Scratch the surface of this special place in Britain and it’s hard not to be smitten. The heart of England offers panoramic landscapes, bustling market towns and glimpses into a fascinating industrial past. Plus, you’re only a short distance away from one of Britain’s loveliest National Parks, the Peak District, with its 555 square miles of green spaces, with canals, caves and forests to discover.
The Birmingham back to backs in the Midlands offer an atmospheric glimpse into the lives of ordinary people who made their home in Birmingham’s last surviving court of back to backs: houses built, literally, back to back around a communal courtyard. Take a guided tour through time in this incredible atmosphere.
Soak up the stories at Croft Castle and Parkland in Herefordshire. Dating back to the Norman conquest, it was in the care of one family for 1,000 years and has seen bankruptcy, politics and competitive dictionary making. Discover how the Croft family struggled to keep their castle, see how they lived, and take in the fresh air in the walled garden and Iron age hill fort.
Worcestershire’s a chance to take in the rolling Cotswold landscape from the top of the Clent Hills. Have a drink at the half-timbered medieval pub we look after, The Fleece Inn in Evesham (If you time it right, you might be treated to a sing-song) and discover the fascinating Croome in Worcester, where wartime secrets are carefully being restored.
The bustling family home of Dudmaston in Shropshire still practises pig farming, asparagus growing, and the traditional art of ‘tushing’: using fell ponies to bring in timber. Soaking up the dynamic atmosphere of this working estate and spending time relaxing by the lake ‘Big Pond’ with its views out towards the Severn Hills are just a few of the things to do at this lovely spot.