Birmingham – What You Need To Know To Maximize Your Holidays!
There are many worth visiting cities in the UK and Birmingham is one of them. It is one of the most famous and second largest cities in the UK. If you are planning your vacation with your family then this is one of the perfect destinations in the UK. This city is also known as “City of Trades”. From London it is very easy to travel to this city as it is well connected by all modes of transportation. I would recommend you to travel to this city by train. Birmingham is well connected by train to all major destinations in the UK.
After you have decided to travel to this destination by train you need to search for booking of your cheap train tickets online. Raileasy and Trainline are the two major networks that provide online booking of train tickets to Birmingham. You will get all the information related to your train travel on the official websites of these networks. You will save your time while book your train tickets online.
Attractions in Birmingham
Birmingham has many attractions that attract tourists from all over the world. Tourists spend their memorable time here with their family and friends. I am providing a list of few top attractions that I would recommend you to add to your must visit list of attractions.
Yet there are many parks in the city but Drayton Manor Theme is the best park to spend time with family and have fun. There are some other parks also that you can visit and enjoy your time here Aston Science Park, Sutton Park etc
There are many museums in Birmingham that attract tourist from all over the world. Some of the best museums that you need to add to your must visit list are Millennium Point, Cadbury World Museum, and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery which was first opened its gate around 125 years ago beneath the clock tower on Chamberlain Square. Since 1886 this museum contains huge collection paintings from 14th to 20th century which includes Pre-Raphaelite paintings and paintings from Victorian artists. You can also find paintings of famous painters like Edward Burne-Jones, Canaleto, Lowry, Gainsborough and many others. Apart from painting, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery also houses ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, archaeology, ethnography, industrial history and local history. Entry inside the museum is free but visitors might have to pay from some events and exhibitions.
National Exhibition Center
If your looking for events and music then as well as the many small venues across the city the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and National Indoor Arena (NIA) provide all the excitement you should ever need. Now 25 years old the NEC is the largest exhibition centre in Europe. It was opened in 1976 by HM The Queen and the first exhibition was the Spring Fair. The NEC Arena is used for concerts and conferences and can house 12,600 people.
This place has beautiful landscaped gardens and is a massive adventure park which is popular all year round. Established in 1975, the Black Country Museum is a wonderful collection of history and heritage from the Black Country region.
Donington Park provides some fast paced action at its Grand Prix racing circuit. Both car and motorcycle racing is available. Cadbury World opened on 14th August 1990 and surprisingly (given the nations addiction to chocolate) is the UK’s only purpose built visitor centre dedicated entirely to chocolate.
For those looking for some history then Warwick Castle provides an impressive and majestic building with towers and ramparts and a history going back over a 1000 years.
The National Sea Life Centre
Situated at Brindley Place provides an underwater wonderland with collections of sealife from around the globe. In addition the West Midlands Safari Park is a wonderful experience explorer some of the fascinating wildlife we have at the park.
Cadbury factory on Linden Road
One other attraction that pulls in thousands of tourists every year is the Cadbury factory on Linden Road. Chocoholics visiting the factory can enjoy a guided tour around one of Britain’s most famous chocolate sites, learn a little about the history of chocolate and a favourite amount tourists – purchase cheap misshapes and promotional chocolate samples.
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Of course there are those who are not lured to Birmingham for chocolate tours or shopping sprees, but instead visit Birmingham for its popular cultural activities. Of all the cultural activities to enjoy in Birmingham, the City of Birmingham Orchestra is one of the more favourite.
Founded by Neville Chamberlain, the orchestra gave its first performance as the city of Birmingham Orchestra in the autumn of 1920. The first performance was conducted by Edward Elgar and included Overture: Saul within its original program, a piece written by Granville Bantock, a keen supporter of the organisation.
In 1948, the orchestra changed its name to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra after becoming a full-time organisation. Since moving to become a full-time organisation, the CBO has become one of Britain’s most famous orchestras, regularly featuring on the BBC and playing concerts throughout Birmingham and across the British Isles.
Those looking to catch a performance with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will find all the information they need at its offices on Berkley Street.
Birmingham back to backs
This is also known as Court 15, is situated at 50-54 Inge Street and 55-63 Hurst Street. They are the last surviving court of back-to-back houses in Birmingham. These houses were built in 19th century in Birmingham, literally back to back around courtyard for the rapidly increasing population in Birmingham but in early 1970 almost all the back-to-back houses were demolished and the occupants were moved to new council flats. Later on back-to-back houses were restored by Birmingham city council and in 2004 it was opened for public. Admission to back-to-back is by guided tour only and visitors can explore the four houses, the sweet shop, go through the interactive exhibition and learn about the lives of people who changed the face of Birmingham from a small town into an industrial city. It is advisable to book your ticket in advance as the tours have limited capacity. Throughout the tour visitors have to climb many steep stairs but limited access tour is also available for those who are unable to climb stairs.
Museum Of Jewellery Quarter
It is a museum located in Vyse Street, Birmingham. Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm were making jewellery for the past 80 years and in 1981, decided to retire from the business. They ceased trading and closed the door of their workshop and left their tools scattered on benches, grubby overalls were left hung on the coat hooks and dirty teacups were left along with jars and jam on the self. In the past 80 years before the closure of the workshop Smith & Pepper had made little changes in their equipment or practices, even the décor was more or less common with early 20th century trends. After the closure of the workshop it was turned into Museum of Jewellery Quarter where visitors can see live demonstration at the jeweler’s bench showing how Smith & Pepper bangle was made, they can see a huge range of tools, stamps and machinery used to make jewelries in those days.
