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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 July 8, 2020

                                    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                                    1. Understand Yourself Better

                                    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                                    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                                    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                                    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                                    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                                    3. Become Aware of What Matters

                                    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                                    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                                    4. Boost Creativity

                                    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                                    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                                    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                                    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                                    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                                    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                                    6. Process Life Experiences

                                    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                                    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                                    7. Stress Relief

                                    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                                    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                                    8. Provide Direction

                                    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                                    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                                    9. Solve Problems

                                    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                                    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                                    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                                    10. Find Relief From Fighting

                                    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                                    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                                    11. Find Meaning in Life

                                    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                                    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                                    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                                    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                                    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                                    14. Let the Past Go

                                    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                                    15. Allow Freedom

                                    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                                    16. Enhance Your Career

                                    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                                    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                                    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                                    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                                    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                                    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                                    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                                    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                                    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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