Planning Your Time
Stratford-upon-Avon is ideal for day visits from London or as a base for exploring nearby, but even ardent Shakespeare lovers probably won’t need more than a day or two here. Warwick can be explored in an hour or two, but allow half a day to tackle the many lines at busy Warwick Castle. A drive through the area's country lanes is a pleasant way to spend a day; a stop at any stately home will take a few hours. You’re also near the northern Cotswolds if you want to explore the countryside further.
The museums and major sights of Birmingham can take a couple of days, and it’s a good city for modern, budget hotels. However, the smaller towns and cities of Hereford, Shrewsbury, and Chester have more obvious charms. If you want to walk the hills, Great Malvern or Ledbury are good gateways for the Malvern Hills. In the north of the region, Ironbridge Gorge and Chester demand a full day each. Ludlow and Shrewsbury take less time. Once you've gone as far north as this, you could consider going on to Liverpool or hopping across the border into north Wales.