Introducing

Travel & tourism
23 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Tony Smith, passionate about all things 'Birmingham' with his suggestion on how to spend a great '48 Hours in Birmingham'

Like all great cities, Birmingham is an exciting mixture of old and new. It was the “city of a thousand trades” with loads of civic pride still evident today. It is now one of the youngest cities in Europe and the Commonwealth Games city for 2022.

 

Let's see what Tony suggests as a great way to spend '48 hours in Birmingham'. Tony should know as he is well connected across the City and passionate about all things related to the future of the City.

 

Take the article below to see what Tony says. Take the project link to see other '48 Hours in Birmingham' suggestions from people who are passionate about the city.

 

 

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Tony Smith, passionate about all things 'Birmingham' with his suggestion on how to spend a great '48 Hours in Birmingham'


Like all great cities, Birmingham is an exciting mixture of old and new. It was the “city of a thousand trades” with loads of civic pride still evident today. It is now one of the youngest cities in Europe and the Commonwealth Games city for 2022.

 

Let's see what Tony suggests as a great way to spend '48 hours in Birmingham'. Tony should know as he is well connected across the City and passionate about all things related to the future of the City.

 

Take the article below to see what Tony says. Take the project link to see other '48 Hours in Birmingham' suggestions from people who are passionate about the city.

 

 


Like all great cities Birmingham is an exciting mixture of old and new. It was the “city of a thousand trades” with loads of civic pride still evident today. It is now one of the youngest and most diverse cities in Europe and the Commonwealth Games city for 2022.

 

'A hundred thousand welcomes', an Irish Birmingham greeting in Digbeth. Photo by Mac McCreery

 

Day 1 .....

 

Start the weekend at the free 5pm Jazz Lines concert at Symphony Hall café bar, check out what’s on and come back to one of the best modern concert halls in the world. Its' sister venue, Town Hall, opened in 1834, remains a jewel in Birmingham’s architectural crown.

 

Town Hall, Birmingham. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

Explore the canals and Brindley Place where you’ll find lots of bars and restaurants, with Bistrot Pierre and the Pickled Piglet definitely worth a try.

 

Bridge over canal leading to Brindley Place, Birmingham. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

Stroll up to the Mailbox for more choice of food and drink, walk through the shopping centre and on towards the gleaming façade of New Street Station (also a shopping centre).

 

Grand Central, Birmingham. Photo by Chris Fletcher.

 

Turn down John Bright Street, home to more lively bars and eateries – try the Stable for pizza to share, Cherry Reds or the Victoria.

 

Next day you could shop, but why not explore some heritage? Among the restored streets of the Jewellery Quarter, bustling with jewellers and many other small businesses, you will find James Watt’s House, St Paul’s Square and Church and two historic cemeteries, one of which contains the grave of Joseph Chamberlain (though you’ll have to hunt for it).

 

Jewellery Museum, Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

For lunch try the Pig and Tail, The Church Inn or the Lord Clifden.

 

It’s also well worth strolling round the Digbeth area beyond the Bullring shopping centre, Take a stroll through Eastside City Park. Eastside is home to Millennium Point, Thinktank (Birmingham's Science Museum) and the 'Dancing' water fountains. 

 

Dancing water fountains, Eastside, Birmingham. Photo by Damien Walmsley.

 

In Digbeth, Drop in to the arty shops in the Custard Factory and The Old Crown next door.

 

Saturday night brings a choice of great restaurants, including Asha’s or Lasan for Indian and Pasta di Piazza or San Carlo for Italian. The Purecraft Bar and Kitchen is a winning partnership of Purity Brewery and Simpsons restaurant doing posh pub food.

 

Or take a cab out to Ladypool Road for an authentic Balti. See a film at the charming Electric Cinema.

 

The entrance to the UK's oldest cinema, The Electric near Grand Central. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

Day 2 .....

 

On Sunday, don’t miss the Museum and Art Gallery and its Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

 

Beautiful sculptured masonry of the Museum and Art Gallery. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

Then visit St Phillip’s Cathedral to see the stunning Burne-Jones windows, taking in the historic Council House, the School of Art and the Victorian facades of Colmore Row.

 

Burne-Jones windows inside St Philip's Cathedral. Photo by Christine Wright

 

Take a break at Urban Coffee and make a quick visit to the Old Joint Stock pub with its magnificent interior. For lovers of real ale there’s the Wellington Arms, just across the alley at the back of the OJS. Hotel Du Vin is the perfect place for a long, lazy Sunday lunch.

