Birmingham Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Birmingham

Planning a short break to Birmingham? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Birmingham. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Birmingham. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses<

Just a short drive from the city centre, head towards Edgbaston then follow the clearly marked signs to the Botanical Gardens. Even if you haven't got the slightest interest in gardening this is still a great day out and if you do like nature, then you have just found paradise!.

The glasshouses are divided up into, The Tropical House, Subtropical House, Mediterranean House and Arid House and display the plants connected to those regions in suitably heated environments. The gardens are beautifully laid out and include a bandstand, Typical English cottage and garden, Historic Gardens, Pinetum (Pine Grove), Childrens Discovery Garden, Playground, Aviary and many other attractions.

For more information visit - www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

One of Birmingham's top attractions for the visitor and open from 1885. The museum is located in the city centre and is easy to find because of it's tall clock tower fondly named "Big Brum" which is visible for miles.Well known for the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in Britain and housing a fine collection from the English traditional crafts movement.There are displays covering the cities past from the industrial era to modern times.

Admission is free and you can find out about their special exhibits by going to, www.bmag.org.uk

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Housed in an old factory in the area of Birmingham known as The Jewellery Quarter, on Vyse Street. In the early part of the 20th century this area was populated with Jewellery manufacturers and retail outlets, but these places had to bow to modernisation and as such this museum is a monument to the past.

The activities at the museum include, Jewellery making demonstrations, history of the area and the history of Jewellery.

You can also visit the museum website for Birmingham museums and galleries, www.bmag.org.uk

Cadbury World and Bournville Village

This attraction is a must for any visitor to Birmingham (Except people on a strict diet). Just 6kms south of the city is the home of the famous chocolate factory and George Cadbury the founder.

Cadbury World as you can imagine is heaven for the chocoholic where you can learn the history of the confection that some of us couldn't live without, see how it's made and of course for the tempted there is a chocolate shop.The nearby village was were George Cadbury housed the many workers of the factory in what was considered at the time to be a bold experiment in the good treatment of workers. It has been lovingly preserved from it's 19th century peak.

Its popular so you can book your tour at www.cadburyworld.co.uk

The Bull Ring Markets

Located near the eastern end of New Street in the city centre and the scene for centuries of market trading. You can find bargains here every day except Sunday and Monday when it's closed. Choose from over a thousand stalls selling everything from foodstuffs to crafts to plants and flowers. The massive market hall is where you'll find fresh fish, chicken and groceries.The bi-monthly St Martins Antiques Market is one of the speciality markets held from time to time.

You will also find the well known shopping centre nearby that has recently undergone a facelift and they can be contacted on w.birminghamuk.com

The Bucklemaker

30 Mary Ann Street, St Pauls Square, located in the heart of the city and serving traditional English food that is so rare as most places have given way to Indian and Chinese.

The chef at this cheerful homely restaurant has created some interesting and original dishes and sauces including, Pan fried Guinea fowl with celeric mash, Wild Mushroom, Tomato and Red Wine Sauce. And the old favourites like Pitt + Swatkins Pie (Beef Fillet, Lamb's Kidney, Mushroom and Ale) and Braised Faggots with Mushy Peas. A good variety of starters and sweets, Tapas and a long wine list.

To see the menu go to www.thebucklemaker.co.uk

Aston Hall

This Jacobean Country House is located about 5km north of the city centre and built by Sir Thomas Holte in 1618 who took 17 years to complete the impressive house (I'm sure he had help, but maybe his builders let him down). The visitor to Aston Hall will be impressed by the scale of the property and it's rooms many of which can be viewed.Furnished in keeping with an 17th and 18th century country house. The house is well kept and well worth a visit.

More information is available on the website, www.birminghamuk.com/astonhall

Black Country Museum

The museum can be found in Tipton Road in nearby Dudley and is easily found by bus from Birmingham centre and is named after this area to the west of the city that was blessed (some would say cursed) with an abundance of coal mines and created much employment in the early 1900s till the 70s. This coal mine and village is a total re-creation and gives the visitor an idea of life down t'pit. Go underground to experience conditions and walk through the village to be transported back in time to the 1930s.You can also enjoy a boat trip along the Dudley canal which forms part of a large canal system in the Birmingham area.

Find out more at, www.bclm.co.uk

Zanzibar

No not in East Africa but here in the heart of Birmingham this massive nightclub rocks at night with a restaurant, not 1, but 2 nightclubs and 4 separate rooms each with a different theme all under the one roof, this club suits the more sophisticated young crowd and operates a strict dress code. Top DJs play to all tastes and get the punters up and dancing. You will be sure to enjoy a memorable night out at Zanzibar. The club also has a private members bar, The Polo Club that can be used by corporate. Try to be over 20 except for Mondays where you should be 18+.

There is info on www.birmingham.org.uk

The National Exhibition Centre

One of the largest venues in Europe and the world for exhibitions, live concerts, international sporting events and big parties. The arena has a capacity of 12,000 and hosts many top shows throughout the year, including The Motor Show, Horse of the Year Show and World Gymnastics.

The N.I.A holds 13,000 and has hosted Davis Cup Tennis, Ballet and large scale pop concerts.The Symphony Hall is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and has a Capacity of 2,000.

Wine REPublic is a high class restaurant where diners can enjoy sophisticated food and wines of the world. For details of forthcoming events log into,

www.necgroup.co.uk

User Suggestions

Thinktank - Cultural Attraction

Birmingham Science Museum - has many interactive science exhibits, Planetarium and an Imax cinema as well as their impressive museum collection. the museum also plays host to many major touring exhibitions and events throughout the year. http://www.thinktank.ac

Broad Street - Bar or Club

If you're up for a weekend of drinking, eating and dancing, take a crawl up Broad Street - this is the main nightlife spot in Brum. There's masses of bars, clubs, restaurants, a massive cinema and Jongleurs comedy club. Just off Broad Street is Brindley Place, a canalside collection of more bars and restaurants (Thai Edge restaurant is recommended!). If you've got a bit of cash to splash, try The Living Room for cocktails and dining.

The Arcadian Centre - Bar or Club

The Arcadian (www.thearcadian.co.uk) is Birmingham's second nightlife spot. Situated a 5 minute walk past the Bull Ring, in the midst of China Town, the Arcadian offers some slightly more upmarket (yet not too pricey) bars and clubs. There is also a fantastic Indian restuarant (Festival Balti) and a plethora of Chinese restaurants to choose from. Around the area is also Oceana (www.oceanaclubs.com), a new nightclub with 7 (count them!) themed rooms, and around the Arcadian lies Birmingham's gay scene - try Club DV8 on the night, or the classy Loaf Lounge for upmarket New York inspired food, sumptious decor and tasty cocktails.

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