Take your pick from the top days out in Kidderminster. Whether it’s a date with the lions at the West Midlands Safari Park, a walk through the bird-filled ancient woods of Wyre Forest, a trip back in time on one of the nation’s very best heritage railways, or simply a visit to the local Kidderminster cinema.
Activities in Kidderminster
West Midlands Safari Park
Take a walk – or rather, a drive – on the wild side and pay a visit to the West Midlands Safari Park. It’s one of the top wildlife parks in the country and home to more than 150 different species of exotic animals. Along the four-mile safari, you’ll drive through the ‘African Plains’ to see rhino, buffalo, ostrich and antelope, then ‘Wild Asia’ for blackbuck, spotted deer, and barasingha. Then things get a little scarier in the carnivore enclosure, home to cheetahs, lions, and a pack of African painted dogs, all before the last stop on the safari, ‘Elephant Valley’.
West Midlands Safari Park also has its own amusement parks and informative attractions, including the hugely popular ‘Land of the Living Dinosaurs’ which takes you 70 million years back in time with its collection of robotic dinosaurs and fascinating exhibits. There’s also an Ice Age attraction, and you can feed goats and wave at the meerkats at the African Village.
West Midlands Safari Park
Severn Valley Railway
Severn Valley Railway
Speaking of taking a trip back in time, what better way to see the stunning local scenery than aboard one of the finest heritage railways in the country? The Severn Valley Railway is a 16-mile heritage train route which runs between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, soaking up some marvellous views of the Severn Valley along the way.
The Severn Valley Railway runs two round-trips per day for most of the year, with trains hauled by some stunningly maintained steam locomotives. For any train enthusiasts, the opportunity to ride this famous route really isn’t to be missed. Take a look and check if the railway is running during your stay before making your way to the beautiful Kidderminster Town railway station, next to the National Rail station.
Kidderminster sits at the very heart of the Wyre Forest district of Worcestershire, which is home to the Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve, one of the largest surviving ancient woodlands in Britain.
These huge swathes of woodland were once the royal hunting forests of the British monarchy. They were abundant in deer and other game species, but it was forbidden to hunt in them, with the area saved for the monarch and invited members of the aristocracy. Those days have now passed, and you may be pleased to hear that hunting at Wyre Forest is now considered illegal.
Wyre Forest still stands as a bastion of nature, spanning more than 25 square kilometres of woodland habitat, and the wildlife you can see here is incredible. Birdlife includes hawfinches, wood warblers, long-eared owls and crossbills. On top of that, there are snakes, myriad insects, moths, butterflies, and much, much more. While in terms of activities, you can walk, cycle or even go horse riding. Plus, you can Go Ape, and swing through the trees at the popular chain of outdoor adventure parks.
If you’re planning a visit to Wyre Park, we recommend making the 15-minute drive from our Kidderminster hotel to the Wyre Forest Centre, where you can find out everything you need to know about the national nature reserve and its many activities.
We’re not sure on the exact figures, but stately homes are roughly 100 times better when they’re surrounded by a moat. One such moated marvel is Harvington Hall. It is a lovely Elizabethan manor house with medieval roots and the largest collection of priest hides in Britain. It’s open to the public and offers a fascinating day out just a quarter of an hour away from Kidderminster. Either join a guided tour or go lone wolf with the help of an audio guide, the choice is yours. The best time of year to visit is during the summer when the sun’s shining and you can really take your time exploring Harvington Hall’s beautifully manicured gardens.
We’ve already mentioned the restaurant among our favourite places to eat in Kidderminster, but it’s time to wax lyrical about Bodenham Arboretum proper. This incredible valley is, essentially, a botanical garden dedicated to trees. Although, that doesn’t do justice to this 134-acre Eden of more than 3,000 trees, a dozen lakes and a winding network of footpaths perfect for getting good and lost for a couple of hours with nature. The laburnum tunnel, especially when it's in full bloom, is up there with the highlights of the Arboretum. We also recommend walking up to the gazebo for incredible views of the area.
A word to the wise, Bodenham Arboretum is not free, and the price of tickets changes with the seasons of the year but at roughly a few pounds for adults it's worth it for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.
Museum of Carpet
It’s extremely niche, but the Museum of Carpet is a surprisingly popular activity in Kidderminster. The museum is on Green Street in the town centre. It’s based in the Stour Vale Mill, a former carpet factory, and traces the industrial history of Kidderminster and its booming carpet trade back to the 19th and 20th century. While here exploring the only carpet museum in the country, you can have a go at weaving and watch as the museum’s team of volunteers use the museum’s historic looms to produce some hugely intricate rugs.
Of course, sometimes you simply can’t beat a trip to the cinema for killing a bit of time. If you were wondering, Kidderminster’s Reel Cinema is just down the road from The Museum of Carpet, on Green Street. You can watch all the latest blockbusters while munching your way through a mountain of popcorn.