Walsall lies at the heart of the Black Country, so-called because of the enormous amount of foundries, collieries, and other works that cropped up in the area during the Industrial Revolution (prompting the phrase ‘black by day, red by night’). Walsall itself derives its name from the Celtic words ‘walh halh’, meaning ‘valley of the foreigners’, and first mention of it is found at the beginning of the 1000s – although it was the development of heavy industry that really saw the area take off.

Located close to both Birmingham and Wolverhampton, Walsall continues to manufacture world-class leather goods (the local football club, Walsall FC, is appropriately nicknamed the Saddlers), as well as other products, such as aircraft parts, chemicals, plastics and electronics. Walsall has also been home to several noteworthy residents, including writer Jerome K Jerome, comedienne Meera Syal, and musicians Noddy Holder, Boy George and Goldie.


The New Art Gallery and the Leather Museum are the main attractions in Walsall – as well as a pleasant arboretum. Other attractions in the neighbouring West Midlands and Staffordshire area include the Black Country Living Museum, the West Midlands Safari Park, Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, and Britain’s premier theme park, Alton Towers.

Birmingham, too, provides many interesting attractions, including the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, its network of canals, and exhibitions, concerts and more at the National Indoor Arena and the Birmingham NEC.


Walsall offers nothing exception by way of shops or shopping – except perhaps for its leather products (the Queen buys leather handbags from the area). The Quasar is the local shopping centre, but, for a fuller range of shops in the area, Birmingham is the place to go, in particular the new Birmingham Bullring.

Nightlife/Eating Out

With some sense of irony, a website describes Birmingham as “the spiritual home of three of the standards of English cuisine: the doner kebab, pork scratchings and curry.” However, there is a range of restaurants, including English (the Lydiate), French (Pierre Victoire), Greek (the Acropolis Taverna), and Italian (Portobello, in neighbouring Aldridge).

Among Walsall’s pubs, the Tap & Spile, the Victoria, the Walsall Arms, Walsall Cricket Club, the White Lion are recommended. Keep an eye out for local brew Saddler’s Best.

As far as clubbing is concerned, there is Harley’s, Coliseum, and the Stein Bar. Expect bad dancing, Ladies’ Nights, and Ben Sherman shirts. Birmingham, however, has a far superior range of clubs, particularly for those who like various genres of dance music.

Tourist Information

Walsall Reference LibraryLichfield StreetWalsallWest MidlandsWS1 1TRT: 01922 653 110F: 01922 654 013E: reference@walsall.gov.uk


Walsall lies about 15 miles from Birmingham International Airport, which offers flights to and from a large number of destinations throughout the world.

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