The 10 Best Places To Visit In Stourbridge & The Surrounding Area
Exploring the beautiful surroundings of our lovely town
Stourbridge. A historic market town nestled on the banks of the River Stour, about 10 miles west of the UK’s second city, Birmingham. To the north sits the city of Wolverhampton, and to the extended south is Worcester. Stourbridge is historic for a number of reasons. Namely, the town is known for its history of creating glass products, and also for being the birthplace of the Stourbridge Lion- the first steam-powered locomotive to operate in the USA.
This area has a special place in the hearts of the team at Developyn; it is the hometown of a number of our employees, including the founder and CEO of Developyn, Melvyn Mathews. Having grown up here, and with some of us moving away from the area, we have grown to really love and appreciate the town we originate from.Amongst this tightly-connected community of people, there are some truly beautiful sights to behold, and some captivating places to visit that can give you a vivid glimpse into what once was. I am going to tell you what, in my opinion, are some of the best places to visit in Stourbridge and the immediately-surrounding areas.
1. Mary Stevens Park
Nestled in the suburbs between the Norton and Oldswinford areas of the town sits a large park, known as Mary Stevens. This iconic location is constantly bustling with life and has been since its inception. The park was donated to Stourbridge by Ernest Stevens, a key benefactor that the town owes a lot of gratitude to, and was named after his late wife, Mary. Opened to the public in the early 20th century, it has been a cultural hotspot ever since and has been the centrepiece of countless summer holidays for countless generations. If the trees in this park could speak, they would have some stories to rival those of the wisest grandparents.
The park contains several areas of interest, starting with the grand main gates and war memorial situated nearby, which are both grade II listed protected structures. Along with these iconic monuments, the park consists of a large pond (known as Heath Pool), several large open fields ideal for a picnic or ball games, and a wooded area situated on the hilly east side of the park.
Coupled with the beautiful terrain of the park, there are numerous things to do on a day out. There are 2 large bowling greens found outside the perimeter of the main council building, a large tennis court and basketball facility, a play area, a cafe, and the bandstand- which occasionally hosts live orchestral bands. Further amenities include an ice cream van, which you can bet will be there every single day throughout the summer, and what is known as the Healthy Hub, a small building to the South of the park which holds the park’s restroom facilities and a hut for the park wardens.
If you are local to the black country and are planning a nice day out, Mary Stevens Park is an ideal candidate which you should bear in mind.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.450270, -2.150797
2. Stambermill Viaduct
Unlike with the local parks of Stourbridge, there is not an awful lot to do here except to admire the feat of Victorian engineering which helped connect train links across the valley of the River Stour. The bridge is still used by locomotives to this day, though the days of passenger trains allowing their occupants to catch an awe-inspiring glimpse of the surrounding areas are long gone, and only freight trains ride its tracks today.
Running directly above the River Stour and spanning hundreds of meters in length, this colossal bridge has stood as the entrance gate to Stourbridge from the west for 170 years, and speaks volumes of the Black Country’s heavily industrialised past. Towering over the surrounding woodland and sticking out like a great brickwork ridge, this landmark is instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with the town and is an iconic part of the local history.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.456901, -2.133872
3. Clent hills
The Clent Hills are one of the Black Country’s most recognisable sights, rising up from the ground by hundreds of metres and being visible for tens of miles away. This large group of hills is one of the Midlands’ tallest points and offers one of the most complete views of the surrounding plains and settlements. It is no wonder that this landmark is so popular among people from all walks of life. Whether you are out for a picnic or just walking the dog, there are plenty of trails and parts to this system to explore, with unique landscapes and views from each.
The Clent Hills are located just outside of the town and are more closely situated to Hagley, a small neighbouring village which unsurprisingly has its own local beauty spots. Generally, the hills are to the south of Stourbridge, but it is unlikely you will need directions as the hills are unmistakably visible from a long distance away and are very hard to miss.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.420944, -2.101304
4. Katie Fitzgeralds
Amongst the hundreds of pubs and bars in Stourbridge, Katie Fitzgeralds is probably the most charismatic of all. This traditional Irish themed pub is full of life and is Stourbridge’s answer to a Hard Rock Cafe, with the walls draped in traditional Irish and musical themed memorabilia and decorations. This pub is known for a musical presence and often has bands playing on the stage located downstairs. Many a night of festivities has been turned into treasured memories in this establishment.
This pub is unsurprisingly known for having the best pint of Guinness in Stourbridge, a fitting claim to fame for a pub with such strong Gaelic roots. Continuing on the subject of the pub’s Irish identity, the annual St. Patrick’s day celebrations are extremely popular with the locals, beloved for the lively atmosphere of the festivities that take place inside.
Along with these factors, this pub has a lovely roof terrace and also a separate bar downstairs with its own smoking area. There is a lot to explore within these walls, and Katie Fitzgeralds is definitely worth a visit for any keen drinker or music fan.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.458172, -2.157702
5. Crystal Leisure Centre
The location of many teenage escapades for many of the locals, this community leisure centre situated within the perimeter of the Stourbridge Ring Road has served as a place of fun for plenty of generations in the past. The centre is home to large swimming baths with features such as slides and rapids. This is probably the main attraction for the centre, but there is much more on offer than just the waterworks. Also offered in the centre is a large hall, which is often the centre point of classes for trampolining and martial arts amongst other activities.
