Sometimes when you have so much choice on offer, it’s not always obvious what things to do in Birmingham are right for you or are a ‘must not miss’. Well I was lucky enough to visit to recoup from camping a couple of week’s ago, so I’ve put together my ultimate 48 hours guide to Birmingham. I’m sure some people will agree and some people will disagree with my choices, but with 48 hours and my first visit to the city this is what I’d recommend!
Day 1: After arriving and checking into your accommodation, head out for dinner and drinks. The choice of restaurants along the canal, also called Brindley Place are great, from a Pizza Express to local pubs serving delicious homemade meals there is something for every budget and taste. Follow up with drinks at All Bar One, Pitcher and Piano or the number of Wetherspoons along Broad Street on your way back to your hotel for a good night sleep – you need to rest for tomorrow!
Day 2: Wake up early for breakfast, if it’s not included as part of your accommodation don’t worry because there are loads of places to stop for food in the city. One popular choice is Boston Tea Party, who are open from 7am Monday to Saturday and from 9am on Sunday.
For retail enthusiasts like me head straight for the Bull Ring shopping centre, if like me you live in the countryside the amount of shops at your disposal in Birmingham is likely to excite you. We probably went a bit overboard in HMV spending over £100 on films and music – enough screen time to last a lifetime!
A tip from me, if you get thirsty stop off at the Bubble Tea stand outside of the Next store on Level 2 (at least I think we were on level 2 at the time – it’s a bit of a maze!). I was completely intrigued by the concept of Bubble Tea – I mean what is it! You choose a taste, a tea, a topping and then they shake it all up for you and seal it in a plastic drinking cup. I’d highly recommend the Popping Bubbles topping – it was like having sweets filled with drink to pop in your mouth.
After you’ve scoured all the shops take a walk east to the Custard Factory, a collection of creative and digital independent businesses. If you’re a creative type you will appreciate the colourful buildings, eccentric window displays and styled graffiti on the walls. If you’re wondering why it’s called the custard factory, it’s because it was the original location of Bird’s Custard.
By now you must be getting pretty hungry, head back the way you came and stop for lunch at Nosh and Quaff for some fresh lobster delights. It’s location on Victoria Square will set you up nicely for our next activity. If you need a break on the walk on the way back pass through Birmingham Cathedral and sit on the grass to enjoy the sunshine.
Out the door of the restaurant you will be welcomed by the world-renowned Floozy in a Fountain. Although you may be surprised by the lack of a fountain. She now sits in a pretty flower garden instead.
From here you can continue walking on to the Library of Birmingham. No you’re not going to rent a book, although we’re not stopping you; the library is an attraction of it’s own. The stunning building (on the right below) is one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings. They have 10 floors all with different themes. With outdoor viewing platforms on 2 different levels and an observation point on the 10th floor you can be truly amazed by the views over the city. For more information on visiting you can visit their website here
By this point you should be well and truly knackered. But should you need a little bit more shopping the Mailbox is perfect for picking up the higher end designer item on your shopping list. It’s also painted red. Like a mailbox – well planned hey?
Hungry? I can’t recommend the restaurants at the Park Regis Birmingham enough. Surely you’ve read my blog by now?
Day 3: On your way home, for chocaholics everywhere a visit to Cadbury World is a must! It’s not all chocolate – I mean I bet you didn’t know the town Bourneville was built/created by the Cadbury Brothers around their factory, not the other way around? OK, well if you did you’re a smarty pants. If you didn’t you clearly need to visit Cadbury World – there’s no such thing as too much chocolate after all!
That’s about all the time you’ll have before you’ll have to run and catch your train, bus, plane, or lift home – but don’t forget to stop off at the shop on you’re way out to stock up on a lifetime’s worth of chocolate!