Walsall Things to Do

  • The Illuminations (copyright  Swiss Rolli)
    The Illuminations (copyright Swiss...
    by AntonioJazz
  • Walsall Arboretum (Bandstand)
    Walsall Arboretum (Bandstand)
    by AntonioJazz
  • Swan Lake
    Swan Lake
    by AntonioJazz

Most Recent Things to Do in Walsall

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    Check Out Some Live Music by Local Artists

    by AntonioJazz Updated Jun 9, 2014

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    If you're a fan of live music and you want to experience the 'Walsall Sound' there are several places in or near the town centre where you'll be able to get a taste of what's happening on the local music scene.

    The purpose of this article is not to focus on the venues. It's really a celebration of the bands. Walsall has a long standing tradition of producing great musicians and artists, some of whom have even trailed their blaze amongst the dizzy heights of fame. An active and diverse community of artists and musicians exists in the region and there's a good chance that if you hit the right venues you'll catch a performance or two without having to part with too much cash.

    Here are some venues where you'll be likely to find live music on the menu, especially at weekends:

    The Wheatsheaf (Town Centre) Yahoo

    The White Lion (Highgate) Yahoo

    The Fountain (Town Centre) Yahoo

    The Wharf Bar (Town Centre) Yahoo


    *Look out for forthcoming venue reviews

    The Grey Goose Blues Band The Illuminations (copyright  Swiss Rolli) Caught Off Guard The Wharf Bar Noddy Holder and AJ
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    Visit the Walsall Arboretum

    by AntonioJazz Updated May 14, 2014

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    The Arboretum in Walsall offers a rich assortment of possible activities and any visit will quickly reveal why it's such a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. For Skateboarders, bird lovers, joggers, social tennis or football players, parents looking for somewhere for their children to let off steam, couples taking a romantic stroll, ramblers, picnic past-timers, artists seeking inspiration, and anyone else the list of things to do within this vast expanse of lush, cultured landscape goes on and on.

    It's free to enter, opens early, closes late and no first time visit to Walsall is complete if amongst the itinerary a trip to the Arboretum was not included.

    One of the beautiful things about Walsall Arboretum is the amount of organised activities that you can choose to participate in. For example, each Saturday there's a chance to take part in the Walsall Parkrun, a free to enter 5km run against the clock organised by a group of local volunteers. It starts at 9am and you can expect to be in the company of over a hundred other runners each time that you take part. You do need to register before your first run if you want to get the necessary barcode which will enable you to clock a time.

    Here's the Walsall Parkrun link:
    Yahoo

    Add to that, other events such as Chuckery Festival Yahoo

    Walsall Classic Car and Transport Show (now in it's 24th year)
    Yahoo

    and a host of others and you begin to get an idea of the importance of this location to the community and region it serves.

    Walsall Arboretum (Bandstand) Swan Lake Directions / Info Park Skate Boarder
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    Attempt to Break the Hippo Leaping Record

    by AntonioJazz Updated May 5, 2014

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    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a concrete hippopotamus. And you'll find it in the town centre on Park Street looking slightly out of place yet in my humble opinion, rather and quite comfortably smug.

    Visitors to Walsall may well come across old Hoppy the Hippo during their town centre excursions. The statue has been there since 1972 and, unknown to many, is actually intended to be a depiction of the ancient Egyptian goddess Taweret, Goddess of Children.

    So about the record. Well the Hippo Leaping Record was set in 1979 by local resident John Simkiss who somehow leapt over it a staggering 1,111 times. Indeed photographs can be found within the archives at Walsall's Local History Museum showing other hippo leaping locals including a Town Mayor, giving the art of hippo leaping their best shot.

    If you visit the landmark to take on the challenge you should expect looks of astonishment and gasps of disbelief from any locals in the area at the time. If you break the record you'll probably be given the Freedom of the Town.

    Hoppy (Walsall Town Centre)
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    Take The Smokey's Monster Burger Challenge

    by AntonioJazz Updated May 4, 2014

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    My vegans friends won't thank me for this and being vegan it's not something that I'll be doing myself, but it has to get a mention because it's one of Walsall's more peculiar attractions.

    Of particular interest to those hard up tourists that fancy a free meal are the food challenges that can be taken during a visit to Smokey's Diner. Polish off one of the meals on the menu within the time limit and you get the meal as a freebie. Fail and you pay anything from £8 for the 'easiest' challenge to £29.95 for the heavyweight version.

    If you do manage to complete the Monster Burger challenge you won't be the first to do so, but it's likely you'll be only the third as just two other people have managed it since the venue opened around 4 years ago. One of the conquering heroes was none other than the 'professional eater and body builder' Randy Santel who flew in from America specifically to add this achievement to his growing list of man v food conquests.

    You can see the video of Randy's Oct 2012 demolition of the Monster Burger online if you follow this link:

    Yahoo

    Ok. So what are you up against? Well the Smokey food challenges are;

    The Monster Burger (£29.95)
    1.5 kg home made beef burger topped with 12 rashers of bacon, 12 slices of cheese, 11 onion rings, iceburg lettuce and tomato plus fries and home made slaw.

