Birmingham lies at the heart of England and is surrounded by a wealth of beautiful countryside. Historic towns and cities, picturesque villages, hills, valleys and rivers are all a short journey away. One of the most surprising features of Birmingham is that you can find real countryside within 10 miles of the city centre.
Directly to the north are the beautiful Derbyshire Dales, The Peak District National Park and the cathedral city of Lichfield. Thrill seekers need look no further than the Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire, whilst for a relaxing day in the open air, Cannock Chase and Sutton Park offer space to get away from the bustle of the city.
To the west you can visit Ironbridge – the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, surrounded by the rolling Shropshire countryside. Worcester, a historic city on the banks of the River Severn is famed for its porcelain, Elgar’s birthplace and the impressive Malvern Hills close by (less then one hour away from Birmingham). Further west, the mountains and lakes of Wales are only 90 minutes’ drive for world-class hiking, climbing and watersports, whilst only ten miles west of the city centre, the Clent Hills are perfect for a weekend stroll and a pub lunch.
To the south lies Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s home town (present day base of The Royal Shakespeare Company), and historic Warwick Castle. One step further are the Cotswold hills, renowned for their honey coloured stone villages and wooded valleys.
All worth a visit, these areas are located within easy and inexpensive reach of Birmingham by car, bus or train. Aston students appreciate the balance between vibrant city life and being able to get out into the country.