 

Hotel Du Vin, Birmingham. Courtesy Barry Whitehead.

 

For more history visit Soho House or take a train out to Lichfield to see Erasmus Darwin’s House. Take the train to the University and discover the excellent Barber Collection of art, or head out to the Victorian suburb of Moseley, take a walk round Cannon Hill Park, then lunch in The Fighting Cocks or Carters restaurant in Moseley Village.

 

The great city of Birmingham from Romsley Hills 8 miles west. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

And that’s just a taster of the many great things old and new you will find in Brum.

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Introducing

Travel & tourism
20 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

'48 Hours in Birmingham' - a biker's (cyclist) delight as recommended by Lisa, Biking Adventure

So, you’ve arrived in Birmingham with 48 hours to enjoy. You've come with your bike and you're eager to explore our great city. Get ready for an urban (and countryside) adventure on two wheels, all from your base in the City. Oh and if you haven't brought your own bike, don't worry, you can always hire one.

 

Let's see how Lisa (Biking Adventure) would recommend you enjoy a great 48 hours in and around Birmingham.

 

Take the article link below. For other 48 hour suggestions, take the project link.

 

 

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'48 Hours in Birmingham' - a biker's (cyclist) delight as recommended by Lisa, Biking Adventure


So, you’ve arrived in Birmingham with 48 hours to enjoy. You've come with your bike and you're eager to explore our great city. Get ready for an urban (and countryside) adventure on two wheels, all from your base in the City. Oh and if you haven't brought your own bike, don't worry, you can always hire one.

 

Let's see how Lisa (Biking Adventure) would recommend you enjoy a great 48 hours in and around Birmingham.

 

Take the article link below. For other 48 hour suggestions, take the project link.

 

 


Day 1 ....

 

Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield (cycle route suggested by Biking Adventure

 

A good day on the bike always starts with a good breakfast, I would recommend one of the great independents we have in the town centre. Cherry Reds or Yorks Café are a good shout, quirky but homely and both offering great food and drinks, catering for all.

 

Coffee at Yorks Cafe. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

Once you're all fuelled up, head across town getting on the canal behind the Symphony Hall, this is where you will start your journey to Sutton Park.

 

The Birmingham canal system has more waterways than Venice and is a very different way to view the city, traffic free on two wheels. The canal towpaths connect with parks, trails and open spaces to take you on a real touring adventure, you almost forget you’re in a city.

 

Birmingham - the heart of the Waterways. Photo by Biking Adventure

 

The beginning of this route is a bit up and down over a series of locks and bridges but luckily not for too long and it makes for an exciting ride. It’s quite an industrial part of the city and passing under the famous Spaghetti Junction is an experience in itself but be sure to keep a look out for all the cute encounters along the way.

 

'Cute encounters' along the canal. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

Coming off the canal at Egerton Rd you are led to Pype Hayes Park via a few small roads, keeping to the path brings you to the trail following Plants Brook Stream through New Hall Country Park, an enjoyable ride with beautiful scenery for a few miles as you approach Sutton Park.

 

New Hall Country Park. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

You might want to put aside a few hours to explore Sutton Park, either on your bike, checking out the dirt trails and bridle ways or by foot (great bike parking outside the leisure centre). A picturesque 11 mile traffic free ride and you have reached one of the largest urban parks in Europe. 2,400 acres of National Nature Reserve where you’ll find lots to do. Open heathland, woodlands, several lakes, wetlands, and marshes. There’s even wild ponies and cattle grazing if you’re lucky enough to see them or you can even head over to the Donkey Sanctuary.

 

Wild Ponies in Sutton Park. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

This is one of the most amazing outdoor places in Brum with so much to do and see you’ll find it hard to leave. If you need a coffee stop there are a few pubs and cafes in the park, my fav is Blackroot Bistro, a lovely little pit stop set in a wonderful location.

 

After all your exploring I’m sure you are ready for food, head for the town gate where you can easily access Sutton Coldfield town centre. I can recommend Brew House and Kitchen, a great food menu accompanied by some great beers that are brewed in-house.

