Birmingham Must see places
Victoria Square & the City Center
Birmingham has many public squares, and this one is arguably its most famous one. Named after Queen Victoria, this central area of the city houses the grand Council House, the city’s town hall and welcomes one of the biggest German Christmas markets in the world to its streets each winter. Read on to discover the history of Victoria Square, Birmingham!
Victoria Square’s history dates back to the early 1800s, when it was occupied by Christ Church, a parish church active between 1813–1897 and later demolished. Shortly after Christ Church came the construction of the Grade I-listed Birmingham Town Hall (1832–1834), one of the first British examples of 19th-century Roman architecture and originally built to host Birmingham’s Triennial Music Festival.
In 1901, city leaders renamed Council House Square to Victoria Square in honour of the Queen, who unfortunately died just 12 days later.
National SEA LIFE Centre
One of Birmingham’s most-visited tourist attractions, the National SEA LIFE Centre is home to an impressive 60-plus exhibits related to marine life. Pride of place goes to the aquarium’s massive million-liter ocean tank, with its unique underwater tunnel, which allows visitors an uninterrupted view of the diverse sea life on display, including everything from reef sharks to giant turtles.
All told, some 2,000 critters call the aquarium home, including numerous rare seahorses, giant octopi, lobsters, crabs, and stingrays. The attraction’s big stars, though, are its playful otters (look out for Mango and Starsky), along with its penguins.
For most of its history, the Jewellery Quarter was a closed community. There were no jewellery shops until the late 1970s when the economic recession prompted some of the manufacturers to open their doors to retail customers. Soon, other retailers moved into the area and in the 1980s, old buildings started to be restored rather than pulled down.
Today, the area has undergone further regeneration and many of the former factory buildings have been taken over by a mix of independent businesses and creative workshops or turned into quirky residential apartments.
The Quarter contains one of Europe’s largest concentration of manufacturing jewellers. Combining the very best of traditional craftsmanship with innovative designs and high-quality materials, they create beautifully crafted custom jewellery.
St. Philip’s Cathedral
Birmingham Cathedral is the city’s Anglican cathedral. The church of St Philip was built for the growing town of Birmingham in 1715. The church became a cathedral when a new Diocese was formed in 1905.The most significant treasures are the stunning set of stained-glass windows by Birmingham born artist, Edward Burne-Jones.The cathedral has a strong tradition of musical excellence and regular evensong takes place every day during school term time.The cathedral is at the heart of the city and welcomes visitors every day of the year.
Birmingham. Be sure to check the cathedral’s website prior to your visit for details of talks, seminars, exhibits, and concerts.
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, formerly Birmingham Nature Centre, and before that Birmingham Zoo, is a small zoo on the edge of Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, England. It is owned and managed by Birmingham City Council (BCC).
Birmingham Zoo was opened on 1 May 1964 by the Dudley Zoological Society, within Cannon Hill Park. The site of the park was once part of a 16th-century fulling mill, known as Pebble Mill.
It was designed to exhibit mainly young animals, but it also housed Dudley Zoo’s collection of monkeys and two dromedaries for rides.
Once described as a little gem of a zoo, it closed in 1973 for unknown reasons. It was reopened in 1974 by Birmingham City Council as the Birmingham Nature Centre. The centre and its entrance were originally part of the Birmingham Natural History Museum. In 2014 it was rebranded as Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.
Bournville is a model village located just southwest of Birmingham city centre. If you ask, “But, isn’t Bournville a chocolate bar?” you’d be absolutely right. If the clue in the name wasn’t enough, this picture-perfect suburb has strong links to the world of chocolate, being the home of Cadbury World, located in one of the original Cadbury factories.
The village itself (and the Bournville Village Trust) was founded by George Cadbury in 1900, gifting his workers with beautiful nearby homes to live in as well as plenty of sports and leisure facilities all around for when they weren’t at work.
There’s far more to Bournville than just chocolate, though. It’s undoubtedly one of Birmingham’s prettiest and most historic areas, plus it’s a popular place for families to explore. So, why not visit and discover more? You’ll soon see why Cadbury named one of its most famous chocolate bars after it.
Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
The museum is set directly beside the Birmingham Canal in Dudley, close to Dudley Castle. The museum occupies the site of a disused railway goods yard, coal pits, and old lime kilns. It is much more than an industrial heritage site; historic buildings at risk of destruction are disassembled and brought to the Dudley site where they are rebuilt. Buildings have been brought from Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton, and Dudley itself, and rebuilt to illustrate West Country life from 1850-1950.
The Dudley site is in the heartland of the Black Country, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Electric trams and trolleys bring visitors from the museum entrance to the canal area, where over 30 industrial and domestic buildings have been rebuilt. Visitors can also take a ride on a traditional narrowboat along the Dudley Canal, navigating into the Dudley Tunnel and on to the quarry at Wren’s Nest before returning to the museum site.
Gas Street Basin
The Gas Street Basin is an important area of the Birmingham canal network. It has many narrow boats moored up here, adding to its appearance. Gas Street Basin has many eateries and bars, many of which have views across the water. This area also includes the Mailbox and The Cube, both of which are shopping and food hubs.
The Chamberlain Memorial Fountain
The Chamberlain Memorial Fountain is the centrepiece of chamberlain square next to the town hall. It is rather a nice-looking fountain. After its full restoration, it’s nice seeing water rushing through it. They erected the fountain in 1880 to commemorate the public service of Joseph Chamberlain. He was a prominent Birmingham business person, councillor, mayor and also a Member of Parliament. The fountain is neo-gothic in style and is 20 metres in height, a rather impressive sight.
Enjoy a night out in the bars and nightclubs on Broad StreetThe Broad street area of the city is party central and has many late night entertainment venues and hotels. This links up many other pleasant spots of the city, including Brindley Place and Gas Street. There are late night bars, restaurants, a cinema and also nightclubs in the area.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston is a great day out, a place with nice landscapes and is rather tranquil. Birmingham Botanic Garden is on a 16-acre site with exotic flora in Victorian glasshouses, Bonsai garden, a bird collection and much more. The gardens are not that far from Birmingham city
centre and are a great tourist attraction.