Birmingham Museum an Art Gallery

Ryan Gander’s Night At The Museum

Birmingham Museum and Art gallery

until 12th February 2017


dsc02336What happens when the lights go out and everyone leaves at the end of the day?
Night in the Museum offers a unique view of what might happen after hours when artworks are left alone.

Ryan Gander selected works blends both a collection of modern and contemporary British art with pieces from artists including Birmingham-born Roger Hiorns, Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore.

The sculptures are presented in a way that they appear to be gaze at other works featuring the colour blue, a colour which is important to Ganders work.

I loved this exhibition, and at times felt as if some of the pieces were a vistor enjoying the art along side me and not part of the exhibition.

I then went for a look around the main museum as it had been many years since I had last visited, I was very disappointed, gone were the dinosaurs, rocks and minerals, old toy’s, stuffed animals, replaced by modern history and lot’s of things for children to play with. I understand that places have to move with the times, but it really feels like the place has lost it’s sole.

The thing they can’t change is the architecture, the building still has a wonderful round room, wrought iron beams and old gas lighting.










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Cannon Hill Park

Cannon Hill Park


dsc02271Cannon Hill Park covers 200 acres of which 80 acres are formal parkland and 120 acres conservation and woodland plantation. It has 2 children’s play areas and a children’s mini fun-fair which runs weekends in fine weather. It also has free tennis courts, pedalos in the summer and a 36 hole mini golf course. There are two large pools with fish and ducks and quite a few squirrels. The MAC is also in the grounds, toilets and drinks/food can be found here, and a cafe can be found on the opposite side of the park.
The grade II listed bandstand which was part of the original layout is set in a natural amphitheatre. The park also contains the remains of the Golden Lion pub built in 1520, there is talk of restoring it if the money can be found.

The Park was donated to the citizens of Birmingham by Miss Louisa Ryland in 1873. She wanted the Park to be a source of healthy recreation for the people of Birmingham, and for them to help protect and preserve the park.

The park was designed by Mr. T J Gibson, who also designed Battersea Park in London, and was opened to visitors in 1873.

This is a lovely park, we have spent many a happy day here when our kids were little, ball and a picnic were all we needed. Even though they are all grown up now, we still love a walk around the park, and it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is or what the weather is doing, it’s a lovely place.

Tilly Travel


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John Rylands Library

John Rylans Library

Admission free

Opening times vary

All ages

The John Rylands library is truly a magical place, it has the feel of something out of Harry Potter with its high vaulted ceilings, stone corridors and historical staircase. So that will keep the little ones amused, for the rest the library has 6 floors, the basement has lockers, toilets and baby changing. The ground floor as a small shop and Rylands café (locally sourced and fair trade where possible). Stairs or lift to the first floor, this floor is home to the temporary exhibition space, the Rylands Gallery which has some examples of the earliest books ever printed, the gallery is organised into seven themes – faiths, history of the bible, science, everyday life, literature, Manchester and arts and crafts of printing. The Spencer and Crawford rooms home a collection of sculptures and rare books.

Up the stairs or lift to level 2 and the wonderful breathtaking staircase and entrance hall. The statue facing the entrance is by John Cassidy and represents Theology directing the Labours of Science and the Arts. Take the stairs (no lift) down to see and use, if you need too the Victorian toilets, which haven’t been changed and remain as they were in 1900, (how they got their frocks in there is beyond me). They have a little creepy feel to them. Once relived, (well I think you have to give it ago, how many other times are you going to get to go on a loo that old)?  Back up the stairs to the stair case and into the lift if you need to, but if you can do walk the sweeping  staircase and take a look over the balcony. You are now on level 3 the Historic Reading room, it looks and feels like a cathedral, a statue of Mr. and Mrs Rylands grace either end of  the room, for me it is what a library should feel and look like.

Just outside the reading room is this little fund raising machine, fun for the little kiddies, who am I kidding I put a few pound in myself to watch it. Nice thing about this is you can put in as much or as little as you like to set it off.

(sorry it’s on its side, I still haven’t worked out how to turn video)

The fourth floor isn’t open to the public, members only.



Tilly Travel

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Delamere Forest

Delamere Forest and Blakemere Moss

Free admission

All ages

Delemere forest is a lovely quiet forest in Cheshire plain. Idea for walking with small children or people who find long walks too much. The paths are sandstone with very few inclines/declines, and are easily walked if you take your time.