 

The Brewhouse, Sutton Coldfield. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

The 'Beer Can Chicken' paired with an English Ale is very popular. I don’t know about you but I love nothing more than a great beer after a ride and they have a great choice of beers. There are also veggie/vegan options although you will also find Earths Kitchen close by, serving up some great Vegan dishes to die for!

 

Your day has been jam-packed and I’m sure you will have had time to sample a few craft beers on your last stop. We wouldn’t want you wobbling back to Birmingham Town centre on your bike and 10 miles back will probably not looking too attractive, so I would suggest hopping on the train, a short 30 min journey for £3.60.

 

Day 2 ….

 

Birmingham circular route (cycle route suggested by Biking Adventure

 

After a busy day yesterday, you deserve a lie in. You’ll need it because you are in for another adventure today! Before you set off, get yourself a hearty breakfast down at the canal basin. The Canalside Café serves up great grub for meat eaters and vegans alike. Unfortunately, you will have to miss out on the great beers they have on offer, unless a breakfast beer is your thing? (We won’t judge promise!)

 

Canalside Cafe at Gas Street Basin, Birmingham. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

This is a wonderful place to start the day. There’s lots of photo opportunities with all of the barges, Venice-style bridges and reflections making it a very picturesque part of town.

 

Now it’s time to head off down the canal towpath, you will follow the train line towards the university. Surprisingly a very green, scenic route taking us out of the city.

 

A short enjoyable ride where you will come off at the university, you just have to cycle under the arch of Old Joe, the tallest freestanding clock tower in the world which is believed to have been the inspiration for the tower of Orthanc, the black tower of Isengard, in J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

 

'Old Joe', Birmingham University. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

If you’re lucky you might even spot the famous Peregrine falcons, who nest in the clock tower. If you’re into your museums and art galleries there’s a few hidden gems worth a stop. On the university site you have The Lapworth Museum of Geology and The Barber Institute of Fine Arts - both are a good shout.

 

Only a few miles of cycle friendly roads and a section of the Rea Valley route, roughly 20 mins takes you to the best lunch time stop in the cycling world. You’ve done the tourist thing and you must be gasping for a drink and some food, Gorilla Coffee is Birmingham’s designated cycle café.

 

Gorilla Coffee Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

A great atmosphere with all the cycling banter you could ask for, very chilled and laid-back, cycle themed décor with great food and beer. You may never leave…

 

If you do manage to leave you will be full after lunch so we are taking some side roads and a hill, but don’t worry its downhill so enjoy the ride. At the bottom of the hill there is a gap in the trees which is the John Morris Jones Walkway, following the River Cole it is part of the Shire Country Park taking us to the next point to call, Sarehole Mill, which is only a 15 min ride from the café but well worth the stop. Sarehole Mill dates back to 18th Century with a fully working waterwheel used to grind wheat every Wednesday and Sunday, Sare(w)hole meal flour is available from the mill shop. There’s also a charming tea room on site. The mill is another place connected with JRR Tolkien, he lived across the road from the mill, and it has been said the mill and rural surroundings inspired his writings of Middle-earth.

 

This green space is a fantastic cycle route, as you continue following the River Cole, shortly coming to what I like to call the river splash! This is not compulsory as there is path/bridge but go on… put some fun between your legs and ride through the river.

 

'River Splash!' at River Cole. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

Adults out there, you are never too old for some fun on a bike. This is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and you will soon dry off, it’s not that deep. Continue to follow the path through the country park. There’s a few road crossings but very clearly marked and you will soon reach the Ackers Adventure Centre. You may want to book ahead to join on one of the activities they have on offer from skiing and archery, to canoeing and rock climbing. It’s definitely worth a quick stop just for the Tobogganing. They have a mini slope which is a fun activity for children but don’t worry adults, they have a few rubber tubes which are awesome fun for us too.

 

Continuing on the off-road paths, you will see the signs directing you to the Union Canal.

 

Union Canal. Photo by Biking Adventure.

 

There are a few steps to tackle while getting down onto the canal or you can take the long way around on the road. Then there is a short journey on the canal taking you to your final destination. Again, there will be a few locks to tackle and a few cobbled towpaths to test you, but a great route and you’ll soon pass some great industrial Birmingham inspired street art which is how you will know that you have reached Digbeth.

 

Industrial street art, Digbeth. Photo by Biking Adventure

 

You’ll be amazed by the quality of the work that puts a splash of colour to an otherwise quite dull part of town. I would suggest coming off the canal at Fazeley Street and going on a little wander on the side streets to take in all the works of art that adorn the walls of old factory buildings.

