Solihull is a town in the West Midlands, 20 minutes drive away from Birmingham city centre. According to the 2013 Quality of Life Index, the town was named as the best place to live in the UK. With a population of over 200,000 people, it is one of the most affluent towns outside of London.
Solihull is the home of extremely pleasant rural villages, fantastic hotels, an arena which hosts astounding live events, fine dining, and designer-brand shopping and is home to The National Exhibition Centre, close to the Genting Arena (formally the LG Arena, before that NEC arena, and was originally ‘Birmingham International Arena’) which was opened in 1980.
In Solihull town centre you will find major designer and retail brands, within Touchwood Shopping Centre, including Hobbs, Prada, Fabiana Filippi, Space NK, Hollister, Doice and Gabbana, Superdry, Armani, John Lewis.
The town is home to great restaurants and retailers, wealthy business people and this makes the town extremely lively. The town has perfect transport system for both rail and road, the Birmingham airport is just a few miles away making transport efficient and effective.
There are ancient landmarks in Solihull which were constructed a few centuries ago.
With its elegant corbels and mouldings, St Alphege Church dates from the 13th century. The spire of the church is 188.13 ft, can be seen from across the town centre, and the 13 bells it accommodates can be heard throughout the week.
The National Motorcycle Museum is the largest motorcycle museum in the world and it is located in Solihull. The museum opened in 1984 with over 350 motorcycles on display. The museum attracts over 250,000 visitors per year from all over the world. It is also one of the largest events and conferencing centres in the UK. Today the museum houses over 1000 motorcycle models.
Located in Dorridge, Four Ashes Golf Centre is an ideal place to visit during the weekend, holidays, and days-off. There is a bar and cafe, 18 holes mini-course, with great water hazards, and is a cool and enjoyable place to take your family – the kids love it.
Babbs Mill Lake is a man-made lake in Babbs Mill Park. It was designated a local nature reserve in 2002. The lake was constructed as a balancing feature during flooding.
Malvern and Brueton Park is a public town park in Solihull, created in 1944. It has tennis courts, the Parkridge centre, a cafe, car park, and more. A statue “the Prancing Horse and Man” which was made in 1874 commands the Malvern Park Street. The statue was built in honour of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. Brueton Park is specifically for wildlife, housing a lake and a natural local reserve, great for dog walking. There are several different species of oak trees in the park.
Another public park close to the Solihull town centre is Elmdon Nature Park. It was also established in 1944 and is managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. There is a lake and stream meandering via the park. The park has a heritage trail which houses the history of Elmdon Hall. It has native trees and a variety of birds species such as goldcrests, nuthatch and warblers.
Solihull has numerous other parks such as Shirley Park, Tudor Grange Park, Knowle Park, and Cole Bank Park. Solihull town prides itself on being the home to diverse semi-natural woodlands such as Smiths Wood, Bills Wood, Millisons Wood, Dorridge Wood, Alcott Wood, and Yorks Wood.
Running from Warwickshire, the River Blythe passes through Malvern and Brueton wildlife park in Solihull. The river is dammed to form Brueton Park lake. The river is an attractive feature as it runs via a few parks in the borough of Solihull.
Olton Reservoir was constructed in 1799 to feed the Grand Union Canal. It is located in Olton district, Solihull. It is privately owned by Canal and River Trust. It is home to Olton Mere Sailing Club.
Kids Attractions in Solihull
Umberslade farm park is an ideal place to take your kids to see friendly animals. The children can enjoy activities such as tractor rides and bottle feeding calves and lambs, holding chicks, guinea pigs, and rabbits. There is also a free junior farmers club for them to join.
The Wacky Warehouse at the Reservoir in Earlswood, is a children adventure zone located in Solihull. It is designed for kids aged between 6 months and 10 years. You can also drop into arts and crafts sessions when available.
Also situated at Earlswood lakes craft centre, The Jungle Hut is the place where you will find some wonders, education, and fun. It’s home to amphibians, reptiles, exotic insects, and tarantulas. The tour in the park is guided by experienced guides and a junior exploration certificate is awarded to kids. The exotic experience is great and children can’t stop talking about it after visiting.
Baddesley Clinton is a fantastic moated manor house with lots to look at such as amazing paintings, the moat, and stained old glass windows which will offer inspiration to artistic kids. Outside kids can be playful as they walk on their nature trail around the house.
Food and Drinks in Solihull
There are countless home-grown and international food and drinks joints in Solihull, whether you need a quick snack, special lunch or dinner.
There are many cafes and restaurants in the town centre, including; Pizza Express, Slug and Lettuce, Giraffe, Wagamama, Nandos, Cafe Rouge, Zizzis, Carluccios and TGI Friday’s among others.
There are a wealth of independent restaurants in Solihull which offer a unique taste of the town to visitors. They include The Delhi, The George, Marco’s New York Italian, Jiyaan Indian as well as popular Cafe Isabella coffee shop.
For a relatively small town, Solihull has a great many attractions, and is well worth a visit.