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Dudley Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Dudley Castle, first built in 1070, has a wealth of history to tell. The castle was changed and added to over the years until a huge fire burnt it to a shell in 1750; this shell is all that remains today. The town got its name from two Anglo Saxon words Dudda and Leah. Dudda being a man’s name and Leah meaning wooded estate – Dudda’s Woodland Estate.

  • 2. Now

    Dudley offers a great mix of history and heritage with modern business and entertainment facilities and plenty of tourist attractions. The town’s medieval marketplace is still an important part of life and the Dudley Canal Tunnel is the longest navigable tunnel of its kind in Britain, running almost two miles underneath the town centre to Parkhead.

  • 3. Events

    The DPA Summer Festival is a huge event in the town’s annual calendar. The festival runs over three days in July and includes a day of live rock music, a day of dance and drama and a music day. The Rock and Fossil Festival takes place every two years and celebrates rocks, fossils, gems, jewellery and anything to do with dinosaurs. This event is popular with families and attr...Read moreacts hundreds of visitors. The Black Country Boating Festival takes place over three days in September in Netherton. Thousands of visitors enjoy events on the Dudley Canal every year at this event. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    The Black Country Living Museum is a popular attraction that takes visitors on a trip back through time. This open-air museum covers 26 acres and includes a tram, a mine, a traditional fish and chip shop, costumed characters and more. Broadfield House Glass Museum, in Kingswinford, celebrates the borough’s glassmaking heritage. Visitors can watch the glassmakers at work at t...Read morehis attraction. The Dudley Canal Trust runs boat trips along the Dudley Canal Tunnel, which is nearly two miles long and is the longest of its kind in Britain. Shorter trips take visitors on a trip to the limestone caverns, including the Singing Cavern. Dudley Museum and Art Gallery has a variety of exhibitions looking at the town’s history and characters. Dudley Zoological Gardens has hundreds of animals, including some rare species, as well as daily shows and events. The remains of Dudley Castle can be seen in the zoo grounds. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    Historic buildings to visit in the town include Himley Hall, an 18th century Grade II listed building in landscaped parkland, and Priory Hall, the town’s Grade I listed registration office and park including the old Priory ruins. Glassmaking has been taking place in the Glass Quarter, Stourbridge, for over 400 years. This area includes studios, workshops, retail outlets and ...Read moreheritage sites. Many events take place in this area throughout the year. There are plenty of nature reserves to choose from in the Dudley borough, including Barrow Hill; Buckpool and Fens Pools; Bumble Hole and Warrens Hall; Cotwall End; Saltwells; The Leasowes; and Wren’s Nest. Read less

  • 6. Business

    Ruskin Glass Centre is home to many glass crafts including live glassblowing, studio glass artists, engravers, glass decorators and glass repair specialists. The centre also offers furniture design, handmade soap, textiles, photography, printing and publishing. There is also a cafe on site. The Westfield Merry Hill shopping centre has over 240 shops and 50 places to eat as well...Read more as a cinema and parking facilities. Dudley Market is open from Monday to Saturday and has 74 stalls selling a wide variety of goods. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    Visitors travelling to the region from the rest of the UK arrive at one of the two main stations: Birmingham New Street or Woverhampton. Local services are then available to stations in Stourbridge, Lye or Dudley Port. By car, Dudley has access to junctions 2, 3 and 4 of the M5. It is also close to the M6 motorway to the north and the M42, to the south. The nearest airport to...Read more the town is Birmingham International Airport, which takes about 45 minutes to reach by car. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    Dudley Concert Hall offers live comedy, concerts, shows dances, fashion shows and more. This venue sits in the heart of the town centre. Stourbridge Town Hall has a varied programme of events from family shows to ballet and burlesque. This venue also includes a studio space and cinema.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Dudley Castle is still a prominent feature of the town, despite being in ruins. The castle was built in 1070 and destroyed in July 1750 by a fire that lasted for three days. The castle ruins are within the grounds of Dudley Zoological Gardens.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Dudley is part of the Black Country, which is made up of the four district council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The Black Country got its name in the 19th century from the smoke caused by the many ironworking foundries and forges and also from the colour of the ground due to shallow coal seams.

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