Our guide to the Black Country

Am yow going to the Black Country and dow no where ta gow? We have it covered. Our proper bostin’ guide will get you seeing the best bits of the good old Black Country.

Our guide to the Black Country

The Black Country Living Museum brings to life the region's rich history

Travel back in time and immerse yourself in games, stories and experiences about what it was like living in the Black Country many years ago. The Black Country Living Museum has an entire village built brick-by-original-brick, spanning 26 acres bringing to life how people lived in the early 20th century. You can go underground and experience life as a miner, visit shops from yesteryear and watch as old fashioned characters make sweets, nails and horse braces.

Gain a fascinating insight to the Black Country’s history and tradition of glassmaking at the Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge. It was built at the end of the 18th century and is one of only five left in the country. Visitors can get a taste of what it was like to work at the site at its peak with contemporary glassblowing and cutting on site, as well as studio tenants, the Cone continues to serve the area and draw in the crowds.

Glass Cone
Find out more about the history and tradition of glassmaking at the Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge

For culture lovers, Dudley Museum is home to a great dinosaur exhibition with a collection of about 15,000 fossils excavated from the nearby Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve. Meanwhile, Walsall Art Gallery has housed the likes of Damien Hirst and Richard Long to name a few and is a focal point of the town.

With more than 1,300 animals, 170 of some of the rarest species in the world, a 40 acre wooded hillside, an 11th century castle and breathtaking views, Dudley Zoo is a great place for a day out. You can come face-to-face with some of the rarest species who are spoilt by enthusiastic and knowledgeable keepers. We advise comfortable shoes though – the site is big and on a steep hill, but look out for the little train if you’re a little tired and the chair lifts too.

Dudley Zoo
Dudley Zoo is a great place for a day out

If you’re looking for a pub with a difference then The Crooked House is the place to go. You’ll feel a little tipsy without the alcohol in this pace as no surface is level. The building got its name after subsidence caused by mining during the 1800s left one end 1.2m lower than the other. As well as hosting four cask ales they do some pretty good grub too.

Crooked House
The Crooked House is a top attraction in the Black Country


Perfect Pint: If you are in the Black Country you have got to grab a pint of Bathams. There are only 11 official Batham’s pubs to choose from in the Black Country area. The Vine Inn, locally known as the Bull & Bladder and is based in Brierley Hill is definitely one of our faves. All the pubs go back to traditional ways with tiled floors and sawdust down to soak up any spills.  

Fantastic Food: Mad O’Rouke’s Pie Factory in Tipton was built in the early 1920’s. The pub serves up top notch hearty classic grub. And if you're feeling hungry, try your hand at the Pie Challenge.

Secret Shops: For those with a sweet tooth we suggest popping along to Teddy Gray’s which is still family owned despite being established in 1826. Five generations have worked and contributed towards the business, keeping the traditional method of sweet making alive. They have their own shops including one in Dudley town centre and at the side of the river in Bewdley as well as a stall on Bilston Market.

Brilliant Brew: The Courtyard Cafe in West Bromwich sits in the open landscape of Sandwell Crematorium – an unusual place for a cafe we know but worth a try. It offers simple food with polite staff and lovely and quiet.

Savvy Shopping: If you’re ready to shop until you drop then the Merry Hill Shopping Centre is the place to go. It’s free parking and you are spoiled for choice with what you can get to treat yourself or others, there’s even a cinema and plenty of places to eat.

Wonder Walks: There are 660 acres of woods, farmland, pools and streams to explore at Sandwell Valley Country Park. If the weather is on your side why not make a day of it as there’s plenty to do from birdwatching, sports, cycling and adventure activities. 

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