 

Head under the arches of the bridge, check out the amazing graffiti filled Trinity Street car park with the quirky crushed car entrance before locking your bike up at the Custard Factory. There’s loads to check out from the city centre brewery, Dig Brew, Mockingbird Theatre and Bar, a bit of Ghetto Golf, The Ruin or craft beer house Clink. You’ll be spoilt for choice on how to spend your evening but I’m sure you will have built up an appetite.

 

I know the itinerary was jam-packed and you probably need another 48 hours to recover but I hope you’ve had a good time and will be back to Birmingham again soon.

 

*If you happen to have left your bike at home, I can recommend Midland Cycle Hire with a drop off and pick up service, if you want to make a real adventure of it they even do tandems.

 

More from Lisa, together with a great selection of photos, posts and links for cyclists of all abilities can be found at Biking Adventure.

 

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70 passion points

Activity for you

Sport & leisure
20 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Social cycling in Birmingham - Wed 21st February (7.15pm)

Short bike ride along Canal towpath to The Bull, Gun Quarter, Birmingham Free event with Cycle Birmingham (no registration, just show up at The Mac). Great social with welcoming group of cyclists. All abilities welcome.
21 Feb 2018
7.15pm (wheels roll 7.30pm)
The Mac, Birmingham

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30 passion points

Gallery

Construction & regeneration
17 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

The concrete core for Bank Tower Two is up to the 28th of 33 floors but the main structure is starting to show big progress from street level, the tower will seem massive from Broad Street once it gets up to more than ten floors. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos.

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two


The concrete core for Bank Tower Two is up to the 28th of 33 floors but the main structure is starting to show big progress from street level, the tower will seem massive from Broad Street once it gets up to more than ten floors. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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30 passion points

Inspiration

Photography
17 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Malt House Pub at Old Turn Junction

The Malt House pub at Old Turn Junction at the heart of the Eighteenth Century British Canal Network at Brindleyplace. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

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45 passion points

Gallery

Construction & regeneration
17 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

Demolition at Paradise Birmingham

The demolition at Paradise Birmingham continues, a large flat area has been cleared where the Birmingham City University and Conservatoire was. Click 'View Article' to see the latest gallery of photos from around the site.

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Demolition at Paradise Birmingham


The demolition at Paradise Birmingham continues, a large flat area has been cleared where the Birmingham City University and Conservatoire was. Click 'View Article' to see the latest gallery of photos from around the site.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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43 passion points

News & Updates

Construction & regeneration
16 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

Bank Tower Two at Leftbank on Broad Street has it's core up to the 28th floor now.

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55 passion points

News & Updates

People & community
16 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

It's party time! Birmingham celebrates Chinese New Year

Preparations well underway for a weekend of celebration in Birmingham with the main event, the parade on Sunday between 11.30am and 4.30pm in Chinatown, Southside. With the help of Birmingham's 'People with Passion', we will be sharing the wonderful action and scenes from this year's event with followers of Birmingham We Are.   

 

Links to further information, together with details and times of events can be found by taking the project below. 

 

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50 passion points

Inspiration

Photography
15 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

A Great Sky over Birmingham at Dusk

Birmingham UK, a beautiful sky over the westside at dusk. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

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30 passion points

News & Updates

Sport & leisure
15 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Birmingham shows its support for the cyclist!

Great to see a number of strategically located 'orange' cycle parking stands going up across the City of Birmingham. It goes a long way to showing evidence of the City's commitment to cycling and the increasing number of cyclists now commuting into the City for business and pleasure. 1 car parking space for every cycling stand is good deal for drivers as more cyclists commuting = more parking spaces available.

 

See the article for more photos of the cycle stands going up. Oh and we've started a project at Birmingham We Are to support the campaign to get more people cycling. 

 

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Birmingham shows its support for the cyclist!


Great to see a number of strategically located 'orange' cycle parking stands going up across the City of Birmingham. It goes a long way to showing evidence of the City's commitment to cycling and the increasing number of cyclists now commuting into the City for business and pleasure. 1 car parking space for every cycling stand is good deal for drivers as more cyclists commuting = more parking spaces available.

 

See the article for more photos of the cycle stands going up. Oh and we've started a project at Birmingham We Are to support the campaign to get more people cycling. 