You can enjoy your nightlife well in Birmingham as there are many nightclubs bars and restaurants. Birmingham is famous for its young and vibrant nightlife. Some of the best bars and nightclubs are The Medicine Bar, The Sanctuary, The Rainbow pub in Birmingham. So don’t miss the nightlife of this beautiful place.
Eating out in Birmingham
Birmingham has an incredible range of cuisine available due to its ethnically diverse landscape and is particularly famous for its wide variety of quality Indian restaurants. For years the Balti Triangle which is south of the city centre, has been synonymous with curry houses. However there is a fine range of other cuisine ranging from Chinese and Italian restaurants to the more traditional fish and chips.
When To Visit & Transportation
You can visit this beautiful destination any time as it has its own beauty in every season. But winter is the most appropriate time to visit this city. City looks like heaven while covered in snow in winter.
Birmingham weather is basically categorized as temperate maritime climate. This means the range of temperature is about 20 Degrees C (68 Degrees F) in the summertime which usually begins in July to 4.5 Degrees C (40.1 Degrees F) in the wintertime that is around January. There have been circumstances of serious climate like tornadoes in the summertime and really cold snow storms in winter. But these are quite uncommon within the area.
When it comes to transportation, it’s very easy to get around in Birmingham. This is because of its location and the fact that it’s a major transportation hub. You’ll be able to travel by bus, train, tram, air, taxi or by boat. The city has a few major motor ways which consist of the Spaghetti Junction which is the most acknowledged junction in the United Kingdom. Local transportation is by bus or tram. Route marks are uncomplicated to be familiar with. 4A would mean an anticlockwise path inside the city while 4C would certainly be a clockwise way.
In addition there are external city bus routes that happen to be one of the longest in Europe. The route is just about 26 miles with 272 stops. Birmingham also has an extensive railway system. The centre of this system is the New Street Station. Another popular station is the Snow Hill Station. This particular station links Birmingham to the neighboring cities. The nearest airport terminal could be the Birmingham International Airport.
Birmingham International Airport
Birmingham International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the UK and handles over 10 million passengers every year. It has just published a master plan for its development until 2030, with the first major project being an extension to the main runway which is to be completed in time for the 2012 London Olympics. You can fly to most European cities from Birmingham International, on both scheduled and charter flights, and the airport also operate flights linking you to some of the major transport hubs including Manchester and Heathrow in the UK and Paris, Madrid and Zurich for flights to North America.
The airport is located just 10km east of Birmingham in Solihull, approximately five minutes from Junction 6 of the M42. It is easily accessible by car with the motorway network close by and direct links to M6, M5, M40, M1 and the new M6 Toll Road. Birmingham Airport also has great public transport communications links to railway stations, coaches and buses.
If you want to hire a car, there are six main car hire companies on the airport complex who have desks on the Millennium Link Walkway which connects both terminals. If you would rather travel by taxi, then there are plenty of Black Cabs at the official taxi rank which is immediately outside the passenger terminals. Black Cabs carry up to 5 people with luggage and are the only company at the airport licensed to operate without advance bookings. The journey to Birmingham City Centre will cost you about 16GBP.
If you would prefer to take a private transfer from the airport for guests, clients or for yourself or require a meet and greet service, then there are a number of private transfer and limousine companies to choose from at the airport or in its immediate environs,
It will take you approximately 45 minutes from landing to get to the arrivals area where you will find a Spar shop if you require any grocery essentials. An ATM cash machine is available and the bureau de change is always open during flight times. If you are departing from Birmingham Airport there are two check-in areas (with a total of 86 desks) in terminal 1 and terminal 2 so make sure you know which one your flight leaves from. For both terminals the check-in desks are on the ground floor of the main concourse and departures lounges are on the first floor. There are some shops, restaurants, cafes and bars in this area but the majority of them are in the Departures Lounge once you go through passport control and security. The Gallery Bar is a good place to sit and wait as it has excellent views over the runway.
The buses leave from opposite Terminal 2 (Bus and Coach Terminus) and there is an excellent bus and coach service from the airport to local areas with National Express operating a service to other parts of the country and other airports. Although there is no railway station located at the airport, Birmingham International train station is only a two minute journey away by a free shuttle (Air Link) service which runs every two minutes. From here there are connections to the National Exhibition Centre and New Street Station which is in the centre of Birmingham.
There are several options for car parking at Birmingham International Airport with short stay, multi-storey, long stay and VIP car parking. You cannot book the short stay car park but you can book the others. The long stay car park is the farthest away but this is serviced by a regular shuttle bus service which will drop you off and pick you up from the terminal buildings. It is also worth checking off-airport parking as this can often be much cheaper than parking on the complex.
If you have left something on the airplane, then contact the airline or lost property, but if your luggage has been lost in transit then you will need to contact the ground handling agents contracted by your airline. Left luggage facilities are also available at Birmingham Airport.
Birmingham Airport Information provides excellent amenities including children’s facilities, disabled facilities, internet access, currency exchange/banking and veterinary facilities if you are traveling with your pet. You can also get details on the local weather with a 5 and 10 day forecast for Birmingham Airport.
Long story short, now you know pretty much everything…..plan your trip to this beautiful city and spend memorable time here with your family and friends. Wish you happy journey!
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