A bank holiday day out?
It’s Bank Holiday in the UK today. Traditionally people would have a day out, in the countryside or take a train to the seaside. Now they tend to go to bloody Ikea. People are obsessed with spending money. It’s a rat race, but is it healthy?
The park in today’s picture is Redhouse Park in West Bromwich. You can see how crowded it was yesterday. Up the road a little closer to West Bromwich is Sandwell Valley country park that has a lake and a farm open to the public. There were more people there, the car park was quite full. I overheard a few conversations and the diversity of languages spoken by visitors is interesting. Asia is well represented and now there are many people from Eastern Europe. They seem to appreciate the beauty more than the local people who have all turned into money grabbing strivers.
There are lots of places for a day out. There are parks, nature reserves and even the reservoirs owned by water companies are scenic and often open to the public. Some towns like Stratford upon Avon are natural tourist attractions, they not only have beautiful buildings and a colourful history; there is also the river at Stratford. Many places on the rivers are nice to visit on a warm day. The River Severn is one of my favourites. My local river is the Tame which isn’t very exciting, you can walk across it in many places; but it’s worth photographing in Sandwell Valley.
There are also a few steam railways to enjoy in the UK. The Severn Valley Railway is a good one for a day trip. It runs from Bridgnorth which is a historic town, through the Shropshire countryside to Kidderminster. That has got a little expensive now though and the website seems very commercial.
The Black Country Living Museum has also got a bit expensive for a day out. They are asking for ideas to develop the museum. I can give them a good idea, cut prices when the weather is poor. The rain reduced admissions last year, but a price cut might have brought local people in. I think interaction is also a key element of the museum. The pub, fish and chip shop and other ‘working’ things make it an experience. Have you got a Teddy Gray’s sweet shop and tea shop where I can get a decent pot of tea? I was quite surprised that the museum didn’t take an interest when the Aston Manor vehicle museum was looking for a new home. A trip around the museum on a double decker bus, might be interesting.
It can be a little expensive to eat out, but I tend to take food and drink with me. A picnic on the grass can be simple sandwiches from a Tupperware box or you can do something more exotic with prawns and chicken drumsticks. Whatever turns you on… If you’re going somewhere historical do something old fashioned. Some lettuce and tomato sandwiches, crisps with a blue bag of salt in and a bottle of dandelion and burdock to wash it down with. Turn your day into a nostalgic experience.
I might go to Aston Hall in Birmingham this summer. That seems more reasonable with a £4 admission. That’s a Jacobean Mansion that is usually open to the public on bank holidays (closed on Monday’s otherwise). I think you can walk around the grounds and photograph the building for free. It says free entry on the first Sunday of every month too.
Do you know of a good place to go in your neck of the woods? Please comment and share your thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter, there’s a link in the side bar or why not subscribe to the blog?