    The Monster Dog (£29.95)
    Just over a metre long 1.5 kg beef sausage served in metre long bread bun with a pound of home made chilli, grated cheese and jalapeno peppers served with fries and home made slaw.

    The Ghost Chilli Challenge (£7.95)
    You have 10 minutes to eat chicken wings smothered in Smokey's signature Ghost Chilli Sauce with added 5 million Scoville extract.

    And, for the casual diner who is less inclined towards becoming an eating legend Smokeys may also be a worthwhile destination to check out, especially if the idea of satisfying your appetite in an American themed town centre venue floats your boat.

    (I hope to add a review of the restaurant in a separate article)

    *Randy Santel Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of Randy Santel.

    Smokeys Joint Randy Santel's pic joins Smokeys Hall of Fame Monster Burger? No problem for Randy Santel Smokeys Joint
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    Visit The New Walsall Art Gallery

    by AntonioJazz Updated May 2, 2014

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    Paying a visit to the New Walsall Art Gallery is a must do.

    Admission is free. Not that this is the most important aspect but for tourists on a tight budget it's useful to know.

    The Gallery is a bold and impressive building which offers much to explore throughout it's five floors. On top, the roof terrace is an ideal spot to chill for a few on those sun filled days of leisure. Indoors an impressive array of art pieces are on exhibition.

    The gallery is situated in a clean and pleasant area of the town centre. Neighbouring the gallery is The Walsall Waterfront, a recently completed multi-million pound housing development which, according to media sources, dominates Walsall’s skyline and has been named as one of the top 50 in the UK.

    There's also The Wharf Bar nearby where fans of live music (mainly rock, grunge and indie) will be in their element each weekend whilst Wednesday nights are given to Salsa.

    The Rare and The Beautiful View of Walsall from Roof Terrace Exhibition Piece - Garman Ryan Collection Exhibition Piece - Garman Ryan Collection Walsall's New Art Gallery
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    Sister Dora

    by IreneMcKay Updated Apr 24, 2014

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    There is a statue in Walsall town centre depicting Sister Dora. In St Matthew's Parish Church she is commemorated in a stain glass window. Sister Dora is Walsall's answer to Florence Nightingale.

    Sister Dora's real name was Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison. She was born in Yorkshire in 1832. In 1864 Sister Dora began work as a nurse in Walsall's new Cottage Hospital in Bridge Street.

    Walsall was an industrial town and safety standards in industry in those days were very poor. In 1872 Sister Dora was on hand when twenty-two men were trapped underground in the Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster. In 1875 she tended the wounded following an explosion at the Green Lane Iron Works. She also worked in an isolation hospital in Walsall caring tirelessly for the victims of smallpox.

    When Sister Dora died of breast cancer on Christmas Eve 1878 the whole of Walsall turned out for her funeral.

    Sister Dora
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    The New Art Gallery

    by IreneMcKay Written Apr 21, 2014

    The New Art Gallery, Walsall was officially opened in May, 2000. It is located near the wharf in the centre of Walsall. Peter Jenkinson, who became the first director of the museum, was instrumental in creating the museum.

    The gallery has five floors. One of which includes a restaurant.

    The gallery's most famous exhibits are a collection of the sculptures of Jacob Epstein donated to the people of Walsall by his wife Kathleen Garman and her artist friend Sally Ryan.

    The gallery has lots of hands-on activities for kids and makes an interesting place to spend a few hours. Admission is free.

    The New Art Gallery. The New Art Gallery.
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    St Matthew's Church

    by IreneMcKay Written Apr 21, 2014

    There has been a church on the hill dominating the town of Walsall for the last 700 years. At one time the Church was known as the Church of All Saints. St Matthew's became known as St Matthew's in the eighteenth century. It is an attractive building, well worth a visit. One of its stain glass windows represents the life of Sister Dora.

    St Matthew's Church
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    The Jerome K Jerome Museum.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Apr 21, 2014

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    I'll have to take and add a photo of this site later.

    Jerome K Jerome was born in Walsall in 1859. He is famous for writing the humorous novel "Three Men in a Boat". The museum to him is located in his former home in Bradford Place. The museum is only open between midday and 2pm on Saturdays or by prior arrangement. Admission is free. The museum displays photos, books and letters belonging to or related to Jerome K Jerome.

    The Jerome K Jerome Museum. The Jerome K Jerome Museum.
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    The Leather Museum

    by IreneMcKay Updated Apr 21, 2014

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    The leather making industry was a very important industry in Walsall in the past. Walsall specialized in making saddles, hense why the local football team are known as the Saddlers. The Leather Museum occupies a former leather industry workshop in Littleton Street. The museum explores the history of leather making in Walsall and explains how leather was made. Entrance is free.

    Walsall Leather Museum.
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    The Arboretum

    by IreneMcKay Written Apr 21, 2014

    The Arboretum is without a doubt the prettiest part of Walsall. It is a big park not far from the city centre. It has a lake formed when an old quarry site was left abandonned and filled up with water. At one time it was possible to hire row boats here, but not any more. Years ago every September the park would be lit up during the Walsall illuminations.

    The Walsall Arboretum. The Walsall Arboretum. The Walsall Arboretum. The Walsall Arboretum. The Walsall Arboretum.
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