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Cultural Heartland 

The West Midlands has one of the youngest and diverse cultures in the UK. The region has produced leading figures in the world of literature, music and the performing arts, such as Shakespeare and Black Sabbath to name a few. 2017 marked the 80th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. 

To celebrate the region’s cultural success, the world will watch as Coventry takes centre stage as the UK City of Culture in 2021, hosting a year of cultural celebrations. 

Heritage 


At the heart of England, the West Midlands has an incredible heritage with castles, country houses and a window into the industrial past through the region’s intricate canal network. There are so many stories to be told from kingmakers at Warwick Castle, the conspirators in the gun powder plot and revolutionising the motor industry. Heritage attractions have seen the biggest growth in visitor numbers in 2017, increasing 11.9% from the previous year. 

Most recently the region’s heritage has been played out on an international stage through the infamous BBC Peaky Blinders drama series, set out in the 1920s. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of the Shelby’s at the Black Country Living Museum – the official home of Peaky Blinders. 

Great place to visit


From shopping and festivals, to sport and outdoor spaces, the West Midlands offers something for everyone, with some 2.2 million international visitors experiencing it for themselves in 2016. Birmingham itself welcomed 41.8 million visitors in 2017, a 6.9% increase from 2016 and generating £7.1 billion worth of economic benefit. 

Whether visitors are looking for a weekend of luxury, dining at one of the region’s 5 Michelin-starred restaurants whilst taking a shopping spree amongst the top department stores in the city, or a weekend of family fun experiencing one of the great festivals that runs each weekend across the region that celebrate food, arts & culture, heritage and sport. 

Thousands of visitors will experience first-hand all that the city and region has to offer when Birmingham hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2022. A veteran destination to hosting major sports events like the World Indoor Athletics Championships and ICC Champions Trophy to name a few. 

Unique attractions


The West Midlands is home to world-class museums and top UK attractions. Many steeped in rich history and heritage like Warwick Castle and Dudley limestone caverns, as well as attractions for thrill-seeking adventurers at Drayton Manor – one of England’s most popular theme parks. With free and paid-for attractions, come rain or shine there’s experiences for all to enjoy.  In 2017, the number of visitors to family attractions and galleries has risen by 2.5% and 3.4% compared to 2016. 

One of the region’s most unique attractions is our English Waterways. Spanning across the whole of the Midlands, the region’s canals offer visitors a unique experience whether on or off the water, with some amazing attractions to explore along the way. 

Business destination 


Birmingham has been ranked as one of the most popular regional city for meetings, conferences and events. This is no surprise, given the top-class facilities and wide range of accommodation on offer throughout the West Midlands, including the renowned National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Resorts World and Ricoh Arena. With around 60,000 beds available, you can find everything from international brands to individual properties, as well as excellent connectivity and transport networks, make the West Midlands one of the most accessible regions in the UK. 

 

Coventry

Coventry Cathedral in one of the UK's most famous WWII sites and attracts thousands of visitors each year

Wolverhampton

Home to a world-class racecourse, one of the busiest in the UK

Dudley

Dudley’s limestone caverns let you discover 420 million years of history

Stratford upon Avon

Shakespeare’s Birthplace attracts millions of visitors from across the world every year, delving  heritage of the famous English playwright

Solihull

Visitors can get behind the wheel of the latest Land Rovers at the factory and experience centre in Solihull

Walsall

The New Art Gallery in Walsall houses work by William Blake, Van Gogh and Monet

Shropshire

Shropshire offers thrilling experiences for those outdoor adventurers, from the Iron Bridge gorge, the world first cast iron bridge

Birmingham

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world, as well as the fascinating story of the Staffordshire Hoard

The Black Country

The region has one of the UK's most popular living museum attractions - Black Country Living Museum

Sitting at the heart of the country, the West Midlands is one of the most well-connected regions in the UK. 

By air

Birmingham Airport is the international gateway to England’s Heartland, with 50 airlines flying to over 150 destinations worldwide, welcoming 5.3 overseas inbound passengers in 2017. As one of the most well connected airports, it’s the only destination that offers a direct main-line rail connection right into the city centre. 
 

By rail

The West Midlands is home to one of the biggest, most-integrated rail networks outside of the capital. Be it for business or pleasure, you're better connected than ever, whether you're travelling in the West Midlands or from beyond. Birmingham city centre has three main-line rail stations, providing fast and frequent connections to local and national destinations with West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway and Virgin Trains.  

By road

It’s certainly an easy place to drive to no matter where you’re coming from. Set at the heart of the UK motorway network, Birmingham and the surrounding region is linked by the M5, M6, M40 and M42, while the A34 and A38 further add to your options and the M1 is less than 30 minutes away connecting you to the north and south of the UK.


 

The region is well served by public transport with local rail travel, an expanding Metro network and high frequency bus routes (and not forgetting the canals). Swift cards offer an easy and flexible way to travel around the region.

The West Midlands Growth Company helps our region make its mark, nationally and internationally.

We work together to attract investment, jobs, businesses and visitors to the West Midlands. We form strong partnerships with the Midlands Engine and the national tourism board, VisitBritain and VisitEngland, to unlock growth for tourism in the region.

Find out more about what we do, including our work on the visitor economy. The below websites are for the WMCA consituent members, click here to read more about the WMCA.