Things To Do In Birmingham

By: Frederick Hoymer

Britain's second city with around a million inhabitants, Birmingham is located almost centrally in the country. It is a diverse city with plenty of things to see and do when you visit.

There is a long tradition of brewing beer in the Birmingham and although most of the younger population drink lager, traditional British ales are readily available in the city's many Victorian pubs and bars, including the Old Crown in Deritend, which dates back to around 1450.

Birmingham has a massive network of canals - surprisingly, it has even more canals than Venice. These formed the early transport network but nowadays they are mainly used for leisure and you can take short breaks on the waterways to explore almost undiscovered parts of the city.

Brindley Place has recently been the subject of a multi million pound redevelopment. It features many canal-side pubs and restaurants and is centrally located, so you'll be able to reach it easily from your hotel when you stay in the city. The general area also features large open spaces, theatres and art galleries. The large Central Square often features open air arts events and is home to the annual Arts Fest.

There is plenty to do in Birmingham for children and adults alike. Whether you are looking for modern spectacles such as Sea World or earlier and more esoteric places such as the Botanical gardens.

The author J R R Tolkein was born in the city and it is rumored that a number of scenes in his classic novel The Lord of the Rings were inspired by regions such as Moseley bog and Perrott's Folly. The folly is a 96 foot tall tower that was built during the mid 1700's and is clearly visible above the local houses and businesses.

If you're looking for nightlife in Birmingham, you should concentrate on both Brindleyplace and Broad Street. There are plenty of stylish pubs, clubs and restaurants to keep you occupied late into the night.

Alternate years see the Birmingham International Festival taking place. This is a Caribbean style carnival with plenty of floats and colourful costumes to keep spectators interested.

Cinema fans won't be disappointed - Birmingham is home to the UK's oldest working cinema, the Electric Cinema, found on Station Street. The Odeon chain started its life in the city during the 1920s. The local listing magazines will give you full information about the mainstream and independent films that are being shown during your stay in the city, although if you want to watch a current movie in complete comfort then the Star City complex is well worth a visit.

Famous Birmingham residents now have their own Walk of Stars, inspired by Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Here you can find stars dedicated to famous Birmingham residents as diverse as Ozzy Osbourne and the comedian Jasper Carrott. Slade fans won't be disappointed either - Noddy Holder has been honoured with a star as well!

Music fans of every taste are able to find something in Birmingham. From the massive concerts held at the nearby National Exhibition Centre through to small local venues featuring everything from jazz to heavy metal music and all points inbetween.

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