The Industrious Heart of England
So think but lightly of that afternoon
With white cloude climbing a blue sky in June
When a boy worshipped under dreaming trees
- Francis Brett Young, regarding Worcestershire.
From the dark Satanic mills
of Birmingham in the West, through the rolling farmlands of Leicestershire
and the coal and lace of Nottingham
in the East, down to the engineering works and academic dreaming spires of Oxford
then to the concrete cows and roundabouts of Milton Keynes
, the richness of central England is coupled with a sense of history and legend too - from WIlliam Shakespeare
to Robin Hood
The land too, is variable. The wolds of Lincolnshire give way to the Peak District's rocky hills, so there is variety for walkers and cyclists. Sherwood Forest may not be what it was, but woods and woodland crafts dominate many parts of the countryside. Overall it is a gentle region of England, and driving through it shows an agricultural heritage dotted with hamlet and village. The counties of The Cotswolds have a heritage of orchards and the land still bears witness to the apples which helped feed the West Country's cider heritage. Beware the scrumpy!
There is of course an industrial side - the metropolitan conurbation of Birmingham was built on the looms and mills during the start of the Industrial Revolution, and carries its own places of interest. Industrial buildings have their own grandeur, of course, and there are museums aplenty, the Black Country Museum being one of the best. The Revolution began here, and the Luddite revolt followed in its wake.
There are some unexpected surprises too, with the National Space Centre near Leicester and sporting centres everywhere (the National Watersports Centre near Nottingham), any of which provide entertainment. The National Forest, a long-term plan to create a woodland "lung" for the country, is here too, although at the time of writing, most of the trees are but saplings.
Come, join us as we explore a region rich in interest and beauty.
Local places of interest
Counties of the West Midlands
Counties of the East Midlands
Of course, if you discover something which belongs here, let myself, or any Content Editor know.
In connection with Everything Quests: Places to visit in Ireland and the UK.