Dorridge U3A

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    Below is a selection of suggested places to take grandchildren. Brief details are given for guidance and not guaranteed up to date, so best to check current details on line or by phone.

    For more ideas, see the websites listed at the end.

    Please note that Dorridge U3A does not endorse or support any of the following activities which have been suggested by members.

    If you have any more ideas please email us to let us know by clicking here

    But first, here is a money saving tip:

    Money Saving Tip
    For more expensive venues, like Warwick Castle, it’s worth checking for discount deals on the Internet. These may be offered by the venue itself, or other discount voucher agencies.
    Payment may be required on line, or at the venue's ticket office using a downloaded and printed voucher.

    Use a Google search phrase like, ‘Warwick Castle discount’.

    Also check if you can use your English Heritage membership


    Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, B11 2PY   Tel:  0121 772 5111

    Climbing, archery, skiing and canoeing, all available on an individual lesson basis but a bit pricy. Hot and cold drinks available. Parking on the roadside (needing 100% supervision). Open every day except Christmas Day. During School holidays some courses are run on a group basis – phone for details. Family Taster Days also available on certain dates.

    ALTON TOWERS  Alton, Staffordshire,  ST10 4DB  

    Tel: 0871 222 3330 calls cost 10p/minute + network

    Large theme park open March to November, for all thrill seekers and families, with lots of rides, attraction, live shows and  costume characters.

    ATTWELL PARK, Attwell Farm Park, Seafield Lane, Redditch B98 9DB

    There’s plenty to do here with a huge indoor soft play area, outdoor playground, animals to pet and also a massive fire engine parked out the back!  Food available but plenty of seating if you bring your own. Great for under 12's!

    BARSTON FORD (River Blythe),  Elvers Green Lane, Barston, Solihull

    Good for taking nets and fishing. Park on the roadside.

    BLACK COUNTRY LIVING MUSEUM    Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ     

    Tel: 0121 557 9643

    Walk around village museum comprising rebuilt historic black country buildings occupying 26 acres. Costumed staff. Vintage transport rides. Go underground to get the mining experience. Canal boat trip through a tunnel. See traditional black country products being made. Lots to do even if wet. Some attractions at extra cost. Variety of food available. Plenty of (paid for) car parking

    BOURTON ON THE WATER   just off  the A429, GL54 2AQ

    Picturesque Cotswold village with River Windrush flowing through. Popular for riverside picnics or older children can paddle with suitable footwear to cope with pebbles. Other attractions: include an amazing Maze, Birdland zoo for birds, miniature village, small car museum, model railway exhibition. Good parking, cafes, restaurants and tourist shops.

    BRUETON PARK, Solihull

    On the last Friday of every month a guided tour takes place around the park. Meet up at the Parkridge Centre at 11.00 am for an interesting walk of about an hour and a half. Children must be accompanied by an adult, well behaved dogs on a lead!

    BUTTERFLY FARM,  Stratford-upon-Avon, Swan's Nest Lane, CV37 7LS,  

    Tel;  01789 299 288

    Whatever the weather stroll through the wonderful world of an exotic rainforest: a lush landscape of tropical blossom surrounding splashing waterfalls and fish-filled pools. Enjoy watching hundreds of     the world's most spectacular and colourful butterflies feeding and flying in a wonderful tropical environment.

    CADBURY WORLD,  Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham,  B30 1JR.    
    Tel:  0844 880 7667


    Guided tour round the chocolate factory, with free samples and hands-on experiences

    COCKS MOORS WOODS LEISURE Centre  Alcester Road, Kings Heath,
    B14 6ER    Tel:  0121 464 1996

    Facilities include:

    Minimovers fun soft play sessions in Sports Hall most mornings, with combined Swim/Minimover ticket available for up to 5 yrs.  Leisure pool, huge slide (height restriction), fountains, wave machine, buckets of water on your head, warm water. Very shallow “beach area” graduating to 1.5 m deepest. Toddlers area, lifeguards. Pushchairs and non-swimming adults can sit at pool side. Small playground outside. Café and separate Bar. Lockers. Good car parking

    COMPTON VERNEY,  Compton Verney, Warwickshire, CV35 9HZ   

    Tel: 01926 645500

    On B4086 between Wellesbourne and Kineton, an 18th-century country mansion converted into an Art Gallery. Art in the grounds, flora and fauna, family activities, school programmes, children’s activities in holidays.

