So, you’re looking for the best day trips from Birmingham? We’ve put together a list to get you started! Going to uni in the centre of the country is such a good choice – you’ve got a huge variety of transport options on your doorstep, and loads of places to visit, whether that be by car, bus, train or (canal) boat.
Birmingham’s three main train stations (New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill) can get you to virtually anywhere in the country, and you can snap up great advance fares if you’re smart with when you book. Buses or coaches can also get you to where you want to go – there’s a huge coach station in Digbeth, 10 minutes’ walk from BCU City Centre Campus. Failing that, you can befriend your flatmate with a car to take you further afield…
(Distance from Birmingham: 1h20m by train)
Even though a day trip to London might seem like the ‘obvious’ choice, the big smoke actually has so much more to offer than just the clichéd tourist traps. You could organise five trips to the capital and have a very different day each time – concentrate on the free galleries and museums one trip, food markets and vintage fairs the next, parks and walks along the river in the summer…oh and a visit to London Zoo is a must (they do a special two for one ticket offer with your train tickets!).
(Distance from Birmingham: 40m)
You may have heard of this niche writer, Shakespeare? Well, fans of the best playwright to ever exist can pay homage in Stratford-upon-Avon – and you can even catch one of the bard’s plays, too. You can visit his house and birthplace if that’s your kind of thing. Not big into historical houses, or tragi-comedic dramatic plays? That’s cool; Stratford-upon-Avon ALSO has a cat café, plus a very scenic river that you can stroll along whilst making friends with swans, plus a lovely town centre full of cafés and restaurants.
(Distance from Birmingham: 40m by train)
History buffs will love Lichfield. The city boasts Georgian museums, plus a medieval cathedral, as well as the Samuel Johnson Birthplace. The idyllic Beacon Park is great for a stroll after soaking up all that culture, or you can do some research into the area’s Roman past at the Letocetum Roman Site and Museum.
4. Peak District
(Distance from Birmingham: 1h45m by car)
If you’re looking for a day out in nature rather than another city break, the Peak District is a great option. Yes, it’s best to travel over by car as public transport is more difficult to this destination, but it’s worth it once you get there – time to rope in that precious flatmate with a car again! One of the UK’s National Parks, the Peak District is the ideal place to go for serious walks, and even more serious pit stops at pubs and cafés! Don’t leave without visiting Bakewell for – you guessed it – their famous Bakewell Tart (or pudding, as they call it).
5. Alton Towers
(Distance from Birmingham: 1h by car)
If cultural stuff isn’t your cup of tea, what about a day out getting thrown around on a rollercoaster?! Although easiest to get to by car, Alton Towers is also accessible via public transport – just hop on a train to Uttoxeter and then get a bus that takes you directly to the theme park. They sometimes do student discount tickets, or you can get two for one with your train tickets.
(Distance from Birmingham: 40m by train)
Another picturesque cathedral city, Worcester straddles the River Severn and is famous for more than just Worcestershire Sauce. The city played an important part in the English Civil War, so this is another great historical place to visit, but it also has a wealth of modern shops and restaurants. We can highly recommend Thai Gallery for some delicious food after shopping ‘til you drop!
7. The Cotswolds
(Distance from Birmingham: 1h35m by car)
Another idyllic spot nestled in nature, the Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s not hard to see why. Town after town of postcard-perfect buildings and greenery, you can spend all day wandering about then stopping off at pubs with roaring fires to warm your feet up. The Cotswolds span a huge area, but the main ‘Cotswold-y’ part is the north of the area around Bourton-on-the-Water, Broadway and Burford, but technically it reaches from Bath to (almost) Banbury. Struggling for a car? Get the 50 minute train to Cheltenham and you’ll be at the mouth of the rolling hills.
(Distance from Birmingham: 1h05m by train)
From the awesome modernity of the BCU campuses, to the oldest university in the world – University of Oxford – this day trip is great for something traditional. Oxford is also the birthplace of Alice in Wonderland, some great fudge shops, and general olde worlde charme. Harry Potter fan? There are plenty of spots to visit in the city where producers were inspired or filmed for the Harry Potter series, including the university’s Great Hall in Christ Church College.