Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Why you shouldn't bother visiting Birmingham

Pre-Raphaelite Painting by Rosetti 
Porsepine by Rossetti
Sorry to be harsh, but really, there are dozens of nicer cities in the UK to visit. It may be the second biggest city after London, but it's nothing like London. Birmingham is far less 'urban' and cool than smaller cities like Bristol or Manchester.

Disclosure - we were only there for two days but we did stay in a central city hotel and wander about the city.

* Strangely lots of parking for the middle of a big city. Cheap gravelled lots where you could park for 24 hours. Helpful.
* Big train station in the middle of town with trains going straight to the venue for the Depeche Mode gig.

Martin Gore singing in a Depeche Mode concert
Martin Gore singing at the Depeche Mode gig

* We went to see Depeche Mode play at the NEC - not quite as good a gig as the one we saw at the O2 Arena in London, but still pretty enjoyable. 

* Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - lovely Pre-Raphaelite paintings like the one I've shown by Rossetti and quite a nice tea room (on the downside, they are building new galleries so bits of it were closed or just empty).

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery view from outside
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Tea rooms in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Quaint tea rooms at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

* Birmingham New Street station is undergoing a big refurbishment - sadly the main idea in refurbishment of railway stations in Britain is to create a great big echoing 'futuristic' space with no seats. Also, the trains were really annoying.
* Birmingham's just boring really. It has a few pretty buildings, but it mostly grew up around the industrial age. The big shopping centre at the Bullring is just like any other big shopping centre around the UK with the same chain stores, but bigger. Evidently there are canals but we didn't really explore that far.

So... I suggested some good places to visit in England here. Try one of them instead! Or let me know if you think I'm being a bit harsh on old Brummie-land.

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