    CONKERS: Rawdon Road (B586), Moira, Nr Ashby-de-la-Zouch DE12 6GA 
    Five miles from Junction 11 off the M42. 
    Tel:  01283 216 633

    Award winning attraction at The Heart of the National Forest, a unique mix of indoor and outdoor experiences to keep you and your family engaged for hours - whatever the weather.  Four indoor discovery zones designed for children and adults of all ages, including the Enchanted Forest Adventure Play area, a simulated Tree Top Walk with a moving bridge and journey through the skies to the caves beyond.

    Needle Mill Lane, Riverside, Redditch B98 8HY    
    Tel: 01527 62509

    Apart from the very interesting Needle museum  with some original water powered machinery, the ruins of Bordesley Abbey with a Visitors Centre. Coffee bar open at weekends and school holidays.  Open February to November. Phone to check opening times.


    Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

    GULLIVERS KINGDOM at Matlock Bath, Temple Walk, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3PG

    01925 444888

    GULLIVERS KINGDOM at Milton Keynes, Livingstone Drive, Newlands, , Milton Keynes, MK15 0DT

    Theme park for children, with over 60 rides, attractions, shows and experiences.

    HATTON COUNTRY WORLD, Dark Lane, Hatton, Warwick CV35 8XA   
    01926 843411

    Animals as well as play equipment and rides. Good but quite expensive - worth looking out for offers. Plenty to fill a day. Food available but you can take a picnic. Open all year 10am to 5.30pm. Adventure world and shopping village. Something for all ages including grandparents.

    HAYSTACKS PLAY BARN, Dunstan Farm, Old Damson Lane, Solihull   B92 9 ED    Tel:  07890 000340

    Indoor and outdoor fun play centre for children up to 8 yrs. Sun terrace overlooking spacious, enclosed outside paly area. Café. Plenty of free parking

    KENILWORTH CASTLE  Castle Road, Kenilworth, Warwicks - CV8 1NE   Tel:  01926 852078

    Elizabethan garden. Castle structure mostly in ruins but some exhibition rooms available to be seen. Exhibition detailing the history of the castle in the stables, next to the tearoom. Picnic area and large grassed areas for kid to run around. Sometimes charge for parking

    MAD MUSEUM (Mechanical, Art & Design), Henley Street, Stratford Upon Avon. CV37 6PT    Tel:  01789 269356

    Mechanical clocks, Ball runs, Moving sculptures made from Meccano, Lego and spare bits of metal and wood.   Lots of buttons to press.

    WYEVALE GARDEN & LEISURE CENTRE, Chester Road (A446), Coleshill,
    B46 3HX    Tel:  0121 782 2683  

    Pets and fish for sale and a good cafe with play areas adjacent

    NOTCUTTS GARDEN CENTRE, Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 4EN
    Tel: 0121 744 4501

    Pets and fish for sale and a good cafe with play areas adjacent.

    PEN MUSEUM, Argent Centre, 60 Frederick Street, Birmingham B1 3HS 

    The Pen Museum is an entirely volunteer run Museum which opened in 2001. Its aims are to advance the education of the public in the history and development of writing, writing implements, and accessories, with particular reference to the Birmingham trades. The Museum was awarded Accreditation with Commendation by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in 2006. The Museum is housed in a former pen factory in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, and visitors are able to try their hand at making pen nibs, using the same tools and equipment that workers used over 100 years ago. The museum is ‘family-friendly’ and offers a range of hands-on activities for people of all ages. All this is run by a team of committed volunteers who welcome visitors, care for collections and deliver learning opportunities and events. The Museum currently welcomes around 10,000 visitors annually.

    We would also welcome the opportunity to encourage your members who are based in and around the Birmingham area to consider volunteering with us.  There are a number of roles available at the Museum. 

