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Outings - Days Out & Holidays...

 

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Midlands:

I need up-to-date information! Please let me know of any free or good value outings you find...

In the meantime, here's the list so far...

  •     From Dee Greenwood: "Wicksteed Park - it's a really good day out. You have the option of going to the free bit only (just paying for parking) or buying tickets as opposed to wrist bands which you can use on subsequent visits if you have any left over."

  •     Sahbia Ensor has sent in these ideas:- "Selly Manor Museum is a great grade 2 listed building & admission charges are very reasonable - admission charges are reasonable; Adults £2, Concessions £1.50, Children 50p, Family Ticket (2A,3C) £4.50. It's situated on the village green so it is hard to miss. Also on the 'Green' is an old Quaker church. As you may know, the Cadburys (as in chocolate) were Quakers, so the entire area is almost untouched as it was when the Cadbury Family built it. Cadbury World is literally around the corner from the village green, unfortuately there is an entrance fee. Although I haven't visited there myself.....family and friends have said that it's worth seeing."
    Editor's note: according to their website, prebooking is essential and can be done online or by phone.
    However, Nathalie Soanes comments "...it is not a full days outing. Ok you get a lot of free chocolate but you do not go round the real factory and see only an area set up for visitors."

  •     Sahbia Ensor again: "The mac (Midlands Art Centre) is about two miles away, going towards the city centre. It sits on the edge of Cannon Hill Park and has great exhabitions and a cinema( at a fraction of the price of local cinemas). Most of the activities there are free but must be checked out first. They have a website that tells you all about the events that take place."

  •     Nathalie Soanes: "West Midland Safari park is wonderful value - its about 6.95 per person - child or adult and with that you get a return visit during the same season. You need to steer the kids away from the rides in the main park but if you do the safari twice and see the hippos, go on the deer walk, and the sealions and reptile house you can fill a whole day easily."

  •     Jo Poole: "Sandwell Valley Park Farm in West Bromwich, which is part of the West Midlands, has a selection of animals, a picnic area and a cafe that does fantastic cheap meals. To get into the farm most days it is free; I think they charge about 50p at the weekend. Carparking is free; you can feed the birds in the lake, take a walk round Sandwell Valley itself, and there's crazy golf and also a fun park for the children with slides and swings in the summer. They also sometimes put water in the paddling pool."

  •     Rachael Hodgetts recommends Blenheim Palace (Woodstock, Oxfordshire)."Admission to the spectacular parkland is only £10 for a car load of people, so is relatively good value for larger families. You can take in the incredible views, enjoy walks around the parkland and lakes, and enjoy all the attractions of the Pleasure Gardens Complex at no additional charge – including the Marlborough Maze, Adventure Playground, Putting Greens, Butterfly House (also contains birfds and turtles), Model Village, Giant Chess & Draughts, Herb and Rose Gardens. Best of all for younger families there’s a really lenghty train ride on the Sir Winston Churchill, which takes visitors through the parkland from the Pleasure Gardens Complex up to the Palace."

  •     As recommended by Catherine Williams... The Cotworld water park near Cirencester is a complex of lakes created from gravel workings. Part of it is the Keynes country park.It has a lake with a beach where one can swim. An area of the lake is roped off and there are life guards in the summer. There is gravel rather than sand but the swimming was safe and not as cold as the sea. The only expense was a small charge for parking. There were cafes but also picnic benches and barbecue areas. There were also rowing boats and canoes for hire although these were rather expensive for everyone.

  •     Karen Malpas has found Cannock Chase Visitor Centre is nice for a couple of hours out; "it offers essentials such as loos and a small coffee shop which also sells gifts as well as a play area set in the Chase. Combine this with a woodland walk, a picnic, or a pub lunch and you have a lovely summer's day."

  •     Maxine Jenkins has sent these ideas:"Market Bosworth water trust, two lakes suitable for sailing canoeing etc., small roped off area for swimming and paddling. Boat hire, wind surfing, lessons, crazy golf available at a cost. Large sandpits and play area. Cafeteria/wine bar although picnics and barbecues work best. £2.00 entry per car."

  •     "Also the National Forestry Visitor Centre, Rosliston, nr Burton on Trent. Car park 50p, play area, funfit trail, family orientated walks i.e. teddy bear trail, craft barns, cafe and an indoor play area (small charge) make this a great day out."

  •     "Telford town centre park. Pay to park. Excellent play areas with different themes i.e. adventure play area, toddler play area, climbing frame area, altogether 6 or 7 different play areas catering for all ages and Teddy's Train rides (small charge)"

  •     "Wonderland, Telford; suited for the under 8's, nursery-rhyme themed woodland trail."

  •     Jo recommends the R.A.F. Cosford Air Museum, Cosford, Telford. "Free admission, free parking, picnic areas, café, lots of science exhibits for the kids to experiment with and they can also go in some of the planes. Kids enjoyed it, so did the adults!"

  •     Wendy Hickson comments on the Ironbridge Museum: "the Ironbrige Museum's ticket is for a family with up to 5 children. It's £32.50 or £40 if you include a new hands on exhibit opening later this year. It lasts for ever; we spent 2 full days there and have enough left for another days worth sometime and that was on the £32.50 ticket. They only warning is that the tile museum and Coalport pottery had lovely activities to do as extras but they were £6 + postage each. Good value for what they were but x ? add up . Mine painted tiles; I guided them into sea themes and I chose the background colour, hopefully they will be used in the soon-to-be decorated bathroom - so very cheap designer tiles! It took them an hour and a half to make.I had to turn down the mugs at Coalport but they did have a go at making china roses for free and could paint a paper plate for free or pay 30 pence for a dry china flower to paint."

  •      Jan Hough:- "We found a great family outing - Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington, Nottingham. Super lake, skate-board ramps and a large adventure playground. This park kept our 2-10's happy and will do so for a few years yet. Best of all its free!!" Jan advises taking jackets whatever the weather as it attracts breezes.

  •     From Lisa Kirby: "Nene Valley in Peterborough, Cambs is a great, inexpensive day out venue. It has free (weekday) and cheap (weekend) parking and has three excellent play areas, pony rides, a boating lake, tea shop, small railway, safe cycling, long walks, woods - the whole works! It can be a "£10" day or a completely free day, depending on your mood. Another nice afternoon out is the Sculpture Park at Burghley House, Stamford, Lincs. Lots of space, safe, child-friendly, interesting for all ages and completely free. No ice-creams though, so take a picnic."

    Check out these sites for more advice :-

    Solihull Online - informative & useful...

    Birmingham for Kids -- includes a search engine that allows you to specify price brackets!

 

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© Copyright: Angela Corbet, 2001.