Visit Birmingham City – Getting a break from London
Birmingham is just two hours away from the heart of London by railway, making it an easy option for getting away from the biggest city in England and into the second biggest.
Birmingham City has its own history, culture and identity, from the heart of the silver, jewellery & glass trades, the legendary Peaky Blinders family, and into the new modern skyscraper construction projects boosting its business opportunities and infrastructure.
Things to do and see!
We still find it incredible that the canal network throughout England, Scotland and Wales are largely intact. Huge trading lanes in their time, but you can still live on the routes, and also rent a barge allowing you to holiday at your own leisure.
Birmingham is still a great area to enjoy the canals, and although the area is modernising fast now you can see the efforts made to keep this alive. Make sure this is on your itinerary list.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
A free stop, giving you access to exhibits walking you through the cities history, with some truly stunning creations on display.
The first room as you enter the art room is something to stop and take it properly. Don’t forget to look up at the beautiful Victorian-era glass dome. For more information, and upcoming events, visit Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery official website
The place where old Birmingham gets surrounded by the new. The architecture on display around here is really great, from the viewing platform overlooking the church to the funky shiny silver building.
With the number of shops and market stalls here, the bullring is truely the fashion district of the city!
Once this area was the most buzzing business centre full of workshops, factories and designers. Completing silver and glassworks that would be shipped and sold all over the world.
Just taking time to walk around this area and admire the buildings, architecture and detail from that time is really awesome. You don’t have to go far to see what’s on offer here, walking street to street much you’ll see how much remains. If you want to see more and get a better idea of the history, then the Jewellery museum is the place to go.
“By order of the Peaky Blinders”
Birmingham is the home of the Blinders, but if you’re visiting Birmingham purely for the thrill of walking the streets seen on the BBC tv series, there’s not a great deal in Birmingham centre. Apparently most of the filming for the series is conducted in the Black Country Living Museum, 9 miles (14.5km) out of the centre in the town of Dudley.
If you can’t make it out to Dudley but you still want a bit of historical Birmingham, you can also check out Birmingham Back-to-Backs museum.
Using national rail, only a week in advance, we secured return tickets from London Euston to Birmingham New Street for just £70 for 2 adults ($91USD). So £35 each leaving just before 19:00 on Friday and returning on Sunday after 16:00. For UK train prices this is actually really good.
Living in London we use public transport to get around and haven’t owned a car in years. So making the journey by train after a long day at work appealed to us more. Saying that we did check the car rental prices too, toying with the idea of stepping outside of Birmingham into the surrounding areas. For car rental, we recommend trying out RentalCars.com.
We’d be surprised if you can’t find yourself a great deal! Even with all the construction work and expansions happening in the city, there are so many hotel options to choose from.
Luxury – Hyatt Regency – When you’re looking for more facilities at the hotel, in between exploring, with a pool too, this hotel could be the one for you. If you select this one, make sure they give you an incredible view!
Mid-Range – Holiday Inn Express Birmingham City – A really spacious modern building with the option of getting a view of the city. Breakfast was included, with the location close to the centre and a straight line from the train station.
Budget – ibis Budget Birmingham Center – Central location, clean, bed & shower with no thrills … so everything you need on your trip to Birmingham.
Remember staying central has its advantages, making it easy to access all the places and ticking off your itinerary for the trip!
Cafes and food
Walking around all day you are going to need a few stop-offs. As coffee addicts we stopped by a few trendy cafes, two of these we recommend to you:
Faculty Coffee – Located inside the beautiful Piccadilly Arcade, it’s totally worth stopping and capturing the landscape. A great cafe with a selection of sandwiches and treats, for all dietary requirements, is just a huge bonus.
Yorks Cafe – On the canal walking routes your probably going to be closer to this area at some point. This little cafe has great coffee and a friendly team working to serve you!
Birmingham is known throughout England, and maybe all the UK, for serving up some of the best Indian food on our little island. Oh, and it really didn’t disappoint. We selected something closer to our hotel with crazy high reviews on Google Maps, but there were so many others scattered around the city.
Tamatanga – Curry dishes to be proud of, and restaurant with style and happy staff serving!