Birmingham Travel Guide

The Mailbox, Birmingham - © R J Higginson

Introduction & Overview

The Birmingham Travel Guide takes a look at the various visitor attractions, local places of interest and offers useful tourist information for visitors.

Birmingham is located in the West Midlands and is the second largest city in the UK after London, the city has been subject to an extensive redevelopment and refurbishment programme in recent years.

The city has once referred to a ‘city of a 1,000 trades’ during Victorian times, the city is sometimes referred to as Britain’s second city.

Birmingham is made up of many districts and areas that include the main centre area and the outskirts. The Westside area of the city includes the Brindleyplace canalside development and the National Sealife Centre. Southside includes Chinatown and the Gay Village area of the city.

The Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham is where visitors can find a community of jewellers, the area is famed for its association with jewellery since the 18th century when goldsmiths and jewellers set up their businesses in the area.

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is in a former workshop of the Smith & Pepper factory, it makes for an interesting visit especially for jewellery fans.

Sutton Coldfield is a town that is well known for its proximity to Sutton Park, the town is known for its green surroundings and offers a range of shopping facilities.

The town has a fine mix of urban and rural, Sutton Park and the green belt areas around ensure there is a relaxed rural feel away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For those that love shopping Birmingham offers a blend of arcades, malls, friendly markets and the Jewellery Quarter.

For visitors Birmingham’s shopping facilities offers plenty of choice with high street shopping, malls and designer boutiques, the city has been referred as the regional shopping capital and a retail haven.

Birmingham played a major role in the industrial revolution and prior to this period the Bull Ring, played host to open-air and covered markets; it has been at the centre of the city since. The Bull Ring is now one of the largest and most comprehensive shopping complexes in Europe.

Central to the shopping experience in Birmingham is the Bullring, Birmingham’s largest shopping destination and provides one of the most comprehensive shopping experiences you could wish to have.

The Bullring has more than 26 football pitches worth of shops, boutiques and restaurants in the centre of the city. There are a huge variety of shops here, to suit all tastes and budgets, whatever your interest.

The Bullring has become a favoured place not only to shop but to meet up with friends and to eat. It has helped to regenerated some of Birmingham’s traditional streets in to a place that is now modern and thriving.

The public transport has been updated around it; the Bullring marks a renaissance in the centre of the city. With an impressive mix of historic buildings and contemporary architecture, the Bullring is the face of the new Birmingham.

The 21st century has seen Birmingham reinvent itself with the help of a large redevelopment and refurbishment programme to a city that is renowned as a top cultural and shopping destination and a favourite destination for short breaks.

Birmingham has a good selection of museums, exhibition spaces, sporting venues and galleries for visitors to enjoy.

Birmingham's central location in England makes it within easy reach for the north and south of the UK with good road, rail and air links from Birmingham Airport.

Whilst the city has had an unflattering image in the past, it is worth looking beyond that as the city has a lot to offer. It has a number of interesting places to visit and explore and its location means you are not too far from the relaxing countryside.

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