Solihull is “the best place to live in the UK,” according to the 2013 Quality of Life Index from uSwitch, which assessed areas such as disposable income, life expectancy... and broadband speeds (an average of 17Mb here, apparently).
And, not only can residents of Solihull, commonly known as “Silhillians” (where did the “O” go?) surf the web at a satisfying pace, they can reach the second city, Birmingham in minutes, the centre is 9 miles away, or they can visit Shakespeare's town of Stratford upon Avon in just 20. I highly recommend taking the train from Whitlocks End or other nearby stations to the centre of Stratford. It's a beautiful train journey through all of Solihull's rural villages, but you also can avoid playing car park ‘hokey-cokey' with the hordes that descend, especially on a sunny day. The National Trust offers several historic houses locally, such as Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House in Lapworth; also one of the best preserved castles in the UK - Warwick Castle is only 20 minutes away.
Solihull's motto is “Urbs in Rure” meaning town in the country and it is a perfect description. There are many lush, green parks such as Brueton and Hillfield and soon to be a newly landscaped Shirley park behind the new Asda and Parkgate centre, opening any month now with lots to do including a brand new library. The countryside is just minutes outside of the centre of town with fields, lakes, canals and woodland to explore.
There are hundreds of baby, toddler and classes for older children, for the crafty, musical or sporty, whatever your child is into. Take a look at our local listings for many suggestions or add your own child friendly activity if it's not on here already.