Birmingham is Britain’s ‘second city’, with the largest population and geographical area outside of London.

Built on a long history of trade and commerce as a market town in the West Midlands, the city (sometimes nicknamed ‘Brum’) became a powerhouse throughout the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. With the invention of the steam engine just one of the many inventions to bring prosperity to the wider country, the city also boasts more miles of canals than Venice which helped spread industry and commerce across the wider region and down into London.

It has six universities – which make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London – and the city has vibrant and influential art, music, sport, literary and culinary scenes. It is also the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, so here’s what you can expect to see if you visit Birmingham…

Things To Do In Birmingham:

  • Selfridges and the Bullring Shopping Centre
  • Jewellery Quarter & Museum
  • Canals; Grand Union Canal, Brindley Street, Gas Street Basin & Canal Street
  • Cadbury World
  • Birmingham Symphony Hall
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery inc’ Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon Treasure Hoard
  • Winterbourne House & Gardens
  • National Motorcycle Museum
  • The Pen Museum
  • Birmingham Town Hall
  • Broad Street Bars & Clubs
  • Birmingham Pride LGBT Festival
  • National Exhibition Centre
  • Barclaycard Arena
  • Edgbaston Cricket Ground
  • National Sea Life Centre
  • Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
  • Many pubs, cafes and restaurants

How To Get There:

By Car:
Birmingham can be reached if driving from Banbury via the M40/M42 motorways north; the M42 junction takes you to the southern and western areas and is best for the city centre, or take the M6 junction to travel east around the city and to the north of the centre.
Travel time from Banbury is just over an hour if traffic-free.

By Train:
There are around 4 direct trains per hour from Banbury Station to either Birmingham Moor Street or Birmingham New Street, which take between 46 minutes and 1 hour 7 minutes depending on the service.
Some of the stops on the services are; Warwick Parkway, Leamington Spa and Coventry.
Standard class return prices range from around £22.45 peak time to £15.40 off-peak time, but do check on availability first.

By Coach:
National Express coaches run services 210, 211, 212 & 319 from Banbury Bus Station on Bridge Street, travelling to Birmingham Coach Station in Digbeth.
Travel time is around 1 hours 30-45 minutes.
Prices are around £16-17.10 per person for a day return trip (+ £1 booking fee if booking online).

Guided Tour:
Check the local tour guides that offer inclusive trips to specific tourist destinations.

SELECTED BIRMINGHAM GIFTS

BEYOND BANBURYSHIRE

Header image credit: Tupungato / Shutterstock.com