Visit the West Midlands

Watch a play in Shakespeare’s birthplace; take in a concert at the world-famous Birmingham Symphony Hall. The West Midlands offers a huge range of cultural interests, from Michelin-starred restaurants to ancient castles, music festivals and world-class museums. The region draws 131 million visitors a year. Find out what makes the West Midlands a go-to tourist destination.

Curated by the West Midlands Growth Company, find out more at www.makeitwm.com.

1564-04-26 11:06:20

Literary Hero

William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-upon-Avon. The renowned poet, playwright and actor would go on to write 38 plays and 154 sonnets, creating 1,700 words in the process. He remains one of the most influential literary figures in the world, with the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford carrying his legacy into the modern age.

1712-09-05 00:00:00

Start Your Engines

Thomas Newcomen and his partner, John Calley, build the first fuel-burning engine at the Conygree Coalworks near Dudley. The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley has a full-scale replica of the Newcomen Steam Engine, which is open to visitors.

1824-03-02 11:06:20

Chocoholics

John Cadbury begins selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate in Bull Street, Birmingham. His innovative production of Cocoa Essence helps transform his small business into one of the world’s largest confectionary companies. Today, you can visit Cadbury World on the factory’s site in Bournville to sample some of the finest chocolate.

1885-09-02 11:06:20

Art Start

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) first opens its doors. Housed in a Grade 2 listed city centre landmark building, there are over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography.

1937-04-02 11:06:20

From A to Zoo

Dudley Zoo opens to the public, with 250,000 people visiting within the first 24 hours. Today, hundreds of exotic and endangered animals inhabit an ancient wooded hillside in the ruins of 11th Century Dudley Castle. It boasts the world's largest single collection of Tecton architecture, which received World Monument Status in 2009.

1945-10-02 11:06:20

In The Driving Seat

The Rover Company relocates to Solihull after World War Two and changes its name to Jaguar Land Rover. From the Series One in 1948 to the F-Pace in 2018, the JLR plant remains at the forefront of automotive engineering. Tours are still available to the public.

1954-01-29 13:49:07

One Ring To Rule Them All

The Lord of the Rings, written by JRR Tolkien, is published in the United States. Influenced by Tolkien’s time in Birmingham, it would become one of the best-selling novels of all time and a blockbuster film trilogy. You can visit some of Middle Earth’s famous landmarks on the Tolkien Trail in Birmingham.

1976-12-01 00:00:00

Exhibitionists

The National Exhibition Centre opens in Solihull. From BBC's Good Food Show to Spring Fair and Resorts World, the NEC welcomes more than 2.4 million visitors and more than 39,000 exhibiting companies each year.

1991-07-09 01:28:59

Finished Symphony

Queen Elizabeth II opens Symphony Hall in Birmingham. Widely considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, it joins the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and Dudley Town Hall as key entertainment venues across the West Midlands.

2013-09-09 01:28:59

Playing A Blinder

Created by Birmingham-born Steven Knight, Peaky Blinders airs on BBC for the first time. Filmed on location at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, you can walk in Tommy Shelby’s footsteps on a behind-the-scenes tour of post-war Birmingham.

Visit the West Midlands

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