Birmingham Tourist Attractions

Birmingham city is described as a very stylish city, filled with all the cutting-edge developments of the modern century, yet still popular for its many historic treasures. It is the second largest city in the United Kingdom, and home to more than one million inhabitants. Birmingham is famous for its miles of peaceful canals, which are in fact longer than those in Venice, and its steam railways which provide transport for fun around the scenic countryside. Birmingham has more than enough attractions to keep tourists entertained for any length of stay.

Over the years Birmingham has transformed dramatically into a city that has major attractions for tourists. It is a very popular destination for shopping, as the new Bullring Complex attracts thousands of visitors every year, along with the famous Selfridge’s department store and Mailbox designer center, and Birmingham still has plans to continue to improve with many exciting and modern business and leisure developments. However, Birmingham will always maintain its historic buildings and architecture. The latest developments of multi-screen cinemas and tenpin bowling alleys have proved to be very popular with locals and tourists, while there are also many superb restaurants, bars and art galleries to be enjoyed. Health and fitness clubs have become major parts of the city as well over the recent years.

There are a couple of ways to visit the most popular sights in Birmingham. Tourists can ‘go it alone’ or use one of the guided bus tours available throughout the day in central Birmingham. These buses provide a hop-on and hop-off service, similar to that in London, where tourists can simply stop at any destination they wish to explore, and catch the next bus that comes past when they are finished. This is a great way to reach some of Birmingham’s most famous attractions. Birmingham Tours and Hidden History Coach Tours are two of the companies offering this service. There are also self-guided walking tours available, such as the Digbeth Tuck Walking Trail and the Jewelry Quarter Discovery Trail. If you prefer the water to land, a cruise down some of Birmingham’s canals would be ideal. There are over 32 miles of scenic canals to explore, including the Old Main Line Canal, the New Main Line Canal, the Grand Union Canal, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Tame Valley Canal. Many companies provide canal cruises.

Cadbury World is one of Birmingham’s most visited attractions, and is a famous and historic chocolate factory with all sorts of impressive displays and highlights. It is found in the famous Bourneville area of Birmingham. Children will also love a visit to this factory, as many of its exhibits are interactive. There is a large gift shop nearby and guided tours are available, however, it is recommended to book well in advance. Another very popular aspect of Birmingham is the old steam train that chug back and forth and around the beautiful countryside areas. Elegant Railway Excursions provides a scenic journey from the Northfield area of the city on lovely restored steam trains, while the Gloucestershire or Warwickshire steam railway also offers a relaxing journey. A meal comes along with this ride. The fastest steam train is the Shakespeare Express Train, travelling from central Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon. It is about an hour long journey.

There are many attractions in Birmingham that provide a fun-filled outing for the whole family. A major attraction of the city is the National Sea Life Center that is home to some amazing sea creatures, including sharks, fish, giant turtles, rays and crabs. Children thoroughly enjoy watching the feeding displays, and there is a café for refreshments. Land going wild animals can be seen at the West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, which has tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and various kinds of reptiles, as well as amusement park rides and displays which are very popular. Quieter wildlife such as deer, rabbits, foxes and owls are the attraction at the Birmingham Nature Center, as well as number of otters. The Nature Center also offers a small zoo for the children and wildlife trails. The Dudley Zoo and Castle is known for its impressive conservation work with rare animals and endangered species.

Plenty of water fun is offered at the Kingsbury Water Park, which has numerous large lakes and ponds, and is a popular area for various water sports such as windsurfing, fishing and water skiing. Waterworld is another large attraction in Birmingham featuring many splashy rides and slides. There is a water rollercoaster and a couple of swimming pools, and many lovely areas for a picnic. Children also enjoy the Drayton Manor Park and Zoo, filled with fast theme-park rides and rollercoaster’s. Its highlights include a cable museum and a zoo with all kinds of reptiles, insects and more friendly farm type animals. Numerous other farms are found in Birmingham that are all much-loved by the children. They include the Broomey Croft Children’s Farm, Acton Stott Historic Working Farm, Northfield Children’s Farm, Rays Farm, Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom and the Ash End House Children’s Farm.

For a more peaceful day out there are some lovely and fascinating museums in Birmingham. The Birmingham and Midland Museum of Transport features large collections of historic vehicles, including fire engines, battery-electric vehicles, old milk floats and vintage bus rides. This is a fun museum for the whole family. Birmingham, known for its steam train rides also has the Tyseley Locomotive Works, or what used to be called the Railway Museum. Visitors can have a good look at some beautifully restored steam locomotives and other railway artifacts. Another very popular attraction is the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, where visitors will find a small historic town with an authentic Victorian sweet shop and old-fashioned rides at a funfair. There are also guided tours of an actual coal mine with boat trip.

With all these attractions and countless more, tourists simply love to visit Birmingham. For details about these and other famous sights and areas, there is a Tourist Information Center on the City Arcade, and another at the National Exhibition Center. Birmingham Airport also offers the Visitor Center, where additional information about tourism, transport, hotels etc. is available.

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