Three destinations in Britain’s second largest city that go beyond the traditional confines of museums.
Cadbury World in Birmingham is a visitor attraction that is definitely in a different league to the museum norm. No matter what the type or age range of the group, visitors love experiencing the wonder of Cadbury World’s 14 amazing zones, uncovering a world of chocolate delights and learning about the history of the Cadbury brand. From exploring chocolate’s ancient Aztec origins to walking through a full scale replica of Bull Street where John Cadbury opened his first shop in 1824, Cadbury World covers everything the visitor could possibly want to know about chocolate and the brand. Groups can learn how their favourite confectionery is made and watch demonstrations of traditional chocolate-making skills in the chocolate making zone. Cadbury World’s in-house chocolatiers use around 12,000kg of chocolate every year to create limited edition and seasonal novelty products available exclusively from the on-site shop.
Open since 1990, Cadbury World now welcomes over half a million annual visitors in search of entertainment and chocolate treats. Free preview visits are offered to group organisers and special discounted entry rates for groups of 15 or more are available all year round, with additional savings to be made if visiting on off-peak dates. Free coach parking, plus admission and a complimentary meal for one driver are all included, while groups of 20 or more also receive free admission for the group organiser.
Thinktank is a wonderful interactive science museum covering four floors at the Millennium Point complex in Birmingham. Organised into four floors covering the past, the present and the future, there are over 200 hands-on exhibits as well as historical and valuable items, and a regular programme of events and activities. Key items in the collections include the Smethwick Engine, the world’s oldest working steam engine built in 1778 on James Watt’s patented design of 1769. Younger visitors are likely to enjoy the wide variety of interactive exhibits in the five ‘Investigate the Present’ galleries, which include a giant digestive system to play with in the ‘Things About Me’ gallery. The Thinktank café serves sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks.
Groups of ten or more get ticket discounts, and there is a dedicated groups’ entrance with a pick-up zone for coaches. Function rooms can be hired, including for morning coffee or lunch.
Sealife Birmingham opens up the underwater world for everyone to explore. Located behind Symphony Hall in Birmingham’s stylish canal area, over a thousand creatures are on display including seahorses, hammerhead sharks, otters and giant turtles. The tropical tank (no less than a million litres of water) provides exceptional opportunities to get as close as possible to some of the world’s most fascinating animals; many visitors name the walk-through underwater tunnels as their favourite part. There are feeding demonstrations throughout the day, and opportunities to touch crabs and meet starfish. The 4D cinema shows a film featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and lots of underwater action aimed at children. Sealife Birmingham plays an important role in conservation, so visitors can also learn about activities to rescue seals, raise money and breed endangered species.
Group visitors (ten or more individuals) can get discounted prices, 10% discount in the gift shop, two GTO preview visits, and can upgrade to VIP tours which will include a Sealife expert to give a specialised tour.
See the Group Travel World directory for full details of places mentioned: www.grouptravelworld.com/directory