Excursions in and from Birmingham

Thanks to Paul Taylor for compiling this list!

Birmingham University Campus

City Centre

German Christmas Market

Overcrowed overpriced pseudo-German tat, food and beer. Difficult to miss.

Back-to-Backs: see this!!!

The last remaining high-density housing that used to cover the whole of Birmingham. You have to book a tour in advance.

Museum and Art Gallery (free)

in the Council House, Victoria Square includes part of the Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon jewellery: see this too!!

Jewellery Quarter

Walk around the area that used to contain loads of jewellery factories and still contains plenty of jewellery shops. Admire the intricacy of the Victorian red brickwork, even on simple utilitarian buildings.
St Paul's church is very nice. It's regarded as part of the Jewellery Quarter but is a bit out of it. It is close to the restaurant for Thursday evening's meal, so maybe go there before that.
The cemetary contains the grave of typographer William Baskerville.
There is also a museum.

Soho House

Georgian home of the Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boulton, one of the founders of the Industrial Revolution. This was also where the Lunar Society met. Further north-west from the Jewellery Quarter, on Soho Avenue (off Soho Road) Birmingham, B18 5LB, 0121 348 8150


Science museum. Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG.
Outside is the building where the first London to Birmingham trains arrived, which is also the planned site of HS2, the high speed rail link.

South of the City Centre

Sarehole Mill

A 250 year old working watermill famous for its association with author J.R.R Tolkien. Open Wednesday and Thursday, 11am to 4pm - get a tour with a friendly chubby geek.

Bournville Village

Pretty village established by the Cadbury Trust. Contained no pubs because they were Quakers.

Chocolate Factory (Cadbury World)

Weoley Castle

The ruins of a 13th century fortified manor house built 750 years ago (although it doesn't actually amount to very much). Alwold Road, Birmingham, B29, 0121 348 8160 It's pronounced "wheelie", so far as I can gather.

Day trips by train

Train times and fares: National Rail


Open-air museum of industry and working life. Trains every half hour, take 17 mins, cost £4.10 return


Pretty town, well worth a full day trip: At the north end of the line through New St & University (Lichfield Town, not Trent Valley). Trains every 10 mins, £6.40 return from New St, £8.70 from University


Capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. Big castle, nice church. trains approx every half hour, takes <15mins, costs £8.10 return


Cathedral with the new tomb of King Richard III, who was found buried under a car park. Trains every half hour, take 50 to 60 mins, costs £14 return


Pretty town. Birthplace of William Shakespeare. Not to be confused with Stratford-atte-Bow in east London, which is mentioned in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Trains every half hour, take 40 to 50 mins, costs £8.10.


Really quite ugly, because it was badly bombed in WWII and rebuilt in concrete, but the ruins of the bombed cathedral are famous. Frequent trains, take 20 min, costs £5.70 return.


Medieval castle done up as a tourist attraction. Trains twice an hour, take 30 mins, cost £5.80 return.


Bletchley Park was where Alan Turing and others broke the Enigma Code. Excellent museum plus the famous huts. Also the National Museum of Computing. Trains take 67 or 92 mins, so this has to be a day trip.


Some old buildings. Students have to do their exams in fancy dress. The place where the founders of the Anglican Church were burned at the stake for heresy. The trains take a bit over an hour and are quite expensive.


Medieval city with cathedral. Frequent trains, take an hour, £9.30 return.


Very pretty medieval town that can't make up its mind how it should be pronounced. Two trains per hour, takes about an hour, £14.80 return.


The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Numerous major old factories and museums to see. Probably requires staying nearby for a week. Train takes 34 mins to Telford, then get bus 4. -->