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Top ten attractions in the region to visit this half term break

Wondering what to do with the children next week? Here are our latest picks of some of the fine family-fun attractions you can enjoy across the West Midlands and Shropshire over the half term holiday.

RAF Museum: Cosford. Pic: Bob Greaves Photography
RAF Museum: Cosford. Pic: Bob Greaves Photography

WEST MIDLAND SAFARI PARK

With its drive-through safari, adventure theme park, virtual reality river ride and even a Land of the Living Dinosaurs, West Midland Safari Park has plenty to keep visitors of all ages happy this half term.

Guests can enjoy the wonders of the natural world right in front of them – from the southern white rhino of the African plains to the carnivores of Asia and even one of the park's newest additions, the beautiful Red Panda, Mei Lin.

With food and drink facilities on site, including the Dino Diner and the Lost City Food Court, sustenance is available to keep the whole family energized for a day of adventure.

Visit www.wmsp.co.uk

RAF MUSEUM: COSFORD

With a huge array of aircraft and displays to enjoy, not for nothing is the RAF Museum: Cosford one of the region's most popular attractions.

In the site's Test Flight exhibition hall, visitors can experience the site's amazing research and development collection including an aircraft made from stainless steel. Here, you will find Fun 'n' Flight – the hands-on interactive gallery – and the Black Hawk flight simulator.

Beyond Test Flight is the War in the Air collection, featuring proud classics in aviation history. Guests can view rare and incredible German and Japanese aircraft, as well as photograph the world's oldest Spitfire.

The National Cold War Exhibition tells the story of the Cold War including social and cultural perspectives, while RAF Cosford's Hangar 1 is home to the transport and training collection and many fascinating engines from throughout flight history.

With the incredible story of the RAF available to enjoy right here on your doorstep, a trip to RAF Cosford could be the crowning glory of a half term full of family fun and adventure.

Visit www.rafmuseum.org.uk

HARTLEBURY CASTLE

The fascinating historic home to the Bishops of Worcester, Hartlebury Castle offers visitors an incredible journey through time as well as a relaxing day out in its beautiful grounds.

In one ticket guests can discover the lives of those who lived and worked at Hartlebury Castle in the Bishop’s Palace, explore the fascinating history of the county in Worcestershire County Museum, and relax with a peaceful stroll around grounds taking in the wildlife and views across the castle's moat.

After you’ve explored the castle and its grounds, a visit to the Hayley’s Kitchen pop up cafe in the Carriage Circle can give you the chance to enjoy plenty of refreshment, and the castle shop offers a variety of lovely souvenirs and gifts from local businesses.

With hands-on displays and enthralling themes, Hartlebury Castle can be a great day out for one and all.

Visit www.hartleburycastle.com

BLACK COUNTRY LIVING MUSEUM

See history brought to life and discover the story of the region's past at the open-air Black Country Living Museum. Visitors can meet historic characters who’ll show you what it was like to live and work in one of the first industrialised landscapes in Britain as you explore 26 acres of reconstructed shops, pubs and houses.

Guests can take a ride on heritage vehicles, see daily industrial demonstrations including chain and nail making, test their times tables in a 1912 school lesson, and find out about weird and wonderful medical treatments of the past in Emile Doo’s Chemist.

From watching live performers to taking part in old fashioned street games and enjoying the site's famous traditional fish and chips, there’s something for everyone at the Black Country Living Museum, and visitors this half-term are set to leave with a smile on their faces.

Visit www.bclm.com

DUDLEY ZOO AND CASTLE

Home to more than 1,300 animals and nigh on 200 different species, Dudley Zoo and Castle offers a look at some of the rarest and most fascinating creatures on the planet.

Hundreds of exotic and endangered animals inhabit an ancient wooded hillside, with a rich geological history, around the ruins of the 11th century Dudley Castle and share a site with the world’s largest single collection of Modernist Tecton structures – and the country’s only vintage chairlift.

With the aim of the site's team being to provide visitors with an understanding and awareness of all its elements via education and conservation activities, guests at Dudley Zoo and Castle this half term can expect to love and learn in equal measure.

