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.
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.
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.
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.