The centre is also home to several squash courts and a rock climbing facility, as well as a cafe and a soft play area for children. With all of these opportunities available, it is impressive that they can all be facilitated under one roof, and it is a hub for anyone looking to do some physical activity which cannot be achieved outside. If you are struggling to find something to do with your children over the summer holidays, there are plenty of fun pastimes to choose from at the Crystal Leisure Centre.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.456236, -2.148481
6. Stourbridge Canal
Not many things can give you as clear a look into the history of Stourbridge like it’s canal system. The marina area at Stourbridge has remained largely untouched in terms of its infrastructure. The original cobbled street leading from the busy ring road down to the marina is still in its original form and this gives a very Victorian feel to the location. The original ‘bonded warehouse’ of the Stourbridge canal still stands and reflects on a time gone by when the canal system was used as a major trade route.
However, the main attraction of the canal system is the lovely and picturesque walks on which it can lead you. The stretch of the canal leading to the Worsley basin offers idyllic scenes and beautiful wildlife to enjoy, and on a sunny day, a wander down the canal can be incredibly peaceful.
Once you arrive at the Wordsley basin after about a mile, the canal system branches off into 2 directions; one will take you on a beautiful walk down to the village of Kinver, and the other will lead you up to Brierley Hill, with the latter showing you an even deeper look into the industrial past of the Black Country.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.460892, -2.149835
7. Red House Glass Cone
Among the most iconic sights of Stourbridge, the Red House Glass Cone helps to paint a clearer picture of the local history and goes hand-in-hand with the story of the local canal system. The glass cone lies at the heart of the local glassmaking industry, and luckily the council has decided to keep the structure around as a token of local heritage and also for educational purposes.
The cone was completed in 1794 and was decommissioned in 1936, and while today the cone stands inactive, looming over its surroundings, the facility has become a museum which is open to the public. At the site, there are still businesses open such as jewellers and pottery artists, and tours allow visitors to take a closer look inside the cone.
Along with the attractions, the place can offer a very educational experience and offers a great mixture of both local history and a fun day out.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.475930, -2.157137
8. Wychbury hill and obelisk
One of the most captivating attractions of the Stourbridge area is the Wychbury hill, known for its mysterious past events and its eerie atmosphere. This is the site of the infamous story of ‘Bella’, a woman who’s skeletal remains were discovered in 1943 in the woods adjacent to the hilltop.
This story became even more spooky when the following year an anonymous culprit marked the words ‘Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm’ on the obelisk, sparking intrigue and giving the site a very strange atmosphere. You can still see the words displayed on the obelisk today, though it is fenced off to avoid interference by the public. The mystery of the body found on Wychbury hill is still the subject of public speculation today, and has led to claims of the woods being haunted and the creation of local ghost stories.
All of the history aside, the woods and hillside surrounding the monument are beautiful and can be the location of a lovely walk- though you may want to do it in the day time!
Latitude/Longitude: 52.432668, -2.118071
9. Kinver edge
Kinver Edge is a national trust site located a few miles from Stourbridge in the village of Kinver. The site consists of a high escarpment of meadows and wooded areas leading to a peak, with a sheer drop at the edge. There are also cave systems here, and rock houses carved into the cliff face are still present today and can be accessed, though some of them are cordoned off due to safety concerns. These ‘rock houses’ were inhabited for hundreds of years until the mid 20th century, and now solemnly stand as a part of the Kinver edge site.
The edge can be used as a location for a wonderful walk, as when you are on your way to the top you can pass through beautiful meadows and heaths, largely untouched and preserved. There are many areas on this embankment that could be the perfect host for a picnic, or if you would prefer to ascend to the top, there are beautiful views allowing you to see the sprawling network of fields leading into the distance.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.447740, -2.243374
10. The Stourbridge Carnival
Usually taking place during the summer months, the Stourbridge Carnival is a large and bustling event spanning the entirety of the town centre, which is encapsulated within the surrounding ring road. This event usually brings thousands of visitors and consists of market stalls, fairground rides and other attractions such as classic car displays and musical performances.
Anyone who grew up in Stourbridge is bound to harbour fond memories of attending the carnival as a child, as it is truly a wonderful occasion. The atmosphere of the town on this day is unmatched on the other 364 of the year, and for good reason. There is never a bigger sense of community and union between the inhabitants of our lovely town, and anything that brings us together in such a way is always a good thing.
In 2020, there has been no opportunity to host the annual carnival in Stourbridge, so next year is bound to be even more unmissable! I look forward to seeing you all there.
Latitude/Longitude: 52.456656, -2.145870
All things considered, Stourbridge and its surrounding areas have ample opportunities for fun and adventure. Whether you are looking for history, entertainment, or just a new environment to explore, there are dozens of locations which offer something unique and beautiful to gain enjoyment and memorable experiences from.
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