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Birmingham was the home of Neville Chamberlain and the creator of The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkein, is home to arguably the best chocolate manufacturer in the world and that tasty cup of Typhoo Tea.
An ethnically and culturally diverse city, Birmingham is situated in the heart of the British Isles in the central geographical district known as The Midlands.
The BIA (Birmingham International Airport) welcomes passengers from Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, India and North America. The second most popular airport for business passengers in the British Isles, the city is well versed in directing its yearly 9 million passengers to their destinations.
A considerable proportion of visitors to Birmingham tend to head over to the National Exhibition Centre ideally located adjacent to BIA. The International Convention Centre and National Indoor Arena are situated in the city centre with very good road and rail links from the airport.
Thanks to the BIA’s eleven million pound Air-Rail link service, travelling between the railway station and the airport could not possibly be any easier. With only a two minute wait between trains, the smooth 36 kph journey to the airport only takes a minute and a half.
While millions of people arrive in the city to attend trade fairs and conferences, many others visit Birmingham for sight seeing, the arts and excellent shopping possibilities. This is very good news for business travellers with time on their hands with much on offer to provide an interesting interlude from the myriad of slideshows, networking and note taking that make up the often dreary business trip.
A very popular tourist attraction in town is that of St Philip’s Cathedral. Having only achieved its “cathedral” status in the last century, St Philip’s began life as a church. With a stunning baroque design and a pre-Raphaelite stained glass window is claimed to be the smallest cathedral in England.
Chamberlain Square is not as you would expect. It is not square-shaped. Circular in appearance, the square is shaped like an amphitheatre and is where public events are held. Also here is Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham Town Hall and lots of exciting and busy activity, being at the very centre of the city.
A visit to Birmingham would not be complete without stepping back in time. The “Back-to-Back” houses are the tiny dwellings of a growing industrial labour force while Gun Hill has been the location of gun and ammunition manufacture since the seventeenth century.
Hardened shoppers will find they have fallen on their feet in Birmingham. Not only is the Bull Ring Shopping Centre said to be one of the best places in the country for retail therapy, it is easily reached being adjacent to New Street Railway Station. The surrounding streets (when shoppers feel a need to come up for air!) are pedestrianised making for a perfect peaceful respite from all the till ringing and credit card swiping.
Brindleyplace is a four hundred million pound canal side development offering the National Sealife Centre, the Ikon art Gallery, the Crescent Theatre as well as a number of smart and trendy pubs, bars and restaurants for the chic and famished.
Victoria Square marks the centre of the city and is where a statue of the Queen herself is erected. Aside from, the Town Hall and Council House, this is where you will spot “The Floozie in the Jacuzzi” an affectionately nicknamed fountain properly called “The River”.
Here in Birmingham you will encounter attractions to beat all others for different reasons. Birmingham is where you will find the second largest mosque in Europe, a huge chocolate producing estate and one of the biggest under cover music venues in the England. The Birmingham Central Mosque welcomes thousands of Muslims to its religious premises every Friday. Cadbury World welcomes thousands to its chocolate bar conveyor belts while music lovers in their tens of thousands head over on a nightly basis to the NIA.
While in the city, an excellent place to seek out (especially for those armed with small or smaller enquiring minds) is that of the Millennium Point. Housing the Young People’s Parliament, the Technology Innovation Centre, an IMAX Theatre and the Museum of Science and Technology, this is an educational establishment with an entertaining edge.
Birmingham International Airport
is situated 13 kilometres from the city centre and is served by a fully comprehensive range of transport modes.
Birmingham International Airport or BIA is located within the centre of Britain’s motorway system allowing easy access from a multitude of towns and cities right across the country. The airport is situated within a mile of the M42 (at Junction 6) linking up to the M1, M6, M6 toll road, M5 and M40.
In addition, Birmingham International Rail Station provides a two minute Air-Rail link service to the airport and is frequented by regional, national and local rail services
. London services run every hour with the journey taking about eighty minutes.
The airport is easy reached from a vast range of towns and cities with the assistance of the nationwide National Express coaches
Visitors heading over to the NEC need to take the Air Rail link to Birmingham International railway station from the first floor of Terminal 1. From there, follow the signs on foot for the NEC for about five minutes.
Passengers heading over to the city centre for either the ICC or the NIA need to board the Air-Rail link to Birmingham International Railway Station to New Street Station (a 10 minute journey). You will then need to take a short taxi ride over to the ICC and the NIA or take a fifteen minute walk from the station.
Birmingham’s international Railway Station is situated on the West Coast Mainline route efficiently serving the whole of the country. At New Street Station, the range of routes and services are wide stretching all over the country.
The airport is efficiently served by a number of bus services stopping at the new bus and coach terminus outside Terminal 2.
National Express coach services bring passengers from all over the country to BIA. Visitors are advised to make enquiries prior to travelling and that tickets are booked in advance. The National Express service terminates at Birmingham’s Digbeth Coach Station. To travel on to BIA, a twenty minute journey aboard the 900 bus follows.