England - West Midlands

    

The West Midlands is one of the nine official regions of England, as decided upon in 1994. It comprises the major towns of:

• Birmingham
• Wolverhampton
• Dudley
• Solihull
• Walsall
• West Bromwich
• Coventry

Unofficially, the region also includes Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. The West Midlands are particularly diverse in their geographical and urban make-up. The central areas of the conurbation are particularly industrialised and well developed. These form major metropolises in which the majority of thecorporate population live and work. The western counties (such as Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire, for example) are far more rural. Ironbridge Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the origin of the Industrial Revolution, while Warwickshire gained acclaim as being the home of Stratford upon Avon, where acclaimed author, poet and playwright William Shakespeare was born.

 

Image of an old Victorian building in front of a glass skyscraper in Birmingham, England.
An old Victorian building in front of a glass
skyscraper in Birmingham, England.

Known as the home of the Industrial Revolution, this movement began in Birmingham and the Black Country in the late 1800’s. The West Midlands was especially renowned for its coal mining, metal industries, beer production, engineering and ceramic work. Birmingham was particularly productive, becoming dubbed as “the city of a thousand trades” for its diversity. At one stage, almost the entire motor vehicle industry for the United Kingdom was based in Coventry and Birmingham. Although this is no longer the case, the West Midlands region is still renowned as being the heart and birthplace of the Industrial Revolution that played such a major role in the development of the country. Its decline began during the 1960’s. The reasons behind this fall are manifold and complex.

The West Midlands includes five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These are:

1. The Shropshire Hills
2. The Malvern Hills
3. Cannock Chase
4. Parts of Wyle Valley
5. Parts of Cotswold

Black Mountain is on the border of Wales, and is the highest peak in the region. Situated in West Herefordshire, this mountain peaks at an impressive 703 metres above sea level.


As with the rest of the official regions that make up England, the West Midlands region is under the leadership of the monarchy. However, on a regional level, it is administered by the West Midlands Leaders’ Board. Members of this board are taken from local councils throughout the region, rather than being elected.

Birmingham is home to the Birmingham International Airport, a major transport resource to the entire region of the West Midlands.

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the West Midlands include Aston Hall, Birmingham Back to Backs, Crooked House Public House, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Umberslade Children's Farm and Electric Cinema.

For more information, please view http://www.visittheheart.co.uk/