Birmingham is not a post-industrial city, it still employs over 100,000 engineers and manufacturing workers to churn out everything from Jewelry to Cadbury chocolates, and it’s this particular energy and innovation that makes it such an exciting and intriguing place to visit.
Visitors can tour many of the factories and old industrial centers during the day while exploring the bustling and lively nightlife of the city in the evening. Food lovers will flock to this city for its four michelin starred restaurants, which is four more than Manchester has, and more than any other city in the United Kingdom outside of London.
It isn’t hard to guess what this quarter is named for. Traditionally being the area of town in which jewelers lived and worked, this area of town is now a trendy and lively part of the city. Try to find a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast on or near St. Paul’s Square, which is the heart of this neighborhood, for easy access to plenty of amazing pubs, restaurants, shopping, and more.
Digbeth is also a very creative and trendy neighborhood in Birmingham. Our personal favorite, there’s too many art galleries and trendy cafes to shake a stick at. Home of the famous Custard Factory which is now a community space of bars, creative businesses and independent stores, we love the vibe of this vibrant neighborhood. To really fit in, look for a eco-hotel or a holiday flat rental so that you can really feel like you’re in the neighborhood.
Recently voted the best place to live in the United Kingdom by the Sunday TImes, it’s not hard to see why. This gorgeous suburb just to the south of the city is well known for its plethora of cool restaurants and pubs, including One Trick Pony Club and Dark Horse, which regularly host live music throughout the week. Close to downtown and full of life, find a hotel or vacation rental here for the best experience of what Moseley has to offer.
One of our favorite things to do in Birmingham is to take advantage of all of the quirky museums popping up. As the home of the bulk of the UK’s industrial boom, there are a lot of museums that explore the unique role Birmingham had in creating many of the goods used in Britain to this day.
One of our favorites is the Coffin Works, a museum dedicated to educating visitors on the making of coffins, and showing a variety of unique types and styles. While a bit macabre, this cheerful museum is actually quite educational and entertaining. The Back to Backs museum is also a really good trip; showing visitors the history of inner city life from the period of about 1850 to 1950, this informative guided tour walks you through the architecture and style of daily life for Birmingham residents which the whole family can enjoy.
For a taste of the finer side of things, take a tour of Winterbourne house and gardens to see wonderful examples of mid-century victorian design, some beautiful samples of William Morris wallpaper, and the gem of this adventure is definitely the gardens; with seven acres of carefully tended flower beds, pruned hedges, and walking paths, a stroll around this park will make you think that you’re in a different country.
Birmingham has a moderate maritime climate but can often have unpredictable weather as a result, with four seasons wrapped in one day. We suggest going in the summer for the best chance of catching the good weather, and strongly suggest that visitors bring umbrellas and jackets with you just in case.
The best indication of the weather in Birmingham will be just checking the weather report about a week before your departure; and planning accordingly. We recommend trying to go in time for some of the summer festivals though; they’re sure to be incredible!