The West Midlands has some amazing art and sculpture trails.
Offering something for everyone, these lovely walks include everything from age-old artwork to modern-day frescoes and there’s plenty for kids too.
Little ones will love spotting gruffalo and dinosaurs in Cannock and Coventry, spotting a mermaid in Edgbaston, and spotting a bear at Handsworth and Icarus in Lickie Hills.
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There is a conical pedestal, a huge acorn cup, a pyramidal tower and a stairway to heaven carved from the trunk of an old tree.
The best part is that these routes are free and require no pre-booking. Simply download maps using the links provided, print them at home or view them on the go on your phone. Happy Exploring!
University of Birmingham Sculpture Trail
The University of Birmingham has a sculpture trail containing 13 fascinating sculptures, some of which date back to the 18th century.
Birmingham’s oldest statue by John Nost, the Equestrian Statue of King George I (1722), stands guard outside the Barber Institute, and at the West Gate, you’ll find a giant statue of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi in honor of prominent scientist Michael Faraday, built in 2000. To mark the first centenary of the university.
See the Mermaid Fountain, the statue of King Edward VII in marble, the heraldic shield and medical pioneer Dame Hilda Lloyd among many others. The university grounds are easily accessible on foot. You can download a guide to the Sculpting Path Here
It’s worth visiting the Barber Institute of Fine Arts here too. It is free but booking may be required depending on the COVID regulations.
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Handsworth Park Arts Trail
Remember the Big Sleuth Bear Trail in 2017? The beautiful Sun Guardian bear has found its forever home in Handsworth Park!
There is also a carved feather tree trunk seat, a Victorian drinking fountain canopy, and an interactive memory chest.
Look for a Sons of Rest mosaic, a pyramid tower commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I in 2018 and the SS Journey ‘ship bow’ and anchor.
This public art route is worth a visit. It began as a temporary art route in 2015 and was so popular, it became a permanent fixture. Learn more about the trail Here
To make an afternoon stop at the Boathouse Café for a cuppa.
Holly Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B20 2BY
Dinosaur Trail at the University of Warwick
There is much to see at the University of Warwick Sculpture Park and it is open to the public.
Ideal for families, check out ‘The Highway Robber Trail’ which is 1.5 miles long and takes about 30 minutes to walk, and ‘The Dinosaur Trail’ which is under a mile and takes about 20 minutes and includes two huge Contains corten steel dinosaurs!
Field magazines are available for the two routes, which provide plenty of activities for children’s trails and plenty of space to draw. maps can be downloaded Here To print at home as part of Coventry Rocks, or to pick up a leaflet from the Warwick Arts Center box office.
Also on the routes, find the Needle of Knowledge obelisk, a pollen bomb, and Richard Deacon’s Let’s Not Be Stupid sculptures.
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Digbeth Graffiti Art Trail
The Digbeth Graffiti Art Trail is a blaze of colour, humor and energy with more than 40 murals on the walls of the Custard Factory, under railway arches, in the streets below and on billboards.
You’ll find art several floors high, drawing small pictures, eyes, and cartoon caricatures designed to encourage people to stop and smile.
There are actors, politicians and musicians immortalized in spray paint, animals, words and flowers – look out for Winston Churchill, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie and more.
The walk begins and ends at the Moore Street train station and is about three miles long, with plenty of cafes and bars closing in for refreshments along the route. Bullring and Selfridge are also nearby.
Some artwork is hidden so it’s best to download a trail guide Here to find them all.
Moore Street Station, Birmingham B4 7UL
Liqui Hills Sculpture Trail
There are music and mythology to discover on the Licky Hills Sculpture Trail, which has evolved since its launch in 1991.
Favorites include wooden sculptures of Icarus and the Spirit of Woods representing the Hermaphrodite, the Bird Man and the Green Man, which symbolize fertility and rebirth.
There is also a solar/wind harp, especially popular with children, which is activated by the wind and sun. It has been featured in local television programmes. Take a trail map from the visitor center, which serves a light breakfast. Get more knowledge Here
Here you can also enjoy tri golf and adventure playground for families.
