OK, so some people may chuckle at this post, wondering “how can you spend a day in Redditch?!” Well I like to find happiness and beauty in everything no matter how big or small, new or old, beautiful or flawed. So I challenge those people who don’t know Redditch to read my post and go and visit for themselves. This is how I spent my day there.
The breakfast part
I went to the Bay cafe for breakfast at the Botany Garden Centre. Renowned for using organic products, they whipped up a freshly made vegetarian breakfast for me and a coffee with an extra shot. I stayed a little longer to let my breakfast go down and read a little of my book I am pilgrim, by Terry Hayes and have a wander round the garden centre. Who loves a garden centre visit (especially one with a cafe attached!)? Me!!!
The active part
Feeling sufficiently fed and watered, I headed over to the Arrow valley park for a walk and to feed the ducks. The Arrow valley park is full of nicely paved paths and lots of greenery, along with a lake, some ducks and a cafe. All of this makes me happy 🙂 There is also a pretty highly attended park run club, which I would recommend signing up for if you are going to be there on a Saturday, and there is also a sailing club, so maybe book yourself in for a lesson and try your hand at it.
The cultural part
I left my car at the Arrow valley country park and walked to the Forge Mill Needle Museum and the ancient 12th century Bordesley Abbey. Needle making was a huge industry in Redditch in the late 20th century, but the workers who created them had to endure horrific factory conditions and awful treatment from their superiors. This museum documents how the needle making industry flourished and remembers the workers that helped it thrive.
Bordesley Abbey was founded by Cicstercian monks in 1140, firstly as a wooden building which was later converted to a stone building. As with most abbeys, trade and commerce will follow it and in the case of Bordesley Abbey, it sold a number of products to the local area, such as wool. The museum houses a number of objects found after the abbey’s initial excavations in 1864. Considering the monastery was destroyed after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 and its remained buried since, there is a remarkable amount left to see of this historic building.
The pampering part
One of the great things about having a whole day out by yourself is that you don’t have to feel bad about spending time doing things just for yourself. I would never dream of pampering myself if I was visiting a new place with someone else, but seeing as I knew I was going to be by myself, I decided to book myself in for a facial just before lunch. The Abbey hotel spa gave me the desired pampering treatment with a vinosource anti-oxidant hydrating facial. I left feeling and looking (I hope!) ten years younger!
The dinner part
I was so stuffed from breakfast that I had no lunch, so I got sooo hungry at about 5, so took myself off for dinner at the Brook Inn. Its a small, counryside, dog friendly pub restaurant, and very popular, so I would recommend booking in advance.
My day out in and around Redditch was informative, relaxing and I didn’t get bored once. There are plenty of things to see and do in Redditch, below are a few things that I cam across but didn’t get round to doing:
The Palace Theatre – I have been here for a comedy show before – have a look and see what is on. http://www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk/
Redditch Golf club http://www.redditchgolfclub.com/
The Old Needle Works http://www.theoldneedleworks.co.uk/