 


'Orange' cycle stands going up across Birmingham.  See where!

 

All photos and updates are courtesy of Elliott Brown.  

 

One in Edmund Street, Birmingham. 

 

One in Digbeth, Nr Selfridges, Birmingham.

 

One in Cornwall Street, Birmingham.

 

One in Temple Street, Birmingham.

 

One in Colmore Row, Birmingham.

 

Send us your updates and photos and we'll pass on.

 

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80 passion points

Inspiration

People & community
14 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Abdullah - an inspiration & one of our 'People with Passion' announces he's stepping down as Balsall Heath Forum CEO

“Abdullah Rehman MBE = legend!”

 

This from Chief Supt Bas Javid is one of the many fitting tributes paid to Abdullah Rehman, as Abdullah  announces that he is stepping down as Chief Executive at Balsall Heath Forum.

 

Take our article to read more of the tributes paid to Abdullah. 

 

Take our Project link for more posts on Abdullah, one of Birmingham’s inspirational ‘People with Passion’.

 

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Abdullah - an inspiration & one of our 'People with Passion' announces he's stepping down as Balsall Heath Forum CEO


“Abdullah Rehman MBE = legend!”

 

This from Chief Supt Bas Javid is one of the many fitting tributes paid to Abdullah Rehman, as Abdullah  announces that he is stepping down as Chief Executive at Balsall Heath Forum.

 

Take our article to read more of the tributes paid to Abdullah. 

 

Take our Project link for more posts on Abdullah, one of Birmingham’s inspirational ‘People with Passion’.

 


Abdullah’s announcement .......

 

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me at the Balsall Heath Forum over the past 16 yrs.  It is now the right time for me to stand down as CEO and allow the forum to enter a new chapter. It has been a journey I will never forget.” - Abdullah Rehman

Abdullah Rehman - profile

 

“Best of luck Abdullah - been a pleasure working with the Forum under your leadership. Look forward to working with you in whatever capacity in the future.” – Waqar Ahmed

 

“Won't be the same without you...Balsall Heath owes you a lot. You certainly helped to make my work easier. Best wishes for the future and I hope pur paths will cross again #legend” – Amelia Murray, Street Intervention Team Manager

 

 

“Good luck Abdullah. You should be rightly proud of all you have done for Balsall Heath.” – Moseley Forum.

 

 

“Thanks for all you’ve done. Wishing you all the best for what’s next and look forward to keeping in touch.” -  Andrew Smith, Director of Interfaith Relations

 

 

“Abdullah Rehman MBE = legend!” – Chief Supt Bas Javid

 

“Very saddened to hear this. Brother you’re a legend Balsall Heath forum will never be @BalsallHeathF without you. Deep down I know you can ever walk away. It lives deep inside you. You’re an inspiration to many. I salute you my brother living legend in our community.” – Javed Iqbal, Local Community & Charity worker

 

 

“Best wishes for the future, Abdullah.” – Future Leaders

 

 

“Wishing you every success for the future and all you pursue. Been a pleasure to work with you and look forward to seeing that continue in some guise. God bless.” – Amrick Singh, Centre Director, Nishkam Centre

 

“You have been an inspiration and a force for good within the community. Thank you for all that you have done, your support, challenge and selfies. Good luck with the next chapter.” – Chris Johnson, West Midlands Police

 

 

“Good luck you should be proud of your achievement to date.” – Sheraz Yaqub, Programmes & Project Lead, Birmingham City Council

 

 

“Sad to read this, you will leave a big void, you have done incredible work in transforming Balsall Heath and your legacy will live on.” – Springfield Neighbourhood Police Team

 

 

“You will be missed! Best of luck in whatever is coming next.” – Conservative Councillor, Edgbaston Ward

 

“Best wishes Abdullah” - Mick Gillick, Corporate Learning & Development

 

“You are a very inspiring person.” – Daniel Brown

 

 

For more details on our 'People with Passion' initiative in Birmingham go to 'People with Passion' or email jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com. 

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70 passion points

Activity for you

People & community
13 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Chinese New Year (2018) - Birmingham knows how to put on a party!

ChinaTown, Southside, Birmingham.


