Dudley is a town built on drive and determination. Its long history of glassblowing and lime mining lives on in the Glass Quarter, and in the sprawling system of canals and tunnels that runs below its winding streets. This is the heart of the Black Country, where a vibrant town centre makes way for the beauty of the West Midlands countryside, all under the watchful eye of ancient castles, historic monuments and proud industrial heritage.
Start your trip to Dudley with a crash-course in the town's history and geology. Head over to the Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, right in the middle of the town, and get lost among thousands of fascinating artefacts, from fossil and limestone relics to historic documents and vintage photographs.
If the museum piques your interest, get hands-on at the Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone Mines. You'll travel deep below the streets as you take a canal boat ride through this cavernous system of limestone mines and tunnels. You can find out even more about the history of the town and the wider region at the neighbouring Black Country Living Museum, an extensive packed with period shops, pubs, vehicles and even a working fairground. It's a brilliant family day out.
Alternatively, explore another side of Dudley's history - and present - at head the town centre's Glass Quarter. You can learn about the history of the craft, watch glassmakers and glassblowers at work, and of course pick up some glassware of your own at one of the shops.
If you'd rather stay in the 21st century, make your way to Merry Hill, a huge shopping centre that's home to hundreds of big-name retailers and restaurants, with everything from M&S to Nandos.