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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 February 18, 2019

                                    13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                    13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                    Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                                    Why is this so critically important to you?

                                    The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                                    Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                                    1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                                    Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                                    When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                                    • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                                    • The man facing the judge.
                                    • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                                    • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                                    • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                                    • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                                    These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                                    Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                                    Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                                    2. Accept Your Fear

                                    Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                                    We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                                    And here’s what can be done.

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                                    3. Get Some Perspective

                                    I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                                    And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                                    That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                                    We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                                    So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                                    • Are you really at risk?
                                    • Will this kill you?
                                    • Which leads us on to..
                                    • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                                    4. Hold a Hand

                                    As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                                    Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                                    We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                                    Ask yourself:

                                    • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                                    • Could that really happen?
                                    • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                                    • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                                    By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                                    5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                                    This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                                    Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                                    The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                                    It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                                    For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                                    Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                                    6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                                    I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                                    Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                                    Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                                    Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                                    Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                                    Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                                    7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                                    Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                                    I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                                    It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                                    One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                                    Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                                    It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                                    8. Assume the Worse

                                    If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                                    Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                                    • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                                    • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                                    • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                                    And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                                    When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                                    Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                                    9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                                    If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                                    Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                                    Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                                    10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                                    One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                                    11. Go with Fear

                                    When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                                    I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                                    Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                                    One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                                    However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                                    We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                                    12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                                    And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                                    The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                                    What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                                    13. Own Your Fear

                                    Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                                    We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                                    You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                                    More Resources About Fighting Fear

                                    Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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