18 Feb 2018
11.30am - 4.30pm

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40 passion points

Introducing

Travel & tourism
11 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

'48 Hours in Birmingham' with actor Tracey Briggs, adopted 'Brummie' and often seen at BBC Birmingham

Let's see how great actor and adopted 'Brummie' Tracey Briggs (Casualty, Archers and many others) would suggest a visitor to Birmingham spends their 48 hours in our great city. Take the article for Tracey's absolutely brilliant 2 days in Birmingham, together with some fantastic photography from our 'People with Passion'. 

 

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'48 Hours in Birmingham' with actor Tracey Briggs, adopted 'Brummie' and often seen at BBC Birmingham


Let's see how great actor and adopted 'Brummie' Tracey Briggs (Casualty, Archers and many others) would suggest a visitor to Birmingham spends their 48 hours in our great city. Take the article for Tracey's absolutely brilliant 2 days in Birmingham, together with some fantastic photography from our 'People with Passion'. 

 


Day 1:

 

So you have come to Birmingham and I’m so proud to show you round my adopted city. Make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes because there is so much to see and I like to walk.

 

You’ve arrived at Birmingham New Street station and walk into Grand Central, which is always an excellent start for a trip around Birmingham.

 

Grand Central, Birmingham. Photo by Chris Fletcher

 

From there we will follow the brightly coloured footpath to the Mailbox, with lots of high-end shops including Harvey Nicks and BBC Birmingham where I go to work when I’m in “The Archers”, and then to my favourite bit - the comfy blue chairs and sofas in the middle of the refurbished Mailbox, where we might bump into “Coronation Street” actor and comedian Gareth Berliner and his National Theatre actor wife Kiruna Stamell, who have recently made Birmingham their home.

 

Mailbox, Birmingham. Photo by Tammie Naughton.

 

 

Walk past the Everyman boutique cinema by lots of excellent bars and restaurants into the Cube, and up to the top to Marco Pierre White’s. We just have to linger here to appreciate both the food and excellent views, and the see-through floor in the champagne bar which is scary for people with acrophobia. We could also maybe pop into Madeleine on the ground floor of the Cube for scrumptious cake and coffee.

 

The Cube, Mailbox, Birmingham. Photo by Daniel Sturley.

 

Then walk along the canal and a bridge, a quick glance round Brindley Place, and into the ICC, where we have to have a quick peek into Symphony Hall. I’m so proud of this building; and built with European funding, by the way.

 

Symphony Hall and organ, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Mike Gutteridge

 

Then it’s to the building that I always love to show visitors to my adopted city, the Birmingham Library. We must go right to the top to appreciate the garden, the other secret garden, and the wonderful views, and spend some time in the Shakespeare Memorial Room.

 

Library of Birmingham & Shakespeare Memorial Room. Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

Then race past the impressive Council House, Floozy in the Jacuzzi (or rather in the jungle as she is now) to Colmore Row and Pigeon Park where we can appreciate the newly refurbished Grand Hotel and the beautiful Burne-Jones stained glass windows in St Philip’s Cathedral.

 

St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham. Photo by Damien Walmsley 

 

And then I’ve just got to show you the Great Western Arcade, with its beautiful architecture and my favourite cheese shop Anderson & Hill.

 

Great Western Arcade, Birmingham. Photo by George Daley.

 

You may have to drag me away from the cheese shop kicking and screaming, as I do love cheese! Now we must be feeling peckish again despite eating all the cheese in Anderson and Hills. So let’s go and look at St Paul's Square with its pretty church, Georgian buildings and my favourite wine bar The Rectory I had a lovely birthday meal here with friends last year.

 

St. Paul's Church, St.Paul's Square, Birmingham. Courtesy Elliott Brown

 

Now it’s the evening and we have to go to my absolute favourite place in the whole of Birmingham, the Old Joint-Stock Theatre, which was created a decade ago after the Equity Birmingham branch and West Midlands Writers Guild lobbied Fuller’s brewery. Tonight my talented young friends and recent acting graduates from Birmingham Conservatoire are in the Old Joint Stock Theatre with their in-house production “Kanada”. As we go up to the top floor don’t forget to glance up at the ceiling of the Old Joint Stock pub and take in all the delights of this fabulous building, we may even catch sight of Julian Lloyd Webber having a quiet drink in a corner. We can end our evening back in the bar discussing this challenging play with my young actor friends and the immensely warm and welcoming producers who run the Old Joint Stock Theatre, Karl Steele and Adam Lacey. 

