Birmingham is a fascinating multi-cultural city, proud of its past but fully embracing its future. It’s an eclectic mix of old and new and a city of many surprises. Here are just a few highlights:
It is claimed that Birmingham has more canals than Venice itself. It certainly has an extensive canal network – eight in all. Historically these played a key part in fuelling the industrial revolution. Today they are a picturesque backdrop to the city which can be enjoyed by foot, adjoining cafes and restaurants, as well as from the water itself by narrow boat.
Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter
Dating back over 250 years and a proposed World Heritage site, Birmingham is home to one of the largest jewellery centres in Europe. It includes St Paul’s Square, a handsome Georgian square (the only remaining one in the city) and a host of jewellery stores to explore.
As the birthplace of Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, apprentice to Rossetti, Birmingham is considered to have the greatest Pre-Raphaelite art collection in the world at the city’s Museum and Art Gallery. The Barber Institute at Birmingham University in Edgbaston is also one of the finest small art galleries in Europe with an outstanding collection of work.
Fans of JRR Tolkien can take the Tolkien Trail and see sites such as Sarehole Mill in Moseley and Perrott’s Folly in Edgbaston that inspired the young Tolkien when he was growing up in Birmingham.
For music lovers, Birmingham has a rich history – from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to UB40 and Duran Duran. There are a number of music venues catering for all tastes – from the intimate Jam House jazz club in St Paul’s Square to Symphony Hall and the NIA on bustling Broad Street.
Birmingham is now one of Europe’s great shopping destinations. There is the Bullring indoor shopping complex with over 160 stores, including the iconic Selfridges building, The Mailbox showcasing designer brands and The Great Western Arcade, a stylish arcade dating back over 125 years.
Birmingham – the home of Cadbury’s chocolate
For chocolate lovers a visit to Cadbury World at nearby Bournville is a must. Here you can appreciate the rich history of this world famous chocolate producer and even try your hand at making some yourself.
Birmingham has eateries to suit all tastes and budgets. From Michelin starred fine cuisine to Birmingham’s legendary ‘Balti Triangle’ of curry houses, there is something for everyone.
For more information on Birmingham and what it has to offer go to http://visitbirmingham.com/