Known for its history in the nail making industry (Once the world centre for nail making), Bromsgrove is a pretty town in North Worcestershire, just south of Birmingham. Being recorded in the doomsday book, it is an old town steeped in history, which you can see from the old buildings, churches and the attitudes of people there.
Here is what I would do with a day in Bromsgrove…
Walk up the high street; Bromsgrove high street may look like any other high street of a small town to start with, but if you look closer and look up, you will notice an eclectic mixture of buildings and architecture. If you are in town on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, you will experience the market, full of locally and not so produced goodies.
If you are in need of a caffeine fix, stop off at Lorita’s Bakehouse on the high street. With a shabby chic interior, they sell fabulous looking and tasting cakes and great coffee.
Head south down the high street (Loritas should be on your left). The high street turns into a small road (stay left), which has a mixture of boutique style shops, beauticians, restaurants and pubs, like the little ale house, a small micro pub with a huuuuuge selection of ales. Keep heading down this road, past Bromsgrove school on your left and Big Dave’s café (a great breakfast and brunch spot). You will reach a mini roundabout with a church just ahead on the left – a pretty Catholic church, St Peters, worth a visit; Mabel Tolkein, JRR Tolkein’s mother is buried here after she converted to Catholicism from Baptism. The road turns into Rock Hill here, and if you are walking, this is a perfect opportunity to work those glutes!
Take the second left after the mini roundabout towards Austin Road. Follow Austin Road for about 0.5miles. Turn Right onto Shepherds Walk, then right onto the Redditch road. If you head up through the industrial estate, you will reach the Avoncroft museum (it’s fully signposted through the industrial estate).
Distance from Lorita’s bake house 2miles
The Avoncroft museum is selection of buildings that have been carefully deconstructed, moved and reconstructed here. They are buildings which would have otherwise been demolished or lost in history to decay. They have a fully furbished prefab, an icehouse, stables, a nailshop from Bromsgrove, a church and they even have a working windmill in which they grind their own flour. It can be as informative as you want it to be. The buildings are well spaced apart, so it gives you a nice walk on well maintained paths. You can stop and read about each building and learn your way through a small museum; some of the buildings have volunteers dressed up in character, perhaps cooking food in a barn as they would have done in the 16th century for example.
Yes, it is an open air museum, but I would still consider it as a rainy day option, as most of the buildings have a roof and you can hop from one building to another. You don’t have to get muddy feet, if you stay on the paths and of course there is a traditional Edwardian tearoom to visit afterwards for lunch.
Head towards the Queens Head pub along Buntsford hill and Sugarbrook Lane. It’s a great place to stop for a drink overlooking the canal in the summer or for some tasty food.
Distance from Lorita’s bake house 2.7 miles
Slowly meander through the country lanes towards Finstall. I would carry on down Sugarbrook lane, straight onto Copyholt lane. Turn left onto Upper Gambolds Lane, Right onto Dusthouse Lane, Left onto Walnut Lane and then left onto the main road on the end. If you follow this main road, it will take you to a mini roundabout, go left for the train station, go right down New Road to head into town or cross the road infront of you for No.3a Coffee House. With an artisan and rustic feel, it’s a relaxed place to stop for a quick coffee or a g and t before heading back into town.
Distance from Lorita’s bake house 6.3 miles
Fitting in a yoga session before dinner always puts me in a good mood; if you are of the same mindset, book yourself in for a yoga class at the always inviting Wellbeing at The Wishing Well.
Conveniently next door to the Wishing Well is St John’s Wine Rooms. Grab a glass of wine from their extensive menu and head upstairs to their rooftop terrace for views of Bromsgrove and St John’s church to enjoy a pre-dinner drink. The wine rooms serve amazing food, but if you want to try somewhere different, try out Casa Med. Hidden away in a little courtyard just off the main high street, this is a small, family run restaurant in an old quirky, wonky building (book in advance as they book up quickly and the restaurant is very small). If seafood and meat is more your thing, try out On the Rocks, another family run restaurant that serves you extremely hot rocks and a plate of raw fish and meat which you cook yourself – such a fun experience!
A few other places to visit
No. 3a Coffee house – This place is near the train station so a great place to grab a drink and find your bearing if youve got the train in. They also do gin tasting on some nights.