Birmingham, England – time to visit

Quick update from home. Birmingham is often overlooked as a destination, in favour of the UK’s bigger ticket offerings: London, Edinburgh and Stratford on Avon, and whilst this is understandable on a short visit, anyone staying  for a longer period should give it some consideration.

The heavy industrial past has now almost gone, and the city makes its living from service industries, conferences, jewellery production, education and entertainment. Some of the entertainment is associated with the conference business; for example, we have more lap dancing clubs than anywhere else in the UK, possibly Europe…

Birmingham February 2011
Birmingham February 2011, Bull Ring, Selfridges and St Martin’s Church

Birmingham February 2011
Birmingham February 2011, Brindlay Place

The industrial past is still celebrated and the city has some fine museums, some of which are working museums with live craft demonstrations – full list on the Birmingham page here.

We now have The Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo Saxon objects ever found – worth a visit in its own right.

The statue below is situated in Centenary Square and commemorates Boulton, Watt and Murdock, founders of the Lunar Society, which had (and probably still has) a profound effect on the way we live.

Birmingham February 2011
Birmingham February 2011, Boulton (not shown), Watt and Murdock
Birmingham Cathedral, with Pre Raphaelite Stained Glass Windows
Birmingham Cathedral, with Pre Raphaelite Stained Glass Windows

Being situated centrally in the UK, Birmingham is a good option as a base for touring; the Cotswolds are about an hour south, Wales is about an hour to the west and London about an hour and 20 minutes by train. Warwick Castle and Stratford can both be reached in less than an hour.

I will be adding more to the Birmingham page over time, so if you are planning a visit check back from time to time.

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