An adventure in Birmingham!

Published On March 19, 2015 | By Matt | Europe

If we are being honest, Birmingham does not really have the best reputation as a tourist hot-spot.
The second largest city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham doesn’t really have the glamour of
Manchester, the gothic beauty of Edinburgh, or the Northern attitude of Leeds. However, if you
scratch beneath the gritty, urban, surface of Birmingham there is a surprising amount to see and
do. In this article we give you a few hints and tips on why Birmingham should be on your list of
places to visit.

Explore the canals

You may find this hard to believe, but Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice. Jumping
on board a narrow boat is a fantastic way to explore the city from a different angle. There are lots
of options – from one hour cruises to more extended weekend expeditions that enable you to
discover the surrounding “Black Country” – the Galton Valley area criss-crossed by an extensive
canal network.

Get on your bike

This is a great region for cycling – all relatively flat and some fantastic trails that mean that you can
cycle for hours and really stretch your legs. The best way of planning your route is the West
Midlands Cycle Journey Planner – an online tool that helps to suggest the best cycle route to get to
your destination. A great starting point for your cycling expedition is Route 5 of the National Cycle
Network. This enters Birmingham near Frankley and then winds its way along the Rea Valley and
right into the heart of the city centre – taking in a lot of the city’s major attractions along the way,
before heading out of the city along the Birmingham Canal heading towards Smethwick. For
something a little more relaxed, head to Sheldon Country Park which is a huge space that
incorporates grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands – there’s a lot of wildlife that make their home
here and quietly spinning around on your bike is a great way to get close to them. If you don’t fancy
bringing your own bike there are lots of local hire options. !

Hit the hills

If you feel like getting some fresh air, head to the Lickey Hills Country Park – it’s a nice solid walk,
but not too challenging, to the top of Beacon Hill which will give you fantastic views out across the
surrounding countryside.

Prepare for the Rugby World Cup

Birmingham is home to a lot of sport – golf at The Belfry, cricket at Edgbaston, lots of football, and
of course rugby. In 2015 the Rugby World Cup is coming to England and Birmingham’s Villa Park
will be hosting a number of key matches. The matches scheduled to be held in Birmingham will
feature South Africa, Australia, and Samoa. Villa Park is normally used a football stadium and is
the home of Aston Villa Football Club.

If you like a bit of outdoors activity, adventure or just a bit of sightseeing, then Birmingham
definitely has a lot to offer. With easy transport links from across the United Kingdom this is a
perfect weekend mini-break destination. Start planning your visit today and change your perception
of the United Kingdom’s second city.

Photo credit: brianac37 Creative commons.

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