If you think the West Midlands revolves around Birmingham, prepare to change your mind. The historic city of Wolverhampton is full of surprises, stately homes and a renowned pop art collection. Go and see for yourself with our rundown of the top things to do on your next trip.
Wolverhampton has seen several decades of regeneration, but thankfully some of the city’s most important residences are still in existence. They include Wightwick Manor and Gardens, which was donated to The National Trust by Sir Geoffrey Mander, a radical liberal MP and paint manufacturer.
This stunning Victorian home has remained largely untouched, with original textiles from the famed printmaker William Morris and pre-Raphaelite art still on display. The home also boasts 17 acres of gardens, where stone carving and embroidery workshops take place throughout the summer.
Like many major cities, Wolverhampton was bombed by Nazi forces during the Second World War. The RAF Museum in Cosford tells the story of WWII and other conflicts through reclaimed spitfires, restored fighter planes, and interactive simulations.
Admission is free and the museum is easy to reach on a train from the city centre, with journeys taking roughly 40 minutes.
You can tell a lot about a city from its art gallery, and Wolverhampton’s says a great deal, with a glorious art collection spanning more than 300 years.
What makes this Georgian, Grade II listed attraction so worthwhile is its collection of Japanned wares. These ornate, Oriental ceramics were very popular during the 18th-century, with Wolverhampton paving the way as a major producer of Japanned wares
The gallery also houses one of the UK’s most significant pop art exhibitions, which includes work from Warhol.
Baggeridge Country is a favourite with families, dog walkers, and running clubs. Sitting just outside the borders of Wolverhampton, this vast park is a gateway to Staffordshire’s countryside. It’s also only an hour by train from the city. Once farmland, the grounds are now open to the public all year round. It’s the perfect place for getting close to nature on a relaxing day out.
Wolverhampton’s reputation for shopping goes back centuries, with a Sunday market recorded here in 1204 (the Middle Ages!). Today, retail therapy awaits at the Mander Centre and several other shopping precincts.
Longing for the market experience? Head to Wolverhampton Market on Cleveland Street for fresh market produce and artisan foodstuffs.
If you’re stopping over, explore our list of recommended hotels near Wolverhampton train station to make the most of your trip. Our top picks include Novotel Wolverhampton and Mercure Goldthorn, which both have everything you need for a memorable visit to the historic city.
There’s plenty more to see and do, from a stadium tour of Molineux – home of the city’s beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers – to a day out at Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton has something to suit every kind of break.