From humble beginnings as a small market town in the shadow of its much larger neighbour Birmingham, Solihull has grown into one of the most vibrant and eclectic cultural hubs in the West Midlands. But there's plenty more to this town than a buzzing town centre. Much of Solihull sits alongside the beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon canal, which winds through the town, fringed by picturesque pubs and waterside restaurants.
If you're looking to shop, you came to the right place. Solihull town centre is shopping heaven. It's home to more designer labels than you can shake a stick at, from Prada and Dolce & Gabbana to Superdry, Hollister and John Lewis. Shop 1960s-style in the traditional surroundings of Mell Square, or take a stroll to the award-winning Touchwood Shopping Centre, just 10 minutes from the station, and shop 'til you drop at over 80 stores under one roof.
For more cultural pursuits, the Solihull Arts Complex boasts a packed calendar all year round, offering comedy, variety and music for audiences of all ages. The National Motorcycle Museum - the largest of its kind in the world - caters for those with a need for speed, with over one thousand classic bikes on display, all painstakingly restored to their original glory.
But it's not all high fashion and speed machines - there's also plenty of green space and beautiful countryside. Head to the sprawling Malvern and Brueton Park, which extends from the east of town to the banks of the River Blythe, for leisurely walks or summer picnics under the trees. To the west of town is Tudor Grange Park, with a pond, playground and pitch-and-putt course.