Warren Lane, Lickie, Birmingham, B45 8ER
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Gruffalo Spotters Trail in Cannock Chase Forest
If you’re a Julia Donaldson fan, you need to visit Cannock Chase!
Just download a free app before you leave, then watch The Gruffalo’s characters come to life deep within the dark woods through augmented reality technology, which enables you to interact with them.
And, if you want more, you can buy a specially designed activity pack for £3.50 at the cafe, visitor center or on the Go app.
Cannock Chase Forest, Birches Valley, Rugele, WS15 2UQ
Litchfield Sculpture Trail
The Litchfield Sculpture Trail is fun because it has an audio guide that you can download from the City of Sculpture app to listen to while you walk.
It’s best to start at the cathedral, which has over 100 sculptures on the outside, but you can pick it up at any time.
The trail takes you to the Erasmus Darwin Museum Gardens, the Litchfield War Memorial on Bird Street, and Beacon Park, which has a great adventure playground.
Look out for Noah and the Dove on St. John’s Street, the Samuel Johnson Monument in Market Square and The Reading Girl by Antonio Rossetti which is inside the St. Mary’s Library. Get more knowledge Here
Litchfield Cathedral, The Close, Litchfield WS13 7LD
Wilderness of Dean Sculpture Trail
There are 16 artifacts to explore on the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, all inspired by the forest’s unique heritage.
They have been intentionally left to be reclaimed by the forest over time, naturally being destroyed by the weather, animal, plant growth and footsteps of visiting masses.
The trail is approximately 4.5 miles long and takes two to three hours. You can download a map or simply follow the purple Waymarker post. There are shortcuts if you only want to walk for an hour.
A ‘Cathedral’ stained-glass statue hanging in a peaceful path of trees, a ‘train line’ carved from 20 railway sleepers, a huge stone-carved acorn cup and pine cones and ‘Rings of Fire’ high in the treetops has been done.
You can also pick up a map for £1 from the Beachenhurst Visitor Center, where you can grab a bite to eat. There’s also the Gruffalo Spotters Trail, a play area, and Go Ape Tree Top Adventure. Get more knowledge Here
Beachenhurst Forest, Speech House Road, Coleford GL16 7EJ
Stoke on Trent Sculpture Trail
It’s a large path, which stretches through the city center and its suburbs, leading into Tunstall, Burslem, Fenton, Longton and Trentham Gardens, where you can see Cellini’s original 16th-century statue of Perseus with the head of Medusa. You can get a true copy.
Check out ‘Golden – the flame that never dies’, Pottery Pyramid, The Tunstall Shard, The Angel of Victory, Josiah Wedgewood and Stoke football legend Sir Stanley Matthews.
you can download a map Here Or pick up a leaflet at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, which has a cafe – although there are also plenty of cafes and pubs to stop by along the way.
The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Bethesda Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW
Saltwells Nature Reserve Sculpture Trail
Saltwells National Nature Reserve is said to be one of the largest urban nature reserves in the UK.
Here you’ll find ancient Bluebell Woods, nationally significant geology, dragonfly-filled wetlands, and orchid-covered grasslands.
There are four self-guided trails, including the sculpture trail, which is just over half a mile long and is marked with posts and signs along the way.
Find out more and download Trails Here
Find more great family things to do in your area here:
Ellesmere Sculpture Trail
There is a maze to explore in Ellesmere, Shropshire, along with a ‘shush’ sculpture made of oak, a stairway to heaven carved into a hollowed-out tree trunk and a conical seat.
The trail takes you through formal gardens, woodland, along the Ellesmere Canal, past the Town Hall and onto The Mere with its Victorian gardens and historic castle site.
Sculptures vary from wood, steel and sandstone to ceramic, granite and carved zinc. Get more knowledge Here
Meres Visitor Center, Ellesmere SY12 0PA
If You Love Exploring Trails, Check Out the Treasure Trail Guide Here, There is one for Birmingham, Bourneville, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Tipton, Stourbridge, Wolverhampton, Droitwich Spa and more.