Birmingham is not often thought of as a tourist mecca, and in fact has somewhat of a maligned reputation, both in England and abroad.
But the fact of the matter is, as well as being centrally located for trips to more popular destinations, Birmingham is a place well worth visiting in its own right.
For art-lovers, Birmingham is the home of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and the Birmingham Art Gallery holds the largest public collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the world.
For music-lovers, Birmingham has both a top-ranked university music department and conservatoire meaning that there are always exciting chamber, orchestral and jazz events happening, often at the acclaimed Symphony Hall. And if your taste is a little more contemporary, Birmingham’s reputation as the home of both Heavy Metal and UK Reggae is both well known and justified!
For nature and horticulture-lovers, Birmingham has an astounding number of public parks and gardens including Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Aston Park, Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Charlecote Park, City Centre Gardens & Kings Heath Park. The hidden gem however, is Martineau Gardens, a small but stunning organic community garden located near the Botanical Gardens.
For shopping-lovers there is the renowned Bullring shopping precinct in the very heart of the city. Rght next door are outdoor, indoor and rag markets, where you can find bargain and specialty foods, fabrics and so much more. And for those more precious items, Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage is alive and well in the Jewellery Quarter, where more than 40% of the UK’s jewellery originates from.
And for party-lovers, the fact that Birmingham has the youngest population of any city in Europe, means that the nightlife is incredible. Most of the action is centered on Broad St, but as the city has over 4000 pubs and bars, that still leaves plenty of places for those after a more refined evening to enjoy a real ale and perhaps some live folk or jazz.
Of course, there is also plenty of great B&B accommodation in and around Birmingham too! Our top recommendations being Awentsbury Hotel, in the leafy green area of Selly Park just outside of the city centre, and A1 The White House, in the village of Marston Green, near the international airport.