There are three easy marked walks,

      Linmere Trail starts at Delamere forest centre green waymarkers around  1.7miles


      Blakemere Trail starts at Delamere forest centre – red waymarkers around 3.6 miles


      Easy Access Trail starts at Barnsbridge car park, this is just  part of  the red trail and is a  surfaced path leading down to the  landscape of Blakemere Moss.

If you fancy a climb then there’s Old Pale to climb. This walk starts at Limere visitor centre, walk to the end of the road, cross the car park and pick up the path on the opposite side. The hill rises to a height of 176 meters and has fantastic views on a good day.

Blakemere moss is reclaimed wetland and is creepily beautiful in the winter, walk all the way round if you can there are parts with small paths that lead out into the water.

We have visited the forest many times over the years and for us it is at it’s best in the autumn and winter, the colours in autumn are wonderful and there’s nothing like walking the forest with the frost twinkling or the mist weaving its way through the trees.

For a bit of fun, (You don’t need kiddies, we didn’t ) you can go in search of the Gruffalo, although take care if you have a dog, on our walk we saw a dog and a horse become very upset at finding the Gruffalo.



Tilly Travel

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Manchester cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

Free to enter, £1 for a guild leaflet.

dsc02166This is a very pretty cathedral and where it stands has had many churchs on the same spot over the years, the first being way back in Saxon times. It became a cathedral in 1847. In 1940 parts of the cathedral were lost in the blitz and it took nearly 20 years to complete the repairs.

There are some lovely carvings and beautiful stained glass windows, (these were post blitz) and three misericords. A pleasent hour can be spent looking around.

After looking around the cathedral take a  walk to the cathedral vistors centre, just a short walk from the cathedral to see the hanging bridge. The Hanging Bridge was the gateway to the medieval quarter, built in 1421 the Hanging Bridge was always the hub of mancunian life. Today it can been seen in the lower floor of the centre


Tilly Travel

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Tatton Park

Tatton Park

Roald Dahl’s Gloriumptious Christmas

Check web site for days

Price Adults £9.50

Children £5.50

Car parking £6.00

dsc02228 Celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th Tatton Mansion is decorated in the magical wonderland of Roalds books. Each room features a different story, and is lit differently adding to the whole experience. A nice addition are the bell ringers by the stair case, ringing out Christmas tunes.

It is fun to spot the stories as you wander from room to room, don’t forget to pause in the Matilda room to make paper chains. It really is a fantastic experience for children and the young at heart. I will admit to walking round with a stupid grin on my face that I just couldn’t get off :), if you are lucky you can meet Mrs Claus at the end for a mince pie. After finishing in the house head out to the garden to find other stories. We found the giant peach before heavy rain forced us back to the car, however we do plan to return in the summer to take a look around the gardens.

Tilly Travel

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Magical Lantern Festival

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has the feel of a Victorian public park  with its  four glasshouses which range from tropical to subtropical, mediterranean and arid desert,  15 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, pool, rock garden,  bandstand, aviary, playground, tea room and gift shop, although I am not too sure the Victorians would have had a gift shop, but hey they have to make money.

Magical Lantern Festival
Botanical Gardens

25/11/16 to 2/1/17

Price adult £14 on the day £12.50 pre-booked on-line but there is a charge for this.

Child £10.00 £8.50 pre-booked

Family tickets £44.00 or £38 pre-booked

Entrance is set in 15 minute slots.

Parking for blue badge holders only

dsc02055I was pleasantly surprised by this event, it was far prettier than I had expected. Set in the gardens it is an easy walk around the paths with only one very slight dirt pathway.

A short walk from the road alongside the car park and you enter the festival through a 12 meter wide lantern arch, complete with snowmen, santa and reindeer’s. Just beyond this is the ticket office and a couple of food stalls, (don’t bother with the mulled wine, it’s just warmed up red wine, no mull at all), and a gift tent.

The first set of lights is a freeze with penguins, snowmen and trees, this seemed to be a favorite with the little ones.  Large baskets with birds and flowers were next, followed by illuminated animals. The nice thing about this show was that in certain parts of the gardens you could see across to other lights, and from on top of them giving a fantastic almost  fairy tale like view.

I found it hard to pick a favourite, I loved the pandas in the bamboo garden and the angel in a pool of lights with swans was magical, the frogs on the lily pads enchanting, even Brasso made an appearance.  The cinderella coach got a few gasps from some of the younger girls.

After leaving the main part of the festival walk towards the main building and the gift shop, otherwise you will miss Teddy bear and all his presents.

This really is a lovely way to spend an evening for anyone who is young at heart

Magical Lantern festival photos

Tilly Travel

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