasis. For quirky interactive fun, get tiny exploring human cells and microbes at Micropia museum or work together to find your way out of one of many family-friendly escape rooms.

Paris, France – 1hr flight

Ride up the Eiffel Tower to soak in iconic views from the top and enjoy picnics with the kids on the grassy Champs de Mars park at its base. Cruise along the famed Seine River to take in Paris’ sights from a boat. 

wide view of the eiffel tower glowing in the late afternoon sun in paris, france

Let kids play to their heart’s content at Luxembourg Gardens’ vast play area with puppet shows. Get interactive with trails and workshops while discovering the treasures inside the magnificent Louvre museum. Or join a bike tour to see the Parisian sights at a child’s pace.

Barcelona, Spain – 2hr flight

Stroll down lively La Rambla boulevard where street performers and living statutes entertain families as they explore. Discover architectural dreamscapes and whimsical mosaics designing the sprawling Park Guell. 

the sagrada familia in barcelona,in the background with trees and bushes paritlaly concealing in at the forefront

Panoramic views and vintage rides await at Tibidabo Amusement Park high in the hills above the city. Get up close to sharks, rays and mesmerising marine life at Barcelona Aquarium. Or climb aboard historic ships at the city’s Maritime Museum.

Dublin, Ireland – 1hr flight

Explore the medieval towers and fairy tale magic of Dublin Castle. Discover myths and legends from Irish folklore at the National Leprechaun Museum. 

corner of a street in dublin showing a bright yellow building with lots of flags of various countries hanging from it

Safari through Dublin Zoo on a train to feed friendly giraffes and more. Design your own custom chocolates on a tour of Butlers Chocolate Experience. 

Wander the ornamental gardens and farmyard at Farmleigh House and Estate. Take the kids on an historic interactive tour of Kilmainham Gaol prison.

Within a couple of hours flight time you could be exploring a new culture, language and cuisine. An overseas day trip makes for an easy city break before the little ones get worn out from sightseeing.

Renting A Car In Birmingham For Day Trips

If you don’t have your own car, renting a vehicle for the day or weekend is a flexible way to explore the surrounding areas on a family day trip. Here are some tips:

➡️ Book in advance for the best deals and availability of family-sized vehicles. Weekends tend to get booked up.

➡️ Consider renting a minibus or people carrier style car if you have a larger family group. These often have sliding doors and lots of luggage room.

➡️ Read reviews and compare prices across rental companies like Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Sixt, and local providers. An independent local company may offer better rates.

➡️ If using a car seat, request this at booking and double check it will be provided or if you need to bring your own.

➡️ Ask about inclusions like unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver, theft protection and roadside assistance. This can influence price.

➡️ Try to pick up and drop off from the same location to avoid extra fees. Birmingham city centre branches can be easiest.

➡️ Allow extra time at pickup for paperwork, inspections and fitting child seats. Have credit card and driver’s licenses ready.

Travel Tips For Day Trips From Birmingham

To make your days out stress-free and fun for all ages, here are my top Birmingham day trip tips:

☑️ Pack drinks, snacks, rain jackets – be prepared for changeable weather
☑️ Bring a pushchair for little legs – many sites have trails between attractions
☑️ Arrive early, attractions get busier at midday
☑️ Mix high energy activities with relaxing spots to recharge
☑️ Consider discounted entry passes if doing several attractions
☑️ Book theater shows or event tickets beforehand
☑️ Travel midweek when possible – weekends get crowded
☑️ Make the journey part of the adventure – kids love trains!
☑️ Capture moments on camera – so much to inspire great pics
☑️ Stop at farm shops and cafes in country villages
☑️ Have a backup indoor option if weather deteriorates

🏨 Where to Stay in Birmingham?

Below are my top recommendations on where to stay in Birmingham:

📍$ Budget option: Wray and Whyte House (double & twin room, family-friendly) – Fabulous 8.6

📍$$$ Luxury option: The Class Place (Apartment with Terrace) – Good 7.9

Day Trips from Birmingham with Kids: FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about taking day trips from Birmingham:

Where can I go an hour away from Birmingham?

Some top places within an hour’s drive or train ride from Birmingham include Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Ironbridge Gorge, Malvern Hills, and Cannock Chase. An hour will allow you to explore the beautiful countryside and attractions of surrounding counties.

What towns are 2 hours away from Birmingham?

Destinations around a 2 hour drive from Birmingham include Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, and rural towns throughout the Peak District National Park.
Further afield you have options like Bristol, Cardiff, Snowdonia National Park in Wales, and many beautiful Cotswolds towns and villages.

What is there to do in Birmingham with toddlers?

Great activities in Birmingham for toddlers include Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum with hands-on galleries, shopping and dining at the Bullring, Sealife Centre and Legoland Discovery Centre, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, playgrounds at Cannon Hill Park, and shows at Birmingham Children’s Theatre.

What is the nearest beach to Birmingham?

The closest seaside resorts are Weston-Super-Mare (2 hrs) and Blackpool (2.5 hrs) to the northwest. South you have resort towns like Bournemouth (3 hrs) and Brighton (3.5 hrs) as options for beach day trips.

What are the best family friendly restaurants in Birmingham?

Top family restaurants in Birmingham include Gusto for Italian cuisine in a cosy setting, Anderson’s City Bar & Steakhouse for steaks and seafood, Zizzi for affordable Italian, and Bistro 1847 offering British classics. The Big Bulls Head has a fun pub atmosphere.

Is Birmingham worth visiting?

Yes! Alongside great museums, attractions, theatre and shopping, Birmingham has lots of green spaces, pretty canals and is surrounded by beautiful English countryside. Its central location makes it a great base for exploring the region.

How many days do you need in Birmingham?

2 full days is ideal to see highlights like the museums, Cadbury World, Botanical Gardens as well as dining out and shopping. With 3-4 days you could add some side trips to places like Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle. Birmingham also makes a great weekend break.

Conclusion: Best Day Trips From Birmingham For Families

With my local’s insight, I hope I’ve convinced you Birmingham makes an amazing base to uncover the region’s captivating castles, family attractions and unspoilt natural wonders waiting within easy reach. 

Traveling with children opens up a whole new world of awe and wonder when their imagination lets them step into wild worlds filled with mischievous monkeys, transport into bygone eras of knights and steam trains, or roam Tolkien-esque forests inspired by the Gruffalo’s tales.

The convenience of quick getaways allows you to cram memorable mini-adventures with cozy Cotswold wool shops and monkey playfulness into busy family schedules without marathon road trips. 

Thank you for reading!

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