    Website: Email: Tel: 0121 236 9834 Admission: £2 per adult Calligraphy Classes: £3 per adult (Saturday)

    SEA LIFE CENTRE, Waters Edge, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HL   

    Tel:  0871 423 2110 (calls cost 10p/min + network)

    Over 1,000 creatures and over 60 displays to see. Feeding demonstrations all day, interactive rock pool. Two public car parks nearby. Sorry, no café available, but catering available at nearby Brindley Place.


    Sadly this was closed on 31st July 2015 due to lack of funds.

    TICKETY-BOO,  Baby and Toddler Playgroup for the Under 5’s

    Dorridge Village Hall, Grange Road. Dorridge, B93 8QA 

    Family friendly fun  ~  adventure  ~  play  ~  fitness  ~ bouncy castle.
    Every Wednesday, 9.30 – 10.45am      and 10.45am to 12.0 noon

    TAMWORTH CASTLE  The Holloway, Ladybank, Tamworth, B79 7NA    

    Tel:  01827 709626

    Norman castle in centre of Tamworth next to river Thame. Explore Tudor and Stuart chambers, grand Victorian reception rooms and the magnificent late Medieval Great Hall. Hands on displays and costumes. Small café. For car parking use local town car parks.

    TRIPS by BUS or Train from DORRIDGE

    Children under 5 go free on public transport and grandparents can use their bus/train pass.

    1. Take bus or train to Solihull station and then short walk across to Tudor Grange Park where there are ducks to feed, bridges ideal for 'Pooh sticks' and a very good play area.

    2. Take bus or train to Solihull Station, then 966 bus to Airport/International station (usually a double decker so lots to see from top deck). In the airport, you use Lifts or escalators to  reach the upper levels  where you can ride on the shuttle trains between airport and railway station.

    3. Take train to Snowhill Station, then ride on the tram as far as Wolverhampton.

    4. For train enthusiasts it takes an hour to get to Kidderminster station from Dorridge, although grandparents have to pay between Stourbridge and Kidderminster. Then the Severn Valley Railway has its own station adjacent to the main Kidderminster station, where you can watch steam trains coming in and out, even if you don't go for a trip on the trains, which are quite expensive. There's a cafe which has television screens showing train videos and a shop which sells toy trains and books. Check website first for timings.

    TWYCROSS ZOO   Burton Road, Atherstone, CV9 3PX  from M42 junction 11, follow brown signs.
    Tel:  0844 474 1777

    Wide variety of animals, Café and restaurant. Ample free car parking.

    UMBERSLADE ADVENTURE – (not the children’s farm - see next below)

    Cut Throat Lane, Hockley Heath, B94 6SE   Tel:  07515 378 969

    Woodland activities, low rope course, commando course, zip line, play area, camping, nature trails, archery, tree climbing, toddlers area. Bushcraft courses. Pool fishing

    UMBERSLADE FARM PARK – (not the adventure park – see next above)

    Butts Lane, Tanworth in Arden, B94 5AE.   Tel:  01564 742251

    Meet, feed and touch many animals. Collect eggs. Tractor rides. Lots to do for a whole day and the Fun barn is indoors so okay for a rainy day. Suitable for all ages, different playground for toddlers. Cafe as well as picnic areas.

    WACKY WAREHOUSE, rear of Reservoir pub, Earlswood, Solihull, B94 5SL   

    Tel:  01564 702220

    Good for wet weather term time entertainment for under 5's.  Big soft play area open from 9.30am to 3pm. A good safe environment for younger children. Coffee shop.  

    WARWICK CASTLE   Stratford Road, Warwick, CV34 6AH,  

    Tel:  01926 495 42

    Large well preserved castle and extensive grounds next to River Avon. Towers and ramparts, dungeon, and the mighty trebuchet. Shows, battles, live entertainment. Playgrounds and gardens. Café/restaurant. Extensive paid for car park. Can use Tesco vouchers

    WONDERFUL WORLD of TRAINS and PLANES          Has now closed due to lack of funds 

    An extensive exhibition of model railway layouts, representing past and present railways of various countries around the world. There are also Scalextric model racing car layouts and flight simulators. Numerous opportunities for hands-on driving and flying experience. Other facilities included a Coffee Shop  and well stocked Model Shop.

    For more ideas
    , check out these Websites

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