I’m often asked where is good for a weekend in the UK and after traversing the entire United Kingdom back in 2012 I can now list a huge number of worthy destinations I’d highly recommend. One place that often surprises people is Birmingham, England’s 2nd largest city and I don’t think it’s too rude to say not a place high on people’s lists when they think of a romantic weekend break for 2. But read on and you’ll find out just why you’re wrong and why you should really consider it for your next short break.
Firstly you’ll need a place to stay and with so many people in this vast city there’s plenty of competition which keeps prices reasonable and options varied. Recent years has seen the rise in self contained apartments also known as “short term rentals”. Having experienced a number of these myself I highly recommend them over a hotel stay any day. You get a lot more space for your money and the luxury of having everything you need within the property you’re paying for. I find them so much more relaxing than a stuffy little hotel room you can’t wait to leave. Comfortzone Apartments in Birmingham is a great example of quality serviced apartments well within the areas you’re most likely to visit. Unlike traditional accommodation, you’ll find apartments like this are much more modern with a contemporary interior design and often a range of styles to choose from. I recommend picking accommodation that matches your personal styles as it’ll give you the most relaxing environment to return to after a day’s sightseeing or a night out on the town.
Sightseeing in Birmingham
This is the biggest question people ask when I recommend this city to them. Partly because people really don’t get to hear much about the tourist attractions of this traditionally business orientated city. Pure logic dictates that a metropolis of this size has more than its fair share of great places to go. Firstly its a fantastic city for outdoor dining and rooftop bars too. In fact there’s been a real trend recently for this more exclusive feeling venues. Café Opus at Ikon is a great place to start as its easy to find. For upmarket lunchtime dining check out Park Regis, 1565? Restaurant and Bar and for night-time views high up in lavish surroundings be sure to go to Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses are a fantastic place to take a stroll with a loved one and enjoy one of the UK’s best 19th century gardens to rival any in London. Cannon Hill Park is also a great place for a cheap day out and popular with locals.
Festivals and events worth checking out
I highly recommend booking your weekend break in Birmingham during a festival to really make the most of the city. There’s all sorts to choose from here including some fantastic food and drink festivals. The Caribbean festival in July is well worth checking out for both music and food! If you like farmer’s markets and indeed any other type of market head to the Bull Ring on Saturdays where you’ll find a hive of activity. For something a bit different check out the TILT festival in July celebrating the very best of Aerial and Physical Theatre. There’s workshops and demonstrations on including all sorts of skills like Aerial Silks, Ropes, Static Trapeze, Hoops and plenty more. Most of which is free to enjoy.
How to get there
For those flying in to the UK Birmingham has its own international airport with plenty of flights in from Europe and a number to the far east, middle east and North American countries. It makes accessing this great city very easy and reasonably priced too. If you’re flying in to London and want to venture up to Birmingham there are plenty of fast trains from the city leaving every 30 minutes or so from Euston Station.
image credit: counteract.co