 

Day 2:

 

Day two just has to be a walk round Bournville Village. We can start off at the pretty train station and walk by the chocolate factory, see the lovely environment built by the Cadbury family for its factory workers back in the late 1800s. We must not miss Bournville Green with the carrilon as it’s the most amazing and bizarre bell ringing you’ll ever hear. We can loiter in the various parks and have brunch at Leverton & Halls

 

I told you to wear comfy walking shoes, because now it’s back to Bournville train station where we will go through the gate and have a lovely long walk down the canal to Birmingham University. Doing this walk always feels like you’re in the middle of the countryside and hard to believe you’re in the middle of a bustling city.

 

'Old Joe', University of Birmingham. Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

At the University we just have to visit the Barber Institute to appreciate some art and this fine building.

 

Also not to be missed, Winterbourne House with its 7 acre Botanic Garden; a lovely oasis in the middle of our city.

 

Winterbourne gardens. Photo by Peter Leadbetter.

 

Then time to have something to eat at Winterbourne’s Terrace Tea Room, and then back to Grand Central for your train home.

 

Hope you enjoyed your journey around Birmingham with me, there’s so much more I can show you so do come back again soon.

 

Tracey xx

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70 passion points

News & Updates

Construction & regeneration
11 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Chamberlain House is gone - now what for Paradise in Birmingham?

A couple of weekends after the demolition of Chamberlain House, demolition continues at Paradise Birmingham. Take our article for a selection of views of the space now created. Photography courtesy Elliott Brown. With work on hold at One Chamberlain Square, we ask - what next for Paradise? 

 

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Chamberlain House is gone - now what for Paradise in Birmingham?


A couple of weekends after the demolition of Chamberlain House, demolition continues at Paradise Birmingham. Take our article for a selection of views of the space now created. Photography courtesy Elliott Brown. With work on hold at One Chamberlain Square, we ask - what next for Paradise? 

 


Looking down on Paradise, Birmingham. View from Library of Birmingham taken by one of Birmingham We Are's 'People with Passion', Elliott Brown. 

 

View of Paradise, Birmingham. Photo by Elliott Brown.

 

View of Paradise, Birmingham. Photo by Elliott Brown.

 

View of Paradise, Birmingham. Photo by Elliott Brown.

 

View of Paradise, Birmingham. Photo by Elliott Brown.

 

Daniel Sturley also took some shots this weekend, click here to see the gallery: http://ItsYourBuild.com/post/1125

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
11 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

Demolition at Paradise Birmingham

The demolition continues of the old Birmingham City University and conservatoire at Paradise Birmingham, plenty of new views and vistas are being revealed. Click 'View Article' to see a gallery of photos from this weekend.

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Demolition at Paradise Birmingham


The demolition continues of the old Birmingham City University and conservatoire at Paradise Birmingham, plenty of new views and vistas are being revealed. Click 'View Article' to see a gallery of photos from this weekend.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
11 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square

No current construction at Paradise Birmingham but the demolition continues and is revealing some interesting angles and vantage points for capturing One Chamberlain Square as it stands. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos.

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square


No current construction at Paradise Birmingham but the demolition continues and is revealing some interesting angles and vantage points for capturing One Chamberlain Square as it stands. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
10 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

The progress moves so fast at Left Bank with Tower Two's core up to the 27th floor and the main structure moving on to the sixth. Here seen from the Library of Birmingham. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos from this weekend.

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two


The progress moves so fast at Left Bank with Tower Two's core up to the 27th floor and the main structure moving on to the sixth. Here seen from the Library of Birmingham. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos from this weekend.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Introducing

Architecture
07 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

New project to showcase Birmingham's great modern architecture

Birmingham hosts some fantastic modern architecture.  This new Birmingham 100+ project will grow with weekly contributions from across the Birmingham We Are community of 'People with Passion' to become a digital showcase of all the city's wonderful modern architecture. Each week, we will feature one of our great landmarks.

 

This week, we have chose to feature the wonderful Selfridges building. Take the project link to view our first post and the start of our gallery.  

 

Get in touch, we have some great sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Contact Jonathan at FreeTimePays on 0121 410 5520 or email Jonathan.Bostock@FreeTimePays.com

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Inspiration

Architecture
07 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Great modern architecture in Birmingham - featuring Selfridges

Brand new Birmingham 100+ project launched by Birmingham We Are promotes the passion of modern architecture in this City of growth and change . In the first of our features, we've pulled together just some of the great photography of one of Birmingham's most photographed landmarks, Selfridges. All these amazing photos have been taken by Birmingham We Are's 'People with Passion'. Send us your photos and suggestions for this and other examples of great modern architecture.  

