Nestled in England’s West Midlands, Wolverhampton often gets overlooked by tourists in favor of its higher-profile neighbors like Birmingham and Manchester. However, this historic city has undergone major regeneration efforts in recent years, bringing new life to Wolverhampton’s public spaces, culture scene, and economy.
Once a leader in industries like steel production, locks, and motorcycles, Wolverhampton fell into decline after WW2 as traditional manufacturing waned. But today, Wolverhampton is bouncing back through smart urban planning. The city center benefits from attractive pedestrianization schemes, regenerated canals, and refurbished cultural venues.
Beyond its reputation as an industrial hub, Wolverhampton has some architectural gems. Grand Victorian buildings sit alongside striking modern structures like the Wolverhampton Art Gallery. The city honors its manufacturing legacy through museums dedicated to industries like steel and porcelain. Green spaces like West Park provide tranquil escapes from the urban bustle.
But Wolverhampton isn’t stuck in the past – it has a youthful, creative spirit with a lively arts scene centered on venues like the Arena Theatre. A diverse food scene features award-winning gastropubs and quirky cafes for the foodie lover. Microbreweries produce quality ales from the West Midlands and beyond.
With this rejuvenation, Wolverhampton makes for an ideal weekend break destination. Two days of sightseeing are just enough time to appreciate some of the top things to do in the West Midlands region while experiencing Wolverhampton’s rich history, culture, food, and drink. Plan your trip with this two-day itinerary that will uncover the best of Wolverhampton’s architectural, cultural, and culinary offerings.
Day 1 Places to Visit
Morning: St Peter’s Church and Queen Square
Start your first day in the historic heart of the city at St Peter’s Church, known for its soaring Perpendicular Gothic tower. Take time to appreciate the ornate 15th-century carvings and stained glass.
Next, head to the adjacent Queen Square, a Georgian square featuring an obelisk at its center. Notice the blue plaques on the square denoting famous residents like theatrical luminary Sir Henry Irving. Stop for a morning coffee at one of the chic cafes lining the pedestrianized square.
Midday: Wander Around Wolverhampton City Centre
After visiting St Peter’s and Queen Square, take an hour or two to wander around Wolverhampton’s central shopping streets. Pop into the palatial Wulfrun Hall, a grand Edwardian shopping arcade. Browse the stalls at the lively Wolverhampton Market near the railway station, which has operated since medieval times.
Make sure to also spend some time inside the iconic Civic Hall, located just south of the city center. This striking 1930s building contains one of the UK’s finest Wurlitzer organs within its concert hall. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch a show in this majestic venue.
The area around Princess Street and Victoria Street has several notable 19th-century buildings, including the red brick former Chubb Buildings.
Lunch at The Lych Gate Tavern
By now you’ve worked up an appetite! Head just north of the city center to The Lych Gate Tavern for a gastropub lunch. Try their gourmet handmade Scotch eggs or beef and ale pie. Sip local beers in the cozy British beer garden out back.
Afternoon: Bantock House and Park
Walk off your big lunch ambling through the pretty grounds of Bantock Park, just east of the city center. The park’s focal point is Bantock House, an elegant Georgian house museum set in landscaped gardens. Admire the decorative plasterwork inside and learn about its former resident, Victorian industrialist, and philanthropist Sir Alfred Hickman. The park’s sunken garden and glasshouses are perfect for whiling away an afternoon.
Visit Himley Hall
Next, take a short drive out to the 18th-century country estate of Himley Hall, located just north of Wolverhampton. Explore the Palladian mansion with its grand hall and beautiful grounds. The surrounding parkland offers lovely woodland walks and relaxing views across the Staffordshire countryside.
Don’t miss the walled garden bursting with colorful blooms. Himley Hall makes for a peaceful escape from the city. You can easily spend a few hours wandering the scenic trails and admiring the architecture. This is probably one of the top tourist attractions you can find here.
Dinner at The Mount Tavern
Round off with a tasty dinner at this Michelin Guide-recommended and AA Rosette award-winning gastropub just south of the city center. Feast on creative modern British fare like gingerbread pork belly in the comfy surroundings of this 19th-century inn.
What to See on Day 2
Morning: Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Dedicate the morning of your second day to imbibing some culture at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, located in a striking glass and steel building.
Their excellent permanent collection includes numerous exhibits of works by famed artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, and Monet. Look out for paintings of local interest like Benjamin Williams Leader’s idyllic The Old Road, Goldthorn Hill, and Wolverhampton.
Wander Around West Park
Walk off the art gallery visit wander around the lovely West Park, located just southwest. With its mature trees, formal gardens, and tranquil lake, these well-tended Victorian gardens are perfect for a stroll.
