Admittedly, Birmingham is a city that I really haven’t explored anywhere near as much as I’d like. In fact, until I decided to take a day trip to the city, I’d only ever found myself there when I was changing trains at New Street Station. As the second biggest city in the UK, I thought it was about time that I explored all that it has to offer. So when I spotted an exciting exhibition showing at one of their local galleries I booked myself a train and headed down from Liverpool. Here’s what I got up to on my day trip.
York’s, 29/30 Stephenson St, B2 4BH
Located just by Birmingham New Street Station, York’s seems to be a bit of a chain in Birmingham with a few branches around the city. I treated myself to a chocolate and peanut cookie and an elderflower pressé. Although I’m a huge coffee lover, I’d already had a coffee that morning so I wanted to shake it up a bit. There were so many different options of freshly baked snacks on display that I so could have easily eaten about 5 things. However, I contained myself and went with the cookie. Honestly it was one of the nicest I’ve ever had. If you’re heading into Birmingham then York’s is a definite must visit.
IKON Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, B1 2HS
The entire purpose behind my trip to Birmingham was actually to visit an exhibition that was on at the IKON Gallery at the time. One of my 5 goals for the new year was to immerse myself in more culture, I thought taking a trip to see the Haroon Mirza exhibition would be a great starting point. If you’re a contemporary art fan and happen to find yourself with a free day in Birmingham then I’d definitely recommend checking out the IKON gallery.
How To Spend A Day In Birmingham: The Custard Factory
I have to admit The Custard Factory was not what I expected at all. In my mind it was going to be something that would rival Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle but in reality it seemed to be tiny in comparison. Maybe I didn’t fully explore all that it had to offer or I overlooked some hidden gems while I was there (Birmingham locals, let me know!). However there were a few little places that really interested me within the area. The first was Sara Preisler, a jewellery and craft shop in the centre of the area. As a huge jewellery lover of course I popped in for a look around.
Sara Preisler, 7 Gibb St, B9 4BF
Despite heading in to check out the jewellery, I actually found myself drawn to the ceramics at Sara Preisler. I spent a period of time working with ceramics and glass when I was studying in college in my teens so now, whenever I see glasswork, I’m instantly fascinated by it. It’s definitely something that I’d love to return to someday.
The Clean Kilo, 1 Gibb St, B9 4BF
A few doors down from Sara Preisler was The Clean Kilo. As the biggest zero waste supermarket in Birmingham, The Clean Kilo is a must visit. I’ve always been someone who appreciates fresh produce and loves cooking their own meals. So, when I came across The Clean Kilo I was interested to see what they had in stock. The fact that they’re a zero waste supermarket was a huge bonus!
Brewdog, 81 John Bright St, B1 1BL
Having a Brewdog located just near the station made for a perfect end to the day. I’m certainly no stranger to a Brewdog and the Liverpool one is a regular spot of mine. I’ve never been much of a beer drinker but add a fruity flavour to it and I’m sold. Sadly my favourite, Framboise, wasn’t on the menu but I found a substitute which was a close second.
Hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas on how to spend a day in Birmingham. Have any of you visited Birmingham before? Maybe you’re even from there yourself! Let me know what your favourite places to visit are. I have no doubt that I’ll be returning soon to see what else the city has to offer. 7 hours isn’t exactly enough time to explore the second biggest city in the UK. But I think I did an okay job!
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