Whilst Wolverhampton isn't well known as a tourist attraction, those visiting friends at the University, enjoying a football match at the famous Molineux Stadium or attending a concert at one of the fine local music venues will probably be pleasantly surprised by what this city has to offer.
Mass acclaimed singer Beverley Knight was born in the Pendeford area of the city. The soul diva is a regular attendee of the Molineux Stadium where her beloved Wolves play.
Wolverhampton's main railway station, which is due for an extensive renovation, is positioned on the West Coast Mainline, and so operates frequent and regular services to London, the North West, Scotland, the South West and Wales. Services to Birmingham New Street Station, one of the UK's largest rail interchanges, operate approximately every ten minutes. The station is just a few minutes' walk from the city centre and a matter of metres from the city's bus station.
Although Wolverhampton does have its own small airport, most scheduled flights arrive at Birmingham Airport , which can be reached in just 30 minutes by direct train.
Bus services originate from the city's bus station, near the railway station. There are regular and frequent services to all parts of the city, although it should be noted that many services stop at around 11PM. Buses from Wolverhampton also travel to the towns of the Black Country (including Dudley, Sandwell, West Bromwich and Walsall) and to Birmingham, although the journey by road can be quite long.
GorillaBus operate low cost intercity services to Liverpool, Stoke, East Midlands Airport, Nottingham and Yorkshire from Faulkland Crescent Coach Station.
A more recent addition to Wolverhampton's public transport system is the Midland Metro. Very regular and frequent trams start at Wolverhampton St George's stop in Bilston Street (very close to the city's main shopping area on Dudley Street) and pass via Bilston, Wednesbury, West Bromwich and Sandwell, and terminate at Birmingham Snow Hill Station, a few minutes' walk from New Street Station. There are plans to extend the Midland Metro network through Birmingham city centre and throughout the Black Country.
It is possible to save large amounts of money by buying day tickets, if you intend to do a lot of travelling in one day. Indeed, Network West Midlands provides a guide to help find the best value ticket.
The suburbs of Wolverhampton are easily accessible by an excellent network of buses and Midland Metro trams.
- Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street. Mon - Sat 10AM - 5PM, Closed Bank Holidays. Home to one of the best collections of Pop Art in the UK, including works by Andy Warhol. Free entry.
- West Park. A fine example of a Victorian park close to the city centre, with a recently refurbished bandstand, conservatory and lake. Green Flag/Green Heritage Status.
- Moseley Old Hall (between the A449 Stafford Road (junc 2, M54) and A460 Cannock Road (junc 1, M54) south of the M54). An atmospheric 17th century farmhouse that is most famous for its association with King Charles II, who sought refuge there from Cromwell's troops after he fled the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
- Wightwick Manor and Gardens, Wightwick Bank, WV6 8EE (Off the A454 Bridgnorth Road), ☎ +44 1902 761400, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The 19th century home of the Mander family and full of the works of William Morris.
- Boscobel House. A timber-framed house, most famous for the 'Royal Oak' where King Charles II hid to evade capture after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
- The 14th century Church and gardens of St Peter, Cheapside - Green Heritage status.
- The Black Country Museum - showing life in industrial revolution Britain.
- Boscobel House and The Royal Oak, Brewood, Bishop's Wood, ST19 9AR (10 miles north-west of Wolverhampton), ☎ +44 1902 850244. adults £6.20, children £3.70, concessions £5.60.
- Wolverhampton Race Course - the UK's first all-weather floodlit horse racing venue.
- Visit Wolverhampton's "Grand Theatre".
- See a concert at the Civic Hall - recent bands over the past few years have included Radiohead, The Killers, Blur & Travis.
- Play golf at one of Wolverhampton's various courses, including the South Staffs course where former Ryder Cup winner Peter Baker is one of the course pro's.
While Wolverhampton's shopping facilities are more limited than the Bull Ring in nearby Birmingham and the enormous Merry Hill Centre, the newly refurbished Wulfrun and Mander shopping centers are home to all of the usual high street chains and the enormous Beatties department store is unrivalled in the region. There is also delightful independent boutique The Sheila Cooke Foundation, where all the stock is made on the premises, or by equally lovely UK based companies. A must for anyone with an eye for detail and the unusual! A listed early 17th Century timber-framed premises on Victoria Street houses an eclectic second-hand bookshop, also selling a wide variety of collectables, including vintage toys, militaria, local history, and a whole host of memorabilia from bygone days. The building is worth a visit for its attractive Tudor architecture alone.
A visit to Wolverhampton wouldn't be complete without trying a curry from one of the many Indian restaurants located in and around the city center. Of particular note is the award-winning Bilash Tandoori on Cheapside.
Other well known restaurants include Bella in Chapel Ash (Upmarket Italian cuisine) Memsahib in Compton (Indian cuisine) and The Ship in the town center (its the only place in west midlands that does a beef chilly fry!). Other popular eateries just outside Wolverhampton include: The Red Cow at Ackleton (on the way to Bridgnorth),The Cowshed in Pattingham and the Thornescroft Restaurant (once again on the way to Bridgnorth).
Wolverhampton's nightlife has improved considerably since the city's polytechnic became a university in the early 1990s. In addition to a wide choice of bars and clubs, centered around Lichfield Street and Queen Street, its live music scene is unrivalled by many larger cities in the UK. The main music venues include the Civic Hall, Wulfrun Hall and Little Civic on North Street in the city center, and the Robin 2 (near Bilston Central metro station)
For Real Ale, one might consider visiting one of Wolverhampton's CAMRA pubs such as the "Combermere Arms" on the Tettenhall Road in Chapel Ash, "The Newhampton" on Riches St off Newhampton Road in Whitmore Reans or "The Great Western" in Sun Street at the back of the railway station. "The Station" in Codsall (also a CAMRA pub) is known for its real ale though it is technically not in Wolverhampton.
- Best Western Connaught Hotel, 40-50 Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, WV1 4SW. +44 1902 424433. 20 minutes walk from the city centre, and conveniently located for Molineux Stadium and West Park.
- Britannia Hotel, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1DD. +44 871 222 0091. A reasonably priced hotel located close to the railway station
- Holiday Inn Garden Court, Gorsebrook Rd, Dunstall Park Centre, Wolverhampton, WV6 0PE. Part of the leisure complex at Wolverhampton's racecourse.
- Mercure Wolverhampton Goldthorn Hotel , Penn Road, Wolverhampton WV3 OER. +44 1902 429216. 3 Star hotel with free wi-fi, parking and Health Club with pool.
- Novotel City Centre, Union Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 3JN. +44 1902 871100. Part of the well-known chain and just 5 minutes walk from the city centre.
- The Mount Hotel, Mount Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 8HL. +44 1902 752055. Luxury hotel in a leafy suburb approx 4km from the city center