I am a student at the University of Birmingham with a love for exploring on the weekends.
Published February 10th 2017
Things to do in Bournville other than Cadburys World
Only twenty minutes on the train from Birmingham New Street is the village of Bournville. Known for the Bournville chocolate bar and Cadbury's World, the village of Bournville is also worth visiting for its own merits. A world away from its neighbouring student hub Selly Oak, this quaint village is a delightful respite from the big city. Despite, assuming more leisurely pace in comparison to its adjoining Cadbury World, there are still scatterings of purple colour on lamp-posts and railings bringing the streets to life. A constant reminder of the village's heritage. What's more, if the wind blows in the right direction it brings with it a delicious smell of chocolate.
Bournville is teeming with culture. The historic Selly Manor which dates back to 1327 and was saved from demolition by George Cadbury who opened it as a museum. I have yet to visit the museum but the Tudor gardens were very pretty and I'm looking forward to exploring more once the Manor goes onto its summer opening times after Easter. There are also a series of small historic buildings surrounding the Village Green, each holding their own architectural beauty.
A map, located on the village green, identifies each building and gives a brief history. The map also offers a Village Green Trail, which is definitely worth a stroll around to see the local landmarks of this historic village.
The map on Bournville Villlage Green featuring the Bournville Village Trail
One of the features on this map are the Sycamore Road Shops, built in the early 1900 and are still in operation today. Christine's Wool Shop is a haven to all knitters and crafters. The walls are stacked high with every colour, density and texture of wool imaginable. I was particularly taken with one which professed to glow in the dark. With such a wide variety of products, you can spend ages browsing through the collections. Perfect for getting the supplies for a weekend craft. The staff are very helpful and willing to discuss any questions and queries you have, no matter whether you are an expert or a beginner, they take an interest in whatever you are creating. Christine's Wool Shop can be found online at www.cityknits.co.uk, though their in-store collection is way more extensive.
A few doors down from Christine's is The Meeting Place Tea Room . Quaint and charming, it is a delightful place to spend a few hours working, reading or having a catch-up with friends. The tea is served in pots and with mismatched teacups with saucers. A quality which is way nicer than the oversized mugs offered by commercial chains. The food was both delicious and reasonably priced, with the tea room serving breakfast and lunch as well as a wide selection of cakes and sweet treats. All main meal options are made fresh to order and there are a wide range of vegetarian and a few gluten free options on offer. I can particularly recommend the brownies or the scones which were delectable. The staff were very friendly and the shop is full of regular customers, creating a delightful atmosphere. The tea room, also offers a small garden at the rear featuring an air-raid shelter, though on my particular visit rain was threatening so I stayed indoors. However, I imagine it will be a very nice place to sit come the summer months.
A delicious scone and pot of tea at The Meeting Place, Bournville
Between the village and the station is Bournville Park. A small play park near the front is a great place for children to blow off steam whilst the small track which follows a little brook is a lovely place to have a little wander the large grassy areas are particularly popular with dog walkers. There are also tennis courts which were all fully occupied on my visit.
If you're going to the Cadbury's World, or just fancy a quiet lunch in a lovely village, then I recommend checking out the delightfully quaint Bournville village.