So last week as its the school holidays I took my biggest kid away for a girls trip just me and her for the night to Birmingham. We had a fantastic time and crammed lots into a 1 night/2day stay. I thought that I would write a blog post about our little trip and hopefully give you some ideas for something to do with the kids.
We travelled with national express coaches from Manchester because it was definitely the most affordable option as a non driver. We paid £32.80 for a round trip which took around 2 hours 30 minutes each way and we didn’t have any delays even with heavy traffic which was great. The coaches are comfy and clean with plenty of space. One thing for us that we didn’t like was that the seatbelts were a bit uncomfortable, but safety first.
Unfortunately for us we had a incident with travel sickness ( daft mum forgot to get some travel sickness medicine and paid for it with a shower of sick). I’m really lucky that this was on the way home but we didn’t have any wipes and were very unprepared for puke gate! Luckily I had a bag full of crap to hand which I very quickly emptied whilst shouting, ‘ wait for the bag pleeeeaaassseee, wait for the bag’.
Top tips for travelling:
- Bring travel medicine, empty bags ( just in case ) and wipes because although there is a toilet on board unfortunately for us there wasn’t any loo roll.
We stayed very close to the coach station in the Adagio Aparthotel about a 3 minute walk and this was such a good idea as we decided to drop the bags off before exploring. Although we were not due to check in until 3pm the hotel were great and kept our bags safe on both days so that we were free to come and go. The actual apartment itself had everything that we needed. Comfy twin beds, TV , desk area which Ella loved, bathroom with wet room and a fully equipped kitchen. If you were there for a longer stay the kitchen had everything needed including a microwave, fridge, kettle and even a coffee maker. We didn’t have breakfast because we were up and out early the next day but there was a large selection on offer something for everyone.
We paid £58 for our room and booked via booking.com. Definitely value for money and would absolutely recommend the adagio chain on the back of this trip.
On our 1st day we visited Cadbury World which is a train ride away in the town of Bourneville. Its about a 15 minute walk from the train station and really well signed, just follow the purple signs and as you get closer the amazing smell! We booked one of the later slots at 3.15 and so to be honest were shattered from travelling by the time we had got there which I feel might have taken away from the experience a bit if I’m honest.
When you arrive you wait for your slot to be announced and then in you go. You are advised to come 1.5 hours early to visit the other attractions which include a Cadbury themed play area and a 4D cinema. I absolutely loved the 4D cinema although we did have to queue for this it was worth the wait.
On your way in you are given some chocolate bars each and then its in to look at the history of chocolate making and Cadbury. Now although it was great visually for me this section was a little long and I feel could have been broken up. Also because you have to go section by section you have to wait for each bit which for littler legs can become a bit boring. But after this bit you did get more chocolate soooooo silver lining.
We enjoyed the hands on sections where you could write your name in chocolate or have ago at some chocolate tempering. You then wait to ride on a car through a kind of its a small world inspired cocoa bean world which was a nice break for our legs after waiting in the queue for 30 minutes.
Best bit by far was getting to try some melted chocolate with a toping of your choice. Marshmellows for Ella and popping Candy for me … amazing. The gifts shop was pretty reasonable and we left with lots of chocolate and tired legs.
Lego Land Discovery Centre
Now with a Lego mad six year old this was what I was most excited for and it didn’t disappoint. From the minute we walked up to the building and saw the giant Lego giraffe waiting to greet us outside Ella was in Lego heaven. I had booked us an 11.15 slot and so as we arrived a little early we had breakfast in Costa Coffee which is next door.
There is an option to add an activity pack for £4 ( we got it for £3.33 special online offer) I would definitely recommend getting this as it adds to the whole excitement, there are little activities to complete throughout and stamps to collect at each station. If you collect all of the stamps and show this to the person at the gift shop they will give you a prize ( in our case a Lego artist figure which made for a perfect little memento).
You have your picture taken on a Lego green screen and are then taken down via the Lego lift into the centre. We loved the 1st ride you visit where you have to shoot the trolls and bad guys to rescue the princess and get points for each one hit. After that it was through to the miniature city room where the most perfect Lego displays came to life with sections of Birmingham including Cadbury world!
You then enter a room with different sections including a soft play, lego duplo area for smaller kids, a ride and even a 4D cinema! The 4D cinema shows 3 different shows which are looped every half hour. There’s a countdown outside the screen so that you don’t miss it and its a good size screening so we didn’t have to queue for very long at all. We only saw the one show but I now a lot of families managed to get all 3 and plan ths activities around the rest.
By far Ella’s favourite section was the Lego friends area where she had her picture taken with all of the intricately made characters and had a go at building her own Lego creation. There was a competition on to build your own design using your name which we had a go off and everyone seemed to enjoy getting involved ( some of the parents seemed to enjoy it more than the kids).
In a side room we had a go at making our own Lego caterpillar with one of the guides showing us step by step and then Ella got to meet Wild Style a character from the Lego movie and have her picture taken.
There is a café on site which is a Costa Coffee based with kids options. We had already eaten so just bought drinks and an ice cream. I’ve see worse in regards to pricing but with a larger family could get pricy.
I booked all tickets online.
Last stop was the gift shop and there was an option for all price ranges. Ok the kids all want the top shelf ginormous Lego sets but with a bit of gentle persuasion Ella was more than happy to leave with a few smaller sets ( even if one did get ruined by puke gate).
We only really saw the areas around the bullring and on our way to Cadbury World and Lego land. Luckily for us the Bullring shopping centre was really close and so we had lots of options for food and a bit of a time killer when needed to look around some of the shops.
We walked for most of the trip with the longest walk being to Lego land which took us around half an hour at a slow pace. The train station is also walking distance from the Bull Ring and we found it easy to use for our trip to Bournville.
We passed an Odean Cinema and the new Primark which, is the biggest in Europe, has just opened which we sadly missed with its very own Disney Café! This was probably a good thing for my bank balance to be honest. There’s also the Think Tank museum which we just couldn’t squeeze in but looks great.
All in all we really enjoyed our girls trip to Birmingham. It wouldn’t have been the 1st place on my list for a trip with kids but actually there is a lot to pack in and I think that Ella’s favourite part of it all was staying in an apartment with her own desk! I would recommend if you haven’t visited before and I’m sure that we will be back again.
If you have made it this far thanks for reading I would love it if you would like and follow my blog and let me know where you would reccomend for a UK trip with kids