When you talk about activity days in the Midlands everyone automatically thinks of a day at Alton Towers, and there’s no doubt that the most famous of all Britain’s theme parks is a great place to visit. However, there are some hidden gems lurking in the countryside outside Birmingham that shouldn’t be missed.
I say outside Birmingham because of the great number of quality hotels in Birmingham. Usually people assume that city centre hotels are expensive, but thanks to websites like Millennium Hotels you can get some amazing deals, making a city break both affordable and a great way to get away from it all for a couple of days.
Garlands Leisure Company is almost exactly halfway between Birmingham and Leicester and offers every type of outdoor activity that you can think of. It’s ideal for kids, or for adults, and even hen and stag dos, so regardless of who you’re having your city break with (or even if you live in the region and just fancy something a bit different) it’s a great place to visit.
The range of activities is really quite remarkable, so there’s traditional favourites like go-karting (endless fun, but be careful driving a real car afterwards because everything is pretty different) and quad bike racing. There is also, however, tank driving (you really do get to drive over cars) and even blindfold driving! It says a lot about the nerves of the guys who run the place that they don’t mind blindfolding a complete stranger and sitting next to them in a 4x4.
For those who fancy a little less petrol and a little more old-fashioned fun, you can try out archery or even crossbow shooting. Of course there’s also the range of air guns, or you can try laser tag or paintballing.
Or, if you fancy something even more rural than that, you can get involved in sheepdog handling (it’s unbelievably complicated) or falconry (less complicated, more scary).
Garlands is a great place to visit, not only because of the range of stuff available, but also because so many of the things you can do you can’t do anywhere else within 200 miles… how often do you get to drive a tank in the morning and then fire a crossbow in the afternoon? It’s the perfect day out, and something completely different if you’re having a weekend away.