Visit www.dudleyzoo.org.uk

WESTON PARK

Set in 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland, Weston Park is a relaxing destination for all the family to truly escape into. From the site's manicured Formal Gardens and the natural beauty of its Temple Wood, visitors can get to know the picturesque magnificence of the estate this half-term.

Though the house itself is now closed for the season, the glorious gardens and grounds can all be enjoyed next week. The sunken Italian Gardens, sweeping lawns and Rose Walk make for a relaxing family stroll, and the estate's Woodland Adventure Playground is a firm family favourite, packed full of entertainment from climbing walls and slides to trampolines and log swings.

Guests can also hop on board the Miniature Railway as it steams through Temple Wood on a 12-minute journey past lakes and woodland, taking in wildlife at every turn.

A naturalistic and peaceful paradise, Weston Park may be just the thing for an uncomplicated family day out this half term break.

Visit www.weston-park.com

THINKTANK: BIRMINGHAM SCIENCE MUSEUM

At the award-winning Thinktank: Birmingham Science Museum, guests can enjoy a fun-packed day of family entertainment and scientific discovery.

Those with their eyes fixed on the stars can step inside Thinktank’s Planetarium and explore the outer reaches of space, get up close to constellations, journey through the night-sky and adventure through the solar system!

The ingenious museum’s very own mini city, MiniBrum puts the children firmly in charge. Aimed at under 8s and with specifically designed sensory areas for babies, this exciting child-sized world features several different play zones including a transport area, shops, a park and a construction site with a slide.

And for those also wanting to enjoy a bit of fresh air during their trip, Thinktank's Science Garden is an outdoor discovery space packed with surprises and fun activities, bringing themes of engineering, mechanics and transportation to life through over 30 hands-on exhibits.

With all this and more available to get stuck in to, a trip to Thinktank could be just the thing to set your little ones' minds alive as well as your own.

Visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk

BRIDGNORTH CLIFF RAILWAY

Unusual and enchanting, the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway offers a wonderful attraction for families who are looking to experience funicular fun this half-term.

For over a century the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has been transporting people up and down the 111ft sandstone cliffs that separate Bridgnorth's High Town from its Low Town. It is first and foremost a working railway, and is in fact the oldest and most steep inland electric funicular railway in England.

Connected by steel ropes, the railway's two carriages serve to counterbalance each other on parallel tracks. As one rises to the top station, the other runs to that at the bottom, and passengers can enjoy delightful views as they travel aboard this wonderful part of local history.

The market town of Bridgnorth is rich in heritage and historic assets, and a visit to the Cliff Railway coupled with an exploration of Bridgnorth's other delights could be an ideal way for you and your family to while away a half term afternoon.

Visit www.bridgnorthcliffrailway.co.uk

HAWKSTONE PARK FOLLIES

Set in 100 acres of parkland The Follies at Hawkstone Park is a range of dramatic and rugged natural sandstone hills that were developed to include gullies, caves, towers and bridges, becoming one of the most visited landscapes in Britain during the 19th century.

Throughout the park's history numerous Follies have been added to the landscape, providing new discoveries around every corner. Today, visitors can enjoy the delights of the gothic-style greenhouse, the menagerie carved directly into the rocks, the turret-style shelter of the White Tower, the rustic Swiss Bridge, and more.

Offering the potential for a beautiful family day out this half term, The Follies will be closed in November, so be sure to arrange a visit next week if you want to enjoy their magic.

Visit www.hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk

BLISTS HILL VICTORIAN TOWN

A well-known stalwart of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Blists Hill Victorian Town is ready to delight both the young and the old this half-term week.

At this incredible living attraction, visitors will be welcomed to the age of Queen Victoria, and experience what life was like when Britain ruled the world. Guests of all ages can meet some (almost) real Victorians in their authentic shops and cottages, buy curious goods from a bygone era and watch tradespeople in action in their atmospheric workshops and factories.

Not only this, those looking for a little traditional fun will be able to ride the old-fashioned fairground, play games of skill, or try their luck on the coconut shy.

With plenty of opportunities for snacking, visitors can enjoy traditional fish and chips cooked in beef dripping or a sugary treat or two from the site's selection of 19th century sweets.

With all this and more, Blist's Hill may be just the day trip delight you're looking for.

Visit www.ironbridge.org.uk

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