With a sturdy and reliable reputation as one of the UK’s biggest and best industrial cities, Birmingham has retained much of the spirit that built it making it an invigorating choice for holidaymakers. Delving into Birmingham’s history is a fascinating business but experiencing the modern day wonders that naturally follow on from the city’s illustrious past is just as fun.
Birmingham has been famous for working with metal since the middle ages, with guns, buttons and steam engines just some of the products that have helped it grow into the city it is today. Back in the 18th century, Birmingham became the centre of new industry thanks to the invention of the steam engine by James Watt and the city is proud of its past at the forefront of industrial invention.
Jewellery has always been one of its biggest exports however, with 50,000 people working in the trade back in 1914 and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter remains the UK’s jewel making centre. It’s the perfect place to find a one of a kind piece to take back home and the shops are well worth browsing for their huge variety of styles.
But Birmingham is famous for more than metalwork, it’s also a longstanding producer of some of the world’s leading food brands, such as Typhoo Tea, Bird’s Custard and HP Sauce.
When it’s time to eat in the city today, it’s customary to at least sample a curry or two, as Birmingham has garnered a reputation as the capital of curry, thanks to its impressive Balti Triangle. This small area around Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath and Moseley has more than 50 restaurants to choose from and has been listed as one of Britain’s best places to eat.
For those holidaymakers looking for something a little sweeter, Birmingham’s history as the home of Cadbury’s chocolate is sure to satisfy. A visit to Cadbury World celebrates the history of the world-famous chocolate while also allowing visitors to sample and explore the newest flavours and products.
The city is also well known for its particularly fine crop of musicians and bands throughout the years. Famous faces that have hailed from Birmingham include Black Sabbath, UB40, Duran Duran and Ocean Colour Scene, so it’s little surprise that it remains a hot spot for musical events. These days, there are a huge variety of gigs to choose from, including small intimate affairs in pubs and clubs as well as huge acts at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
Birmingham is a city that boasts many beautiful canals, in fact, it’s said to be home to more of them than Venice. While the heyday for Birmingham’s canals was in the 18th century, when the city had 174 of them, the 114 that remain are an excellent tourist attraction. A boat tour of some of Birmingham’s most beautiful waterways is a wonderful way to see the city.
Experience Birmingham past and present with a fascinating holiday, book hotel Birmingham City and start planning which areas of the historic city to enjoy.