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17 Breathtakingly Beautiful Places In The Midlands To Take Your Date For Free

17 Breathtakingly Beautiful Places In The Midlands To Take Your Date For Free

With The Midlands’ rolling hills, ancient forests, historical trails and renowned art galleries, you’d be surprised at what you can see there. Those things, plus others, make it a great backdrop for romantic moments in your life. The best part? The following date ideas are free and show some of the best, most intriguing and beautiful sights in The Midlands.

1. Escape the city with Elmdon Nature Park

    Nestled on the edge of Solihull, this local wooded nature reserve is perfect for nature lovers wanting to escape the city center. In the winter, wrap up to stay warm, take a flask, and enjoy the frosted scenery. In the summer, take a picnic and watch the local wildlife.

    2. Visit Ludlow for cycling and hiking

      For active couples, cycling and hiking is a good activity and a good base for this is in Ludlow. Located in Shropshire, on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the River Teme, the area around this beautiful market town is full of natural footpaths, hilly areas, and planned routes for all abilities.

      3. Take a picnic in the Queenswood

        For a romantic date in Herefordshire, nothing can be more fitting than the beautiful panoramic views of the malvern hills viewed in the Queenswood. There are many marked trails, footpaths, and picnic facilities where you can take your date.

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        4. Arrange something different with Lapworth Museum of Geology

          It is well known that culture is a great talking point when meeting someone new. For a different type of beauty, why not visit the oldest specialist museums in the country? Located in Birmingham University, it contains some of the most beautiful displays of colorful crystals and a wide range of fossils to be observed and viewed.

          5. Follow in the footsteps of a famous author with the Tolkien Trail

            A great place to take a book-loving date in Birmingham is the Birmingham Tolkien Trail. Known as the inspiration for J.R.R Tolkien’s stories, the charming route runs through sites like Sarehole, Moseley bog, and the Shire Country Park. A few of the areas might seem very similar to fans of the Lord of the Rings stories!

            6. Absorb culture in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

              Based in Chamberlain Square, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday and has a wide range of beautiful things to view. The gallery contains the world’s largest pre-Raphaelite art collection and houses local history collections, art, and relics.

              7. Explore the Martineau Garden together

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                Located two miles from Birmingham City Center, this beautiful community garden contains two and a half acres of beauty, including an orchard, an organically maintained vegetable plot, herb beds, and a woodland habitat that’s home to lots of wildlife. There is a marked nature trail and, among other things, a hot house and wildflower meadows.

                8. Have a lunch date at the Library of Birmingham

                  Over 10 floors, the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square has plenty to offer, not just a collection of books! You can find photography exhibitions, interesting performances, workshops, and poetry readings. For those who work in the city, this could be a great lunch date idea.

                  9. Explore the Ikon Gallery

                    The Ikon Gallery is an internationally acclaimed art venue located in Birmingham and contains tons of things to see for free. Perfect for a date who loves art, there are two temporary exhibitions along with a vast collection by artists from around the world. Some of their work includes sounds, films, photography, paintings, sculptures, and installations.

                    10. View the Weoley Castle ruins

                      The 700-year-old ruins can be viewed for free from a platform (a tour has to be pre-booked and may have admission costs) and the surrounding area contains a nice local walk. A great opportunity to spend some time exploring the area with your date.

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                      11. Absorb the atmosphere at Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve

                        More than 700 different fossils have been found at the reserve, 186 of which were first discovered here. It is one of the most notable geological locations in the British Isles. The area is beautiful and open at all times, so it’s perfect for stargazing couples and geology fans.

                        12. Share a flask of tea at Beacon Hill Country Park

                          Beacon Hill is one of the highest points in Leicestershire and boasts spectacular views of Charnwood Forest and the Soar Valley. With trails varying in length, there is something for everyone of every activity level. The perfect place for long chats with your date while sharing a flask of tea.

                          13. Go bird-watching at Sandwell Valley Country Park

                            Well-known and loved by bird-watchers, Sandwell Valley Country Park is a beautiful country park containing two working farm visitor centers, nature areas, an aerial assault course, a mountain bike trail, and more. There are lots of options there for a weekend outdoorsy date with a like-minded person.

                            14. Learn the local history at Warwickshire Museum

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                              Located in the center of Warwick in the Market Hall, this cute little museum is free to enter and contains giant fossils, local geology, and the natural history of Warwickshire. Perfect for history lovers, the surrounding area contains lots of pretty antique shops and tea rooms. Well worth a browse!

                              15. Spend a cozy afternoon at Astley Book Farm

                                A large secondhand book shop situated over several barns and peppered with comfy armchairs and a woodburner, this is a perfect place to browse and relax with a date. There is a cafe on site, but the prices are reasonable. The surrounding area is pretty and unspoiled, which is surprising, given its location.

                                16. Walk around Burton on the Water

                                  Regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in England, Bourton on the Water has a unique appeal because there is plenty to see and do. The best part of all is when you take in the tranquility of the River Windrush with its beautiful bridges throughout.

                                  17. Spend the day exploring Wollaton Hall

                                    Wollaton Hall is a spectacular Elizabethan Mansion and Deer Park set on a natural hill. Entrance to both the grounds and the house is free. The site houses its historic hall, beautiful grounds, a Natural History Museum, and Nottingham’s Industrial Museum. A visit here is a great idea if you plan to spend the whole day in one place.

                                    Image Source: 1. via flickr.com/photos/tonycornish; 2. via ludlow.org.uk; 3. via timtrott.co.uk; 4. via willow-haven.uk; 5. via shireburnarmshotel.co.uk; 6. via timeout.com; 7. via martineau-gardens.org.uk; 8. via e-architect.co.uk; 9. via independent-birmingham.co.uk; 10. via whatsonlive.co.uk; 11. via bcgs.info; 12. via leicscountryparks.org.uk; 13. via John Bridges for rspb-images.com; 14. via hlf.org.uk; 15. via astleybookfarm.com; 16. via character-cottages.co.uk; 17. via wollatonhall.org.uk

                                    Featured photo credit: Unknown via independent-birmingham.co.uk

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                                    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                                    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                                    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                      Why You Need a Vision

                                      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                      How to Create Your Life Vision

                                      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                      What Do You Want?

                                      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                      Some tips to guide you:

                                      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                      • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                      Some questions to start your exploration:

                                      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                      • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                      • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                      A few prompts to get you started:

                                      • What will you have accomplished already?
                                      • How will you feel about yourself?
                                      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                      • What does your ideal day look like?
                                      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                      • What would you be doing?
                                      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                      • How are you dressed?
                                      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                      Plan Backwards

                                      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                      • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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