Go in at the deep end at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham and meet sharks, penguins and brainless jellyfish. See giraffe, zebra, ankole cattle, ellipse waterbuck, congo buffalo, red lechwe, ostrich and eland at West Midlands Safari Park. Or find plenty of furry animals happy to eat out of your hand at Newbridge Farm Park.
Be entertained by chipmunks, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets and tortoises at Small Breeds Farm Park and Animal Centre. Head to Worcester to see Elgar’s birthplace, steam along the river on the Severn Valley Railway, a 16-mile heritage line from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster, or ride the miniature trains at Broomy Hill.
Discover the wonder of under at Clearwell Caves, or get serious and try some semi-deep caving. Head in the other direction at Green Spider Climbing, with 1200 sq-m of climbing, 200 routes and a bouldering option. Or tackle a potter’s wheel taster, coil-pot t-light or colourful-critter creations at Eastnor Pottery.
Bring some good boots and walk part or all of the 150-mile Herefordshire Trail. Ride and hack with the Equestrian Centre at Holme Lacy. Enjoy paintball and laser tag at HS Activities, ride karts on a 600-metre track at Herefordshire Raceway, or discover real mud, trees, water and rope swings on 175 acres of woodland at Oaker Wood Leisure.
On site by arrangement and subject to availability and cost, you can have a go at Land-Rover driving, pottery, visiting Eastnor Castle, archery, clay-pigeon shooting, duck herding or meeting birds of prey. Off site, there are more clay pigeons to pelt at South Worcestershire Shooting Ground or golf at Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel or Dymock Grange.
Fish for specimen carp at Leigh Sinton Coarse Fishing Lakes in Malvern. Get along those country lanes on two wheels care of The Malvern Bike Hire Company, Go Ape in the Forest of Dean, or go paintballing with Go Ballistic. Or contact Action Adventures for air rifles, archery, axe-throwing or quad-biking.
For simpler pleasures, walk the Malvern hills, the Geopark Trail, Eastnor Deer Park, Worcester Woods Country Park or Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum. Revive and recover with an Escape Spa Day at Schmoo in the Country at Hilton Puckrup Hall, including back massage, facial and lunch.
See the Mappa Mundi at Hereford Cathedral, taste gin made from vodka at Chase Distillery, seasonal flavours at Monkland Cheese, and champagne cider at the Museum of Cider. Head to Ross-on-Wye to canoe the river, see the castle and explore quirky gift shops. Or Hay-on-Wye for all things literary, including 30 bookshops.