This month’s Hometown Tour Guides are Alice and Grace who are travel bloggers and sisters. Catch up with their latest adventures at The Tale of Two Sisters. Here’s what they have to say about their hometown….
What is the name of your hometown and where is it?
Our hometown is Birmingham! It can be found in the middle of England in a county called the West Midlands.
What, if anything, is your hometown famous for?
Birmingham was once a central figure during the industrial revolution as it was a hub for steel works which was helped by its famous canals (More than Venice!) and created what is now known as the Jewellery Quarter.
Many may have seen portrayals of Birmingham in TV and film as the TV show Peaky Blinders, is set in Birmingham!
Others may know Birmingham as the home town of some of the greatest British exports including Ozzy Osbourne and Cadburys Chocolate but many may not know that Birmingham is also highly praised for its indian cuisine – it is said that when Beyonce did a show here that she ordered in a curry.
The top 5 attractions are:
The Bull Ring – Not actually a bull-ring, but a huge shopping centre which has all your retail needs.
Cadbury World – Cadbury is what it says on the tin. the old Bourneville factory which visitors can walk around and learn about the world-famous chocolate.
Soho House – Georgian house where the Luna society (Erasmus Darwin, James Watt and Josiah Wedgwood) met to discuss science-y things.
The Library – Birmingham’s library was controversial when it first opened due to a mixed reaction to its appearance but is now a major part of the skyline. It is the largest library in Europe and has a whole room dedicated to William Shakespeare.
The Black Country Living Museum – Take a trip out of the city to The Black Country which was linked to Birmingham through the canal trails and was also a massive part of the Industrial Revolution. The Living museum is well worth a visit!
Are there any local sports teams? Where do they play?
Other than football, cricket is also a big deal here as it is home to the famous Edgebaston Cricket Grounds.
Our 3 favourite restaurants are:
- Coast 2 Coast – Great American Waffles and cocktails!
- Milano – One of the best Italian restaurants we have eaten at in Birmingham!
- Adams – Rated as the #1 spot on TripAdvisor, Adams is a luxury restaurant for those without a budget
Our 3 favourite bars/pubs are:
- The Botanist – A newly opened quirky pub chain that offers fantastic food and botanical cocktails
- Aluna – Extremely good cocktails!
- The Lost and Found – We haven’t been to this one yet but need to find a time to visit as everyone raves about it. It used to be a bank, but now sells cocktails, food and apparently does a cracking afternoon tea!
Top 3 Hotels are:
- Malmaison Birmingham – Malsaison is based within a luxury shopping centre in a converted Royal Mail sorting office, also named the Mailbox. It is in a perfect location, with only a quick walk to Birmingham’s biggest train station, New Street. Malmaison is a contemporary hotel and a favourite with those visiting the city.
- AC Hotel Birmingham – AC Hotel lies in the heart of the city and has pretty reasonable rates. This too is right next to the Mailbox and so is close to all Birmingham’s landmarks and amenities.
- The Rotunda – A set of four and five star apartments that can be found at the top of Birmingham’s Rotunda building. The apartments have stunning views of the city. They offer studios as well as one and two bed penthouse apartments and are only a walk away from the city centre.
Why do you love your hometown?
We also love our hometown because of its history and how much it contributed to the world we know today and even though it was a big part of the Industrial revolution it is surprisingly close to the countryside too, for those wanting a country break! We are lucky as we were raised in a city that is very eclectic and has a lot going on. No street is the same as the other an are filled with communities from all over the world – Birmingham literally opens its arms to everyone. Despite what others in the country may say about our accents, we love them too!
Who should visit your hometown?
People who interested in history or architecture. Birmingham is the perfect place to see a contrast between the old Burnsville houses, Birmingham back-to-backs and the modern city centre. Families should also come for a visit as there is so much to do – The Sea Life Centre, The Think Tank, Cadbury World…etc.
Best time of year to visit (weather):
June-September as this is British Summertime and Birmingham looks best in the sun!
English – with a distinctive Birmingham accent
Great British Pound (£)