Saturday, 22 July 2017

Birmingham Places of Brum

We told a few of our work colleagues that we were going to Birmingham for a break and they all looked at us for with dismay, well Birmingham these days is a city break location and actually has lots to offer as a tourist destination.

I have been to Birmingham many times with my family and through one of my previous jobs at  time when they were still revamping The Bullring, but D had never been there except through it on the train when travelling to see family down south from Scotland on the train.  

Birmingham is the UKs second largest city.  Like Cardiff it has changed dramatically over the past decade.  
Library of Birmingham affectionately known by some locals as 'The Cake'.
The glitzy disco ball dome like Bullring.
The famous Birmingham Bull. 
We did not go into the Birmingham Bullring as I had no desire to shop and only admired it from outside, 



Birmingham is known for its cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, so I loved seeing these banners being proudly displayed, but at the same time that evening in the city centre I also witnessed two different faith groups in the city centre trying to out-shout each other with the same message about God, it made my heart sink as it could easily become confrontational.


 Marvelling at reflections of the surrounding architecture.


A Hundred Thousand Welcomes - we were discussing as to how old this sign was? I thought 1980's, D thought much older.  We were both wrong, it is part of Digbeth Public Art Project and the work o an Irish artist called David Sherry, and A hundred thousand welcomes is the English translation of a traditional Irish greeting Caed mil failte.

Here is a link to a short film by Andy Howlett about ghost signs and typography on the streets of Digbeth

A We then came across The Electric a stunning building.  The Electric is the UK's oldest working cinema. 







 The Old Crown (1368) is a pub and reputed to be the oldest secular building in Birmingham (1368).  

We also explored the Custard Factory, Arcadian, Brindleyplace and other locations throughout the city.
The Jewellery Quarter
Like an silly teenager, I amused myself over this floral iron urinal from 1880 dubbed as Temple of Relief in the Jewellery Quarter
Back to Library of Birmingham, but this time right from the top where they have what is dubbed as a Secret Garden. It certainly is a nice place to chill from the bustle of the city below.  
However, this was our view.  I remember the last time I was in Birmingham, they were revamping the Bullring and not its other parts, so much work - so we look forward to coming back in a years time to see the changes.h
 We also took a canal ride on one of the Narrow Boats which was most enjoyable.  


As well as the boat ride, we also walked along the canal.
No need to rush, just relax.....yes that is what holidays are for.
Due to our short visit, we did not get to see the Botanical gardens and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, but it is saved for another time as it is definitely worth visiting.

If you enjoyed this blog post, then please note I will be writing more about Birmingham including its Graffiti Art of which there was so much and then as a Vegetarian what and where we ate, so please do come back.

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Mr Bite grew up a little south of Birmingham and before we moved to the UK, he told me how about how badly Birmingham was viewed in England. When we visited I was astonished at how nice it is (and I think he was too after all his years away) - as you say, it has changed over time!

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    1. Thanks Kari. We def. did and would go back again. Yes I know Brum is not viewed through appreciative eyes in England, I think this has a lot to do with people having prejudicial views towards the South Asian community, which undoubtedly do dominate but I think it does have lot to offer and it is its diversity that makes any city welcoming. Brum is def gaining popularity. Hope you get to visit it again in not too long.

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  2. It's so nice to see Birmingham through your eyes! Looking forward to more. My husband and I had our first real date (our 2nd date really, but the 1st was just a drink in Wetherspoons!) at the Electric Cinema - we saw the Great Gatsby.

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    1. Thank you Susie. I am so pleased you like my blog post. I have just written another re graffiti art and linked to your blog - hope that is okay. Oh i am chuffed to note that you went to the Electric Cinema for your date, if they were showing something i wanted to watch, we would have gone there too. Great Gatsby - a good movie.

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  3. I've only ever been to the NEC in Birmingham, but you certainly show a more interesting side of the city. I especially like the Bullring building and the huge statues

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    1. Belinda, I forgot until you mentioned it - i have also been to the NEC in my teens. So pleased you liked the post, there is lots happening in Birmingham now - a city on the up.

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    2. I saw Joni Mitchell at the NEC in 1983. Legend.

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  4. I really enjoyed this post and liked the photos. I really wanted to visit Birmingham properly, have only ever changed trains there and eaten at the station. I agree that it's an attractive city break destination in England, would love to have a stroll by the canalside and admire all the old and new architecture. Cant wait to see more Birmingham posts from you! Enjoy your Sunday!

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    1. Thanks VegHog. I am so pleased you got to see a bit more of Brum through my pictures, but its nothing compared to going yourself as you know.

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  5. I live about ten miles away and I'm also married to a Brummie. We go often , there is lots to do and see. The jewellery quarter has lots of history and nice little cafes/bars. I'm quite interested in your post about graffiti around Digbeth as well so I may look at that next time I go.

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    1. Thanks Miss Piggy Bank. Yes, def.lots to see.We did not hang around that long in the Jewellery quarter, but will check it out properly next time. I went there once for a conference, but even then was indoors. Hope to visit Brum again as a tourist rather than travelling through

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    2. If you go again , try and visit the ' Coffin Works' museum in the jewellery quarter , very interesting.

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    3. Actually, we did pass the Coffin Works and it was closed. There was another museum - an National Trust property I think, not far from it too, but that was also closed too for a private event, but thank you so much I will try again next time.

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  6. I've not been to Birmingham properly (only for work, which never shows you the best of the city!) so it's lovely to see it like this, and all the city has to offer. Next time I'm thinking about a new place to spend a weekend, I'll put Birmingham on the list!

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    1. Joey, my past visits have often been for work - the last visit was for a conference at Aston University. But this time it was nice to explore with tourist lens. hope you get to visit it soon

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