Tag Archives: England

5 Things to See and Do in Birmingham

You know about London, but there’s another city you should consider visiting on your next trip to the UK. Birmingham is the second largest city in England, and one of the cities that helped shape the modern world. As one of the leaders in the Industrial Revolution, it has a long history in technological advances along with contributions to music and the arts. There’s so much to do that you might be wondering where to start. So let’s take a look at five things to see and do in Birmingham.

Of course, the best way to go about getting to and from Birmingham airport is by using Blacklane. Blacklane offers a professional driver service that makes it extremely easy to get where you’re going. It’s convenient and affordable. Simply schedule your pickup time and enjoy your ride. It’s that easy.

Symphony Hall: Symphony Hall is easily the greatest concert hall in the UK and one of the greatest in the world. It offers a wide variety of acts, from rock, jazz, classical, dance, and even stand up comedy. It hosts over 270 events a year, so there’s always some kind of entertainment happening. On top of all this, it’s also the home of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which frequently plays to audiences of over 200,000. Make sure to check their schedule before you visit to see what will be happening while you’re there.

Shakespeare Express: This is a beautiful way to explore the English countryside while also taking in some of its old-time charm. The Shakespeare Express is an old-fashioned steam train that looks like it came from another time. Once you board, you’ll be taken on a ride from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon. It’s a gorgeous ride that’s steeped in both history and natural beauty. Depending on when you take the trip, you’ll also be served a delicious meal to eat as you enjoy the scenery.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: This is a must-see for art lovers. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery contains art that spans centuries of European culture. It features many different kinds of art, such as fine art, ceramics, archaeology, and industrial history. Some of it highlights include the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, and a gallery of Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Sheldon Country Park: If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors during your stay in Birmingham, then Sheldon Country Park is the place to go. This park consists of 300 acres of open grassland, giving you a perfect chance to enjoy some of England’s natural beauty. Sheldon Country Park is also a great place to take the whole family as it features a playground and a farm that houses an assortment of animals.

Great Western Arcade: You’re going to want to do some shopping while you’re in Birmingham, and this is the best place to do it. Not only does Great Western Arcade house a vast selection of retail shops, it also offers plenty of English charm. It was originally built in Victorian times, and still retains much of its old-world appeal. It’s both a perfect place to find what you’re looking for and a fascinating experience in its own right.

Put these Forest of Dean attractions in your travel itinerary

When city dwellers of the United Kingdom seek a temporary reprieve from their daily grind, they have a number of go-to favorites.

The Lake District. Snowdonia. The Scottish Highlands.

But when you can’t venture far from Central London, a quick weekend escape to the Forest of Dean might just suffice.

Want to immerse yourself in the verdant environment found in this corner of England? Stay in a holiday cottage there, as they are nestled amidst the trees and the rolling hills which make this part of the country a desirable place to escape the stress of everyday life.

Once you have decompressed enough, though, you will probably want to fill your days with some activities.

If you are looking to do more than just unplug, find room in your travel itinerary for one of the following Forest of Dean attractions.

1) The International Centre for Birds of Prey

Love birds? If so, spending a few hours at the International Centre for Birds of Prey will be straight up your alley.

Home to over 60 species of hawks, eagles, and other carnivorous avian species, this zoo focuses on conservation and educational activities which aim to promote the well-being of the birds in their care and to teach the public about them.

Watching a falconry demonstration is a highlight of any visit here, so be sure to ask about the day’s schedule soon after arriving.

2) Royal Forest of Dean

As the name suggests, there is a sizeable wooded area within the Forest of Dean region. Preserved as a hunting ground for British royalty during the days of the Tudors, it is a well-loved recreation area in the present day.

While you are in the Forest of Dean, make time to enjoy a lovely stroll along its many walking trails. If you can time your visit, try to come during the spring when flowers are in full bloom, or during autumn when the leaves of the trees are ablaze in colour.

3) Hopewell Colliery

In recent times, mining was the primary economic activity that supported families in the Forest of Dean. That way of life is mostly gone now, but reminders of the past can still be found.

The Hopewell Colliery provides visitors with a window into the workings of a functioning coal mine, as it is run by a free miner or a former worker who once labored in one of the main mines in the region.

Doing that for one year gave them the right to claim a stake of their own within the Forest of Dean region.

Hopewell Colliery is one of the few freeminer operations that still exist, and while coal demand is rapidly falling, revenue generated through tours will keep this fascinating attraction open for years to come.

What You Need To Know When Travelling Through Nottingham

Whether you’re planning to explore the city or simply stopping for a break as you travel onwards there’s a lot you need to know when travelling through Nottingham. Found in the East Midlands to the north of London Nottingham is a city with a rich history.

People all around the world know the story of Robin Hood and characters like him and the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham have made Nottingham a very popular place to visit. You can even visit Sherwood Forest and the many other famous landmarks around the city.

Because of its close proximity to London Nottingham is also a popular stop for backpackers and travellers who are passing through to make it to the capital. So what do you need to know while travelling through Nottingham?

Public Transport    

Nottingham’s public transport includes buses, trains, cycling routes and a tram network and they are widely regarded as being some of the best public transport services in the UK. Buses travel all around the city while the tram network travels to neighbouring towns and Nottingham University.

New cycling paths and routes have also been introduced in Nottingham which traverses the city centre and also a number of popular tourist spots like the Nottingham canals. Trains are available at various train stations around the city and there’s a train direct to London every 30 minutes.

If you’re traveling by car then Nottingham is perfectly located near the M1 motorway and the A1 motorway which travels from Edinburgh to London actually passes through the city. Thanks to its diverse range of transport links and options Nottingham was named as the least car-dependent city in the UK.

If you prefer to just walk around to see then the sights then good news because there’s a wide range of hotels in the city centre. So you’ll only have a short journey into the heart of the city.

Where Can You Stay 

Nottingham might not seem to have the same allure as London at first glance but when you consider the amazing history of the city and look at all the great things you can do it’s easy to see why it’s a popular city to visit. Because of this, you’ll find a variety of different accommodation options on offer in the city that will suit any budget.

Finding a cheap hotel in Nottingham city centre might not take as long as you’d think as there are plenty of deals available for short stays in the city. Hotels range from standard two-star bed and breakfasts to luxurious five-star hotels, so you’ll be sure to find whatever accommodation you want.

If you want to avoid hotels then there are also a number of hostels in Nottingham and many are close to the city centre as well. Whatever your budget there are plenty of accommodation options in Nottingham.

What To See and Do? 

Because of all the travel options in Nottingham getting around the city is simple and easy so even if you’re only staying for a short while or just traveling through there’s still a lot you can see and do. If your hotel is in the city centre then you can just walk to many of Nottingham’s great malls and shopping districts.

The Nottingham countryside is a must for nature lovers and there’s a variety of museums and historical sites to explore including the famous Nottingham castle which is the home of the cities Robin Hood monument. And you can’t really visit Nottingham without taking a short journey through Sherwood Forest, can you?

Whether you want to hit the shops or immerse yourself in Nottingham’s rich history and culture there’s a lot to explore and do to keep you occupied. And even if you’re just traveling through you can still squeeze a lot into a short stay.