Birmingham’s Sikh Vaisakhi festival takes place on April 27, 2014. The streets of the second city will be thronged with colour for the event – but there’s plenty of things to do the rest of the year too. Here’s our Top 10 things to do in Birmingham.
The Tolkien Trail
You’ve seen The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit films – now explore landmarks such as Sarehole Mill and Perrott’s Folly that inspired the author of the books, JRR Tolkien, as he grew up in Birmingham.
It’s a little-known fact that Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice. There are no gondolas, but you can jump on board a barge for beautiful views married with modern developments like the Cube as you sail through the city.
Come on down all chocaholics, this exhibition at the world-famous chocolatier includes the Aztec Jungle, the Bournville Experience and the world’s biggest Cadbury shop.
No, spellcheck’s not gone crazy, Birmingyum is what the local tourist board calls the city’s thriving dining scene. Another little-known fact is that Birmingham has four Michelin-starred restaurants (second only to London in England) as well as the famous Balti Triangle plus award-winning street food and farmers’ markets.
The Staffordshire Hoard
Discovered in a field near Litchfield in 2009, the hoard is the largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork yet found. Some of its 3,500 pieces go on show in a new permanent gallery that opens in Autumn 2014.
The Jewellery Quarter
Steeped in history, Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is where 40 per cent of the UK’s jewellery is produced. Stroll the shops, then step back in time at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, where you can even have a go at making your own piece of sparkle!
Library of Birmingham
The city’s new £189 million Library is a must-see. This ‘people’s palace’, Europe’s largest public library, offers a wealth of events and activities – plus great views of the city skyline.
There are more than 1,000 shops in Birmingham – from the Selfridges building in the Bullring shopping area to the fabulous independents in the Victorian Great Western Arcade.
See shoppinginbirmingham.com and greatwesternarcade.co.uk
National Sea Life Centre
See the newest arrivals at the Penguin Ice Adventure which opens this Easter. You’ll be able to come face-to-face with a colony of Gentoo Penguins and adventure in to the rarely seen Antarctic landscape.
Villa Park stadium tours
While Birmingham has two historic football teams in Birmingham City and Aston Villa, the latter were one of the founders of the Football League. Famous Aston fans include David Cameron, Tom Hanks and Prince William and you can get to check out the first-team dressing room at one of the oldest stadiums in the country. Tours are on Wednesdays, Fridays and some Sundays.
For more on Birmingham, see visitbirmingham.com
Got a favourite we missed out on? Tell us about it in the comments below