Whether you want to amble around outside, escape the bad weather indoors or enjoy a family day out with great children’s activities, Solihull has it all. We’ve gathered together our pick of some of the most popular things to do in town. You’ll see that often a little bit of travelling might be required but we believe that it’s worth making the trip to enjoy some of the best of what the Midlands has to offer.
Activities in Solihull
It doesn’t matter if you’re Bubba Watson or you can’t tell a sand wedge from a sandwich, there’s something for all skill sets at Four Ashes Golf Centre. There’s an 18-hole adventure golf course for the whole family, with impressive water features and hazards. If you’re a beginner and you need a bit of help mastering your swing, they’ve also got a great teaching academy with some of the latest technology, including video studios where cameras will capture your swing so that the on-site professional instructors can give you some tips on how to improve. With golf, it’s absolutely a case of practice makes perfect, so there’s also a 28-bay floodlit driving range with automatic tees and laser-measured distance targets.
The horticulturalists among you will enjoy a visit to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. It’s half an hour drive from our Solihull Town Centre hotel, but it’s worth making the journey. The hall itself is a Jacobean mansion that fell into decline but has been restored and reopened as a hotel. Covering ten acres, the popular baroque gardens are open to the public and are a fine example of formal English garden design. There’s a holly maze that’s a replica of the one found at Hampton Court Palace. The kitchen and fruit gardens are delightful as well, having been designed based on Batty Langley’s influential book ‘New Principles of Gardening’.
There’s more to our next recommendation than meets the eye. If you don’t know anything about Baddesley Clinton, first impressions of the medieval, moated manor house are that it’s just a beautiful hidden gem of the English countryside. But there’s so much more to it than that. Delve into its history and you’ll discover that it’s been an artists’ retreat, a refuge for persecuted Catholic priests and was the home of the Ferrers family for over 500 years. It’s an interesting place to visit – less than five miles from our Solihull (Hockley Heath, M42) hotel – and looks particularly stunning when the sun is shining.
If you’re just looking for a leisurely walk in the countryside, then make your way to the nearby Clowes Wood Nature Reserve. It’s an ancient woodland managed by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Incredibly, the woods here have survived since the ice age. The area plays host to a great diversity of animal and plant life, including bluebells and badgers. Meanwhile, Earlswood Lakes is actually a trio of reservoirs. It’s a great place to enjoy the outdoor life, particularly if you’re into bird watching. Depending on the time of year, and whether you’re lucky or not, you could see a great crested grebe or even a lesser spotted woodpecker.
If walks, country manors and walled gardens aren’t your style, we’ll end our list of outdoor activities in Solihull with one that’ll get the blood pumping. Delta Force Paintball is the biggest paintball centre in the Midlands and is just a few minutes’ drive from our Solihull South (M42) hotel. Spanning a whopping 64 acres with six game zones and with a slew of props, including a Soviet Union tank, double-decker bus and giant stone pyramids, it’s a lot of fun. They stock the latest equipment and the friendly staff will look after you. With an entire day’s paintballing starting from around £10, it can be an affordable day out if – and it’s a big if – you’re economical with your paintballs. The truth is that it’s difficult not to get carried away with your trigger finger and that’s when the price starts to add up a bit, as you have to pay for additional ammo.
One of the easiest ways to fill your time when the weather's bad is to go to the cinema at Touchwood. It barely takes any effort, it’s relatively cheap and there always tends to be a film on that takes your fancy.
Climbing has become a bit of a craze in recent years. We can understand why – it’s fun, it’s a great way to stay fit and now that there’s a range of indoor climbing centres to choose from, so it doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing. Creation Climbing Centre on Moseley Road is our recommended choice if you want to give it a go. It’s the Midlands’ biggest dedicated indoor climbing centre, with a 6,000-square-foot bouldering area and hundreds of routes for you to try your hand at. There’s something for all skill sets, plus the instructors are very knowledgeable and super friendly, so you should always feel safe.
If you’re interested in ice skating, you’ll find the town’s local rink at Planet Ice Solihull. It’s a little bit dated but the most important thing is the ice, isn’t it? They do skating lessons and also have penguin aids that help children stay on their feet. Prices are reasonable and it’s just a ten-minute drive from our Solihull Town Centre hotel.
One last place that’s worth a mention is Resorts World Arena as it’s part of the NEC complex. It has its own shopping mall which is home to outlets like Levis, New Balance, Gap and Kurt Geiger. It has over 18 restaurants and bars, including a 24-hour sports bar and The Sky Bar on the top floor. With an 11-screen state-of-the-art Cineworld and a virtual-reality gaming centre, it’s also home to the largest casino in the UK. Open 24 hours a day, the Genting International Casino has tables for roulette, blackjack, three-card poker and baccarat, plus floors filled with slot machines, VIP rooms and their ‘learn-to-play’ sessions for if you’re just getting started.