The second most populous city in Britain, Birmingham, as you might expect, has dozens of fantastic visitor attractions, from world-class exhibition galleries to fascinating heritage attractions and lush parks. England's second city also has a superb range of hotels catering to every budget and taste, and is renowned for its diverse food scene and eclectic nightlife.
To learn more about local history, visit Birmingham's last surviving back-to-back houses that were built for workers employed in the city's flourishing industries in the Industrial Revolution.
Featuring a unique one million-litre ocean tank, the National Sea Life Centre is one of the leading family attractions in the city, with dozens of impressive freshwater and marine life displays. It's in the lively Brindleyplace canal district, which has many thriving restaurants and boutiques, and is well within reach of plenty of city centre hotels.
Showcasing hundreds of thousands of historic exhibits, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is another must-see if you're keen to find out more about the city's proud industrial heritage. See some of Birmingham's most treasured jewellery and archaeological items, observe an excellent ceramics exhibition, and see the gallery's remarkable Pre-Raphaelite paintings exhibition. It's an ideal choice if you have several hours to spare before you can check-in at your hotel.
Another very popular exhibition gallery, this venue was where the Smith and Pepper business produced jewellery for more than eight decades, and has a delightful souvenir shop where you can find a good variety of jewellery items and books.
The Bull Ring, one of the most popular shopping centres in Britain, is home to an enormous Selfridges and many other major department stores, and benefited from a multi-million pound redevelopment in 2003. The Selfridges building, in particular, has received widespread critical acclaim for its unique steel and concrete façade, and is now one of the defining symbols of Birmingham. The shopping complex is within walking distance of several Birmingham hotels, the trendy Chinese Quarter, and the city's Moor Street and New Street railway stations, which offer easy access to other major UK cities.