Pop into the West Park Museum while you’re there, which has displays of local history and wildlife. The park hosts a nostalgic 1950s weekend annually if you’re visiting at that time.
Midday: Lunch at The Wayfarer
Break for lunch at this cozy micropub just south of West Park, which offers locally sourced British pub grub-like hearty pies. Be sure to try a pint of one of their cask ales from independent breweries. The Wayfarer has a friendly community vibe and a small beer garden.
Afternoon: Industrial History at Bantock House
After lunch, head east to the Museum of Royal Worcester at Bantock House. Explore this museum charting the history of the Royal Worcester porcelain manufacturers, who were major 19th-century employers in the city.
See samples of intricate bone china and observe artists decorating new pieces in the studio. If you have more time, also visit the Bilston Craft Gallery on the same grounds, which contains artistic metalwork in a former steel factory.
Evening: Dinner and Drinks at Mount Tavern
Round off your last evening in Wolverhampton with dinner at the cozy Mount Tavern gastropub again. Their Sunday roasts come highly recommended – try the roast beef or half-roast chicken.
Then enjoy a relaxed pint in their small courtyard beer garden as the sun goes down. It’s a nice low-key way to end your weekend break in Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton Travel Tips:
- Wolverhampton is easily accessible by train from cities like Birmingham and London. Wolverhampton Railway Station in the city center has frequent services.
- For getting around the city itself, walking is the best way to see the central sights. The local bus network is also reliable and affordable.
- Many of Wolverhampton’s top museums and galleries are free to visit. These include Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Bantock House, and the city’s museums located in West Park.
- If you want to cruise along the canals, you can hire narrowboats and canal barges in Wolverhampton through companies like Black Country Narrowboats. No experience is necessary.
- Try to visit the Wolverhampton Market on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday when it is busiest. The indoor and outdoor markets have over 200 stalls between them!
- Foodies should look out for the AA Rosette and Michelin Guide-rated restaurants in Wolverhampton like The Mount Tavern, which serves excellent modern British cuisine.
- Real ale fans are spoiled for choice at Wolverhampton’s many traditional pubs. Look for local brews from the Black Country’s breweries.
- Stay centrally to be within walking distance from most attractions. The Premier Inn Wolverhampton City Centre is a reliable value for money.
- West Park makes a great base from which to explore many of the city’s top sights such as Bantock House.
- If you are a fan of football clubs, you should try and catch a Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. match at Molineux Stadium, the city’s famous football ground. The football league is of course popular among the locals so you will get to enjoy the experience.
- Save money by purchasing a Wolverhampton Art Pass which gives entry discounts for many of the city’s top museums and galleries.
You’ve now experienced the best of what Wolverhampton has to offer. From its regal Georgian squares to rejuvenated canal sides, Wolverhampton rewards those who take the time to explore its historic streets and refurbished public spaces.
Hopefully, you’ve gained insight into the city’s legacy as a powerhouse of industry and manufacturing. This proud history shaped the city into the vibrant place it is today. The museums dedicated to former key industries like steel production and porcelain keep these stories alive.
Beyond the buildings, Wolverhampton’s true soul lies in its resilient community. I hope you enjoyed reading it and that it inspires you to visit someday. Once you are done in Wolverhampton, you can also explore some things to do in Stoke on-Trent, a nearby town with a wealth of industrial history, culture, and heritage.
What are the top things to do in Wolverhampton in 2 days?
Visit St Peter’s Church, wander the city center and canals, explore museums like Wolverhampton Art Gallery, enjoy the parks and gardens like West Park, and dine at gastropubs like The Mount Tavern.
How do I get around Wolverhampton?
Wolverhampton is compact so walking is the best way to get around. You can also use the affordable local buses. Trains from Birmingham and London arrive at Wolverhampton Station with daily departures. We also suggest taking a walking tour to explore the city.
Where should I stay in Wolverhampton?
Stay centrally in Wolverhampton so you’re within walking distance to the main attractions. Premier Inn Wolverhampton City Centre is a good value option. Book your stay here or at one of the many other affordable locations.
What is the food like in Wolverhampton?
Wolverhampton has great gastropubs using local ingredients like The Mount Tavern, as well as quirky cafes. Be sure to try a curry, the city has a large South Asian community.
What can I do for free in Wolverhampton?
Many of Wolverhampton’s top museums and galleries are free entry, like Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Strolling the canals, gardens and around the city center won’t cost you anything.
How do I get to Wolverhampton from London?
Trains from London Euston to Wolverhampton take about 1 hour 30 minutes. Wolverhampton is easily reachable by train from many major UK cities. Plan your travel itinerary keeping this in mind.
What is Wolverhampton known for?
Wolverhampton is known for its manufacturing history, excellent museums, Victorian architecture, leafy parks, university culture, and revitalized city center. It’s an underrated gem!