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In these extraordinary times, days out can mean thinking outside of the box to maintain social distancing rules.

From foodies to adventure-seekers, we highlight some of the standout ways you can enjoy getting away for a day – with distance in mind


The Top Country Pub

Experience one of the best pub’s in the country with a day out in picturesque Warwickshire. The Howard Arms in Ilmington, near Stratford upon Avon, is soaked in charm, so it’s no wonder it was named best Midland pub and is in the final three for the national Visit England title. With a one-way system and large garden of spaced-out tables, feel relaxed as you choose from its wide range of fine wines and cask ales. Sheep graze nearby as you tuck into a delicious locally-sourced menu featuring an eclectic mix from lamb kofta and salmon to Cotswold lamb – but save room for desserts like scrumptious eton mess and sticky toffee pudding. Make sure you reserve a table in advance, especially for the garden. Plus they have luxurious rooms if you want to make a night of it. Visit the Howard Arms website here 

Cheese Fest

This one-day pop-up festival takes place at The Factory Works in Digbeth’s The Custard Factory from midday to 6pm on Saturday 15 August. Not only will there by cheese traders with samples galore but also street food, bars, DJs and live music at Cheese Fest 2020. Serving up cheesy specials will be Patty Freaks, Street Souvlaki, Yardbirds, Street Chef, Urban Cheesecake, The Paneer Wrap Street Food Company and more. Find out more here

Pizza And Wine Tasting Evening

A taste of Italy comes to Sarehole Mill on Saturday 5 September. Gather in its outdoor courtyard for canapes followed by pizza and wine pairings with five Italian wines. Tony Elvin of The Wine Events Company leads guests through each wine from 8.15pm to 9.45pm. Pre-book tickets, which cost £35, from the Sarehole Mill website

Feast On Swine And Wine

Feel transported to a Tudor hunting lodge in distinguished The Woodsman restaurant with its wood panelling, 500-year-old beams, leaded windows and paintings of deer. Run by executive chef Mike Robinson, the hearty menu at this Stratford-upon-Avon restaurant surprises and delights with specials from meaty muntjac deer lollipops and wild venison scotch egg to wood-fired pork chop with crispy crackling, honey and chickory or a fillet of gilthead seabream with cod brandade and clams. Food is locally sourced with honey even supplied from hives on the building’s roof and tables are at least 2m apart. With puddings like blackcurrent souffle or honey parfait with lavender shortbread, you’ll feel like you’ve had a feast fit for a king. Book a table at The Woodsman restaurant website here.

Picnic At Blakesley Hall

The stunning Blakesley Hall gardens are being opened for a summer picnic day on Sunday 30 August. Enjoy music from a local folk band and drinks from the bar at the event from 11.30am to 3.30pm. Tickets include a reserved picnic spot on the lawn and box of food but you need to take your own blanket and chairs. Potter among craft stalls, take a walk around the gardens and then snack on your treats. Pre-order drink tokens and activity bags can also be purchased with tickets, which cost £15 adults and £7 children. Pre-booking is essential. Find out more at the Blakesley Hall website here

Traditional Cotswolds Afternoon Tea

Tea makes everything feel better and you can keep your distance while indulging in the most quintessential English high tea of them all in the historic Cotswolds. Famous for its tearooms, the most sought-after venues across villages like Broadway, Bourton on the Water and Stow on the Wold allow you to space out in courtyards. At the Lygon Arms in Broadway, dip into three tiers of tasty delights of fluffy scones, finger sandwiches and dainty cakes amid 600 years of history from £25 per person or upgrade to include champagne from £35. Find out more at the Lygon Arms website here

Visit Britain’s Foodie Central

Ludlow in Shropshire is renowned as the “foodie town” with its gourmet independent delicatessens selling some of the best food in the country. While Ludlow’s famous food festival had to be postponed this year, you can still enjoy the tasty treats on offer at the many pubs and cafes. Shop at the charming boulevard of butchers, bakers, beer and cheese shops in its cobbled city centre to take home or picnic at a spot with views of its stunning castle or rolling country hills. And don’t forget to include the famous local Shropshire Blue cheese. Find out more at the Ludlow Tourism website here


Roxy Ballroom

The Roxy Ballroom in Digbeth has reopened with new safer social distance measures across its bowling alley, pool tables and gaming complex. Hand sanitiser stations have been added along with enhanced cleaning between games, table service and advanced bookings of up to six people. Enjoy everything from traditional arcade games to the 18ft tournament standard shuffleboard – all to a rock and indie soundtrack. Book a slot at the Roxy Ballroom website here

Treasure Trails

Track down treasure or even murderers while doing a series of exciting self-guided walking trail games as a couple or with friends and family. Treasure Trails allow you to explore over 1200 locations across Birmingham, the Midlands and nationwide while keeping your distance. Order a trail online and follow the clues over several hours from graveyards to iconic buildings. Pick a trail for £9.99 from the Treasure Trails website here

Escape Reality

Escape Hunt has reopened its game rooms at Resorts World and Birmingham city centre with safer measures in place including deep cleaning and mask wearing. Ideal for families and bubbles of friends, there’s escape room and virtual reality games from a Dr Who challenge to Samurai master mystery. Alternatively, there are print at home games you can order online and play when you don’t want to venture out. Find out more at the Escape Hunt website here 

Skipper A Boat For The Day

Set adrift on a barge with day rentals that help you make the most of the Midlands’ extensive canals while staying contained on your own boat. Enjoy opening locks, spotting wildlife and lunching on-board. Anglo Welsh offers day boat hire from Tardebigge on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal or at Wotton Wawen on the Stratford Canal from £99 and includes full tuition for those new to boating. Boats even come equipped with cutlery, crockery and a kettle, plus most have a toilet, cooker and fridge as you sail away to new adventures. Find out more at Anglo Welsh website here

Bounce Into Action

Jump into action at Rush Trampoline Park in Birmingham with new safer measures that include only 80 people allowed in the large venue for each 90-minute session. There’s also deep-cleans between each influx of customers. With trampolines at least 2m apart, you’ll bounce away your worries in no time at the park that’s fun for all ages. Find out more at the Rush website here


Drive-in Cinema

Get in the popcorn and nestle into your car like Sandy and Danny in Grease to watch drive-in movies at the grounds of Tamworth Castle. Grease is the main screening on Friday 14 August at 9pm, while you can enjoy The Greatest Showman on Saturday 15 August at 9pm. It costs £30 a car and you can book tickets in advance at the Tamworth Arts and Events website here 

Outdoor Shakespeare

If you have been missing live theatre during lockdown then head to Stratford-upon-Avon for free outdoor pop-up Shakespeare performances every weekend in Dell Gardens. The world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is behind performances using a range of Shakespearean works, performed by actors from the RSC’s postponed productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare Snapshots take place at a social distance for 45 minutes at 1pm and 3pm each day from Friday through to Sunday on a first come, first served basis. Find out more at the RSC website here

Wind in the Willows

Two outdoor performance of this enchanting children’s tale will be staged in the grounds of Aston Hall on Sunday 23 August by Attic Theatre and Tread the Boards Theatre Company. There will also be reserved ticket spaces to bring a picnic while you watch the show at either 2pm or 5.30pm. Book tickets, which cost £15 adults and £10 children or extra for picnic areas, at the Aston Hall website here