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Birmingham

Birmingham is the largest and most populous British city outside London, with population well over a million. It is our neighbour from Wolverhampton and we use its airport quite a lot.

Gallery

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Birmingham's museum (BM&AG) is the main museum in the area, with major pieces from leading artists, including Rubens, Turner, Picasso, Degas, Pissaro, Renoir, Botticelli, Canaletto and Murillo.

A favourite piece from this museum is The Archangel Lucifer from Epstein, a Bronze sculpture whose face is modelled after a (not-pretty) female and the body is that of a (not-pretty) male. It also hosts a good collection of works from the pre-Raphaelites.

I visited the site on 5 March (2018).

Birmingham Museums Trust

Beside (BM&AG), Birmingham also hosts the largest independent museums trust in the United Kingdom, to which we became members on 31 August (2019) when visiting Aston. This includes the main museum (which entry is free anyway) as well as seven (plus one, to pre-book) attractions:

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Thinktank

This is the Science Museum of Birmingham. It hosts the Smethwick Engine, the oldest working steam engine in the world, installed in 1779 on the Birmingham-Wolverhampton canal to pump water back up a series of canal locks at Smethwick.

Aston Hall

A highlight of Birmingham, in Aston, of historical and architectural significance, also with nice gardens and a great park.

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Blakesley Hall

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

In 2008, it the third best free tourist attraction in Europe by TripAdvisor, behind the Pantheon in Rome and the National Gallery in London (it is not free anymore).

Sarehole Mill

Old functioning watermill, famous for its association with Tolkien.

Soho House

Georgian home of the Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boulton, who was close with James Watt.

Weoley Castle

Ruins of a fortified manor house built over 750 years ago.

Restaurants

Birmingham is a high place for top gastronomy, which we still have to explore.

Lists online

To do

  • Museum and Art Gallery GreenTick.png
  • Gas Street Basin GreenTick.png — the centre of England’s canal system.
  • Bullring (walking & shopping) GreenTick.png
  • Aston Hall — one of the final Jacobean houses GreenTick.png31 August 2019.
  • Birmingham's fine gastronomy (Adams, Purnell's, Opheem, Folium, etc.)
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
  • St Philip’s Cathedral — one of the few English baroque style churches in addition to being one of the countries smallest cathedrals. Look up to the ceiling and you will discover 2000 soul boats hanging. GreenTick.png
  • Symphony hall — one of England’s finest concert halls with world-class acoustics in the stunning architecturally beautiful auditorium.
  • Winterbourne House.
  • Great Western Arcade.
  • Shakespeare Express — to visit Stratford upon Avon.
  • Sheldon Country Park.

Visits

Links