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Wolverhampton town guide

Wolverhampton the "Capital of the Black Country" so called because in days gone by it was a centre of iron working and foundries, plus thick coal seams.

Today there are many parks and open green spaces in the city. Close by, the nature reserves of Pendeford Mill and the animal collection at Smestow Valley Nature reserve near the National Trust property of Wightwick Manor are worth a visit, as is the decorative art collection at Bantock House.

In the city centre is an important group of listed buildings including St. Peter's Church, the Gardens and Lady Wulfruna's Statue. The Grand Theatre, with its elegant façade, opened in 1894, has just had a £3million refurbishment. This is on the number one touring circuit and gets all the latest productions.

Wolverhampton is an important brewing centre, and is still home to the Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, the largest independent brewing group, formed in 1890.

Nearby Dunstall Park is Britain's only floodlit horse race track, where you can experience the thrill of evening as well as daytime racing.

Moseley Old Hall is easily visited by rental car. This National Trust property is where Charles 11 hid after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, after escaping from Cromwell's troops.

Not far from Wolverhampton is the Black Country Museum a fascinating open-air museum in the shadow of Dudley Castle. The museum is a tribute to the traditional skills and enterprise of the people who once lived in the heart of Industrial England. Trams and trolleybuses now take visitors round the site to see the canal side village, costumed demonstrators and working craftsmen.

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