A thriving metropolitan destination in the West Midlands, Birmingham is a spirited city renowned for its pioneering advances in science and technology, exciting arts scenes, and superb shopping centres. Named one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015 by Rough Guides, Birmingham’s industrial heritage continues to inspire the city’s development, with new creative hubs emerging for young entrepreneurs, start-ups and aspiring artists alike.Less than two hours from London by rail, Birmingham offers something fun for everyone - whether you’re on a family day out, exploring the city’s captivating past, or soaking up its cosmopolitan lifestyle.Top attractionsHome to some of the UK’s top attractions, ‘boredom’ and ‘Birmingham’ are two words that never mix! Those on a quick city break can step inside the exciting world of broadcasting and explore behind the scenes on the BBC Birmingham Public Spaces tour. Self-confessed chocoholics should report immediately to Cadbury's World, a self-guided exhibition tour of the nation's most cherished chocolate brand which includes chocolate making, tasting and a whole host of family-friendly activities.Nature lovers can explore the hidden worlds beneath the waves at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, complete with an Ocean Tunnel walkway for a truly immersive experience. Meanwhile, those looking for something a little different can head to Birmingham’s Wonderful World of Trains and Planes where visitors are invited to travel the world in miniature by plane, train and automobile.Culture and heritageWith a remarkable history rich in scientific, industrial and cultural progress, there are dozens of notable landmarks, museums and galleries to discover across the city. Culture and heritage highlights include the award-winning Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum showcasing the city's scientific legacies; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery spanning over 40 galleries and set within a magnificent listed building; the internationally acclaimed contemporary gallery, Ikon and its programme of world-renowned artists; and Birmingham Hippodrome, famed for its musicals, pantomimes, ballets and operas.ShoppingWhen it comes to retail therapy, Birmingham is brimming with luxury shopping centres, trendy shopping quarters, and dozens of independent traders to keep you busy. Stepping away from the high street, the city’s Jewellery Quarter is an essential stop for any shopping trip: a unique shopping quarter steeped in history boasting over 100 independent jewellery retailers, antiques dealers and designers. Birmingham’s Bull Ring is another great shopping haven with over 150 brands all under one roof.Located in the heart of Birmingham’s shopping district is a different type of shopping experience not to be missed: The Great Western Arcade. Lined with award-winning independent retailers, here you’ll find everything from artisan bread to designer footwear. For something truly unique, The Custard Factory houses a wonderful collection of some of the city’s most creative companies - from digital businesses to independent retailers and everything in between.Food and drinkThere’s no shortage of places to eat and drink in Birmingham. From the locally produced culinary delights of the Bull Ring’s food markets to the global cuisine at the city’s various food quarters, there’s something to entice even the fussiest of eaters! Food lovers should head for the Mailbox - a former Royal Mail sorting office turned trendy food quarter just bursting with flavour! Brindleyplace also mixes retail with eateries, offering everything from quick lunches to cocktails on the terrace in the city centre.
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