Leaftop's Qype reviews
Leaftop wrote on 30 June 2012Loads of ducks, geese, swans, moor hens, water fowl of all kinds - they are just waiting there for you to lean over the railings and drop tasty morcels onto their expectant heads, a right feathery scrummage resulting. These little (and not so little) webby characters are quite tame and look for visitors to swim towards.
The pool is large but really only accessible from the frontage along the short roadway from Sommerville Road, right next to Windley Leisure Centre (where humans can go swimming). There is some parking, so really this is the best pool for any one that wants to drive right up to the waters edge and not even get out of the car to take in the watery scene.
Originally built as a mediaeval fish pond, anglers are not permitted unfortunately, but definitely worth a trip down to see it on a nice summer evening.
Leaftop wrote on 30 June 2012Smaller pool, hidden away in a little valley up from the Information centre end of the Park and Main Gate. Easy to get to along tarmc path, but a bit more hilly and twisty walk deeper into the darker, spookier side of the woods.
There used to be a Lido here, but it burnt down, which is a shame.
There are fish in there, believe me, and water birds, which you can see for yourself. Again, the sun sets at the far end, opposite a great little bench seat where you can sit and contemplate.
Keeper's Pool was originally built as a fish pond within the mediaeval deer park. The name of the pool suggests that a park keeper's lodge was nearby when the pool was built. The pool dates back to the 15th century and was formed by the damming of a stream.
As it's on a main track-way through the centre of the Park, there're always plenty of passers bye, joggers, walkers, cyclists and the like.
Well recommended for a quick visit.
Leaftop wrote on 30 June 2012Biggest of the Park's pools and lakes 28 acres, Powell's Pool has yachts, canoeing, fishing water gazing and other stuff - wide ranging water activities, always a hive of busyness.
Very easily accessed from Boldmere Gate's large car park.
Amenities include a small kiddies fair ground, La Reserve eatery and drinking (while overlooking the water-scape). Usually an ice cream van on sunny days.
Very convenient to pop down and chuck some bread crusts at a wandering goose. Excellent.
Leaftop wrote on 30 June 2012Tucked away by Banners Gate entrance, Longmoor Pool is very easily accessible along a fully tarmaced pathway from the handy car park, suitable for all the family - prams and all.
Not huge, but Longmoor Pool is still big enough to give that feeling of expanse and calm and distance that is so relaxing to come down and gaze at, especially in the setting sun, which lowers itself gently at the far end opposite the pathway.
The 'wild' Park cattle sometimes splosh into it half way along, the scene like something out of the Serengeti, well, sort of, if you half close your eyes (and don't fall in).
Round the edges, rushes and swampy type fauna flourish.
Definitely worth the trip every now and again, buy an ice cream at the van in the car park, slowly lick the cool blob to nothing, feet dangling over the retaining wall and gazing out over the shimmering waters - excellent.
Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B75 6LN
Leaftop wrote on 17 January 2012
Parkland surroundings, Ye Olde old bit with lounge and bar area overlooking the gardens and trees in the distance, excellent place to meet up, have a chill, coffee maybe a bite to eat and possibly log on to their free WiFi to do your Qype reviews.
Staff friendly and helpful, the 4 star facilities good and the place caters for day guests and obviously for overnighters too. There is a good leisure club and golf course adjacent (in the grounds really).
Leaftop wrote on 14 January 2012
Bracebridge Pool is on the ‘Northern’ side of the Park, over the railway tracks where you might see the wild ponies.
The pool is a good size surrounded by trees and has spectacular sun sets especially in summer, when you can sit at the eastern end, sipping a long cool drink on the Boat House restaurant’s veranda overlooking the still waters and watch the big red ball at the far western end sink to wherever it goes. In winter, maybe a hot toddy.
There is a magical little path running round the north side of the Pool, wending its way through the trees around the stumps and roots and over little boggy streams (a number of tiny wooden bridges along the way save those who forgot their wellies). Eventually, the path opens out to the patches of sandy lake shore, ideal for gazing at the pool’s tranquil waters rippled only by the many water birds doing their thing.
This path then circles the lake up past Little Bracebridge Pool from where you can walk right back round again to the Boat House (where you might have left your car in the convenient car park for this little excursion).
Beautiful jaunt, well worth the effort – kids love it.
Maney Corner, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1QL
Leaftop wrote on 16 June 2011
Got to say that it's a real shame that a fantastic, traditional cinema like this has got into such a state.
The big screen is upstairs, the smaller ones downstairs, but the stairway and the lobby up there set the shabby scene for the grim relic of what used to be behind the big swing doors.
Those doors, the dividers between light and the darkness of the other world beyond have always been a threshold of natural, child-like excitement.
But the place is so tatty now - chunks out of the seat backs and flip downs, yellow foam sores dotted everywhere. Some seats have white covers over them, like they had died an agonising death and awaiting CSI Sutton Coldfield to complete their investigations - not good.
I suppose the downturn has had its effect, but this will be self fulfilling - please Mr Empire, spend some money here before its too late!
101 Parade, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B72 1PL
Leaftop wrote on 16 June 2011
Excellent place this, hike your way up the wide stairs burning energy to justify filling up or lazily use the lift. The whole place is an odd set up for the unfamiliar with a vast open plan floor space and no clear idea where to go or how it all works.
But of course once the rules are mastered and this doesn't take long for any hungry person, then it's a matter of picking a table, walking away again and choosing from the 5 central buffet islands, each with its own national flavour.
Pile your plate up and eat all you can, mix sweet and spicy buffalo wings with your favourite pasta! Go back for more; regrets always come later.
It's a great experience, good fresh tasting food cooked to order on the spot, an interesting variation to the normal sit down and wait.
Not cheap, but well worth it for a different treat. Recommended.
Leaftop wrote on 30 December 2010
Hidden away like a shy maiden waiting to be discovered hiding quietly under the protection of the gigantic trees all around, this bench has a wonderful view over Bracebridge Pool from the little sandy beach area.
Well worth chancing your luck, pay this bench a visit on your way round the far side of the Pool as you switchback along the series of little wooden bridges around the wooded shoreline walk.
And you won't be disappointed. This is a promise.