The historic neighbourhood of Smethwick has is in rich history and heritage - despite going through so many changes over the years.
It’s where the Smethwick Engine was invented invented by Matthew Boulton and James Watt in the eighteenth century. It’s also where you’ll find some fascinating independent shops on Bearwood High Street.
From parks and big green spaces to independent bookstores, restaurants, curry houses and pubs, Smethwick is a busy neighbourhood. It is also home to several Sikh temples that are open to all and serve free food as Langar - a communal free kitchen.
There are museums and activity hubs to take the little ones for a fun family day. And soon, it will have a massive aquatics centre with an Olympic-size swimming pool, a 10-metre diving board with 25 metre pool, a community swimming pool. Here are 13 fascinating things to do in Smethwick:
1. Lightwoods Park and House
Located in Bearwood, which borders Birmingham, it is a great place for children and families to explore. The Grade II-listed house has been lovingly restored to its 18th century glory, with a tea room, community rooms and space for public and private events. Many of the park’s historical elements have been brought back to life, including the drinking fountains, the 19th century bandstand and the Shakespeare Garden – plus new paths and a play area. (Photo - Michael Westley /(CC BY-SA 2.0))
2. Bear Bookshop
This independent bookshop in Bearwood has a great collection for people of all ages and also hosts amazing events for readers. On July 27th, you can join them for a magical, musical story time with string accompaniment. On August 4, you can attend the Big Dance Workshop with Aoife Greenham, and there are several more events that are coming up. (Photo - Google Maps)
3. Brasil Portu, Bearwood
Brazilian Aston Villa football star Philippe Coutinho was spotted shopping in BrasilPortu - a cosy restaurant with outdoor seating serving Brazilian cuisine, plus groceries & a meat counter. Other Aston Villa players like Diego Costa and Douglas Luiz have also visited this hidden gem. (Photo - Google Maps)
4. Galton Valley Canal Museum
This is a small museum in Smethwick which tells the story of the development of the Galton Valley canals and those who designed, built and worked on them. (Photo - Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK(CC BY-SA 2.0))