 

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Great modern architecture in Birmingham - featuring Selfridges


Brand new Birmingham 100+ project launched by Birmingham We Are promotes the passion of modern architecture in this City of growth and change . In the first of our features, we've pulled together just some of the great photography of one of Birmingham's most photographed landmarks, Selfridges. All these amazing photos have been taken by Birmingham We Are's 'People with Passion'. Send us your photos and suggestions for this and other examples of great modern architecture.  

 


Selfridges in Birmingham has become one of Birmingham's most distinctive landmarks. It was completed in 2003 at a cost of £60 million and was designed by Architects, Future Systems. It has had a significant influence on contemporary build across many cities worldwide.

 

The exterior is created from 15.000 anodized aluminum discs. The result is  a unique aesthetic result styled on the chain mail dress of Paco Rabanne House which was worn by Audrey Hepburn in the Two for the Road movie. 

 

Selfridges is now one of the most photographed landmarks in Birmingham.

 

"Go Halves", Selfridges, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Chris Fletcher

 

Selfridges 'close up', Birmingham. Photo courtesy Barry Whitehead

 

'Warp speed' at Selfridges, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Mac McCreery

 

'Photography,art or both?', Selfridges, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Chris Fletcher

 

'Lighter mornings', Selfridges, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Damien Walmsley

'Selfridges to Digbeth', Birmingham. Photo courtesy Mac McCreery

'Looking across Selfridges', Birmingham. Photo courtesy Barry Whitehead

 

 

'Sunrise at Selfridges', Birmingham. Photo courtesy Chris Fletcher

 

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Introducing

Music & musicians
06 Feb 2018 - Tom Bradshaw

Symmetry - the official video from Ed Geater

https://www.youtube.com/embed//sIu8bf4960w

Ed Geater, inspirational singer-songwriter and musician, was bought up in Birmingham.  Here is Ed's official video of his excellent recording - Symmetry.

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Inspiration

Travel & tourism
05 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

Tara, a travel blogger and lover of all things "Birmingham" tells us how she would recommend a visitor spends "48 Hours in Birmingham"

View the article to see how Tara Bruton, blogging as Travel Geek Tara, would suggest a visitor to Birmingham makes the most of a weekend in this great city. Have your say, send us your suggestions (500 words max) and let's add your view to our "48 Hours in Birmingham" blog project.

 

Contact Jonathan.Bostock@FreeTimePays.com.

 

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Tara, a travel blogger and lover of all things "Birmingham" tells us how she would recommend a visitor spends "48 Hours in Birmingham"


View the article to see how Tara Bruton, blogging as Travel Geek Tara, would suggest a visitor to Birmingham makes the most of a weekend in this great city. Have your say, send us your suggestions (500 words max) and let's add your view to our "48 Hours in Birmingham" blog project.

 

Contact Jonathan.Bostock@FreeTimePays.com.

 


Friday night :

 

View from Selfridges to Digbeth. Photo courtesy Mac McCreery.

 

Arrive in Birmingham on a Friday night and you must hit the custard factory area and Digbeth dining club to grab a bite of yummy street and of course a beer. Once suitably full perhaps move on to some of the local pubs and bars. I suggest having a beer at the Old Crown, the oldest pub in Birmingham before making your way closer to the centre. Try out the Victoria, Cherry Reds and Island Bar which are some of my favourites! 

 

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Kevin Hussey.

 

Saturday :

 

Library of Birmingham. Photo courtesy Daniel Sturley.

 

Start your day in the Great Western Arcade with a good full English breakfast at the Edwardian tea rooms. Enjoy some shopping in the Bullring and the surrounding area, then I suggest a visit to Birmingham library. It is a fantastic piece of unique architecture and as you explore the inside you find terraces and gardens with a view of the city. I particularly like the looking at the maps stored here too. To learn about the city’s history and see some great exhibits such as the Staffordshire hoard, visit Birmingham museum and art gallery.  Stay here for afternoon tea in the gorgeous Victorian tea room then explore the surrounding Victoria square. 

 

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Photo courtesy Daniel Sturley.

 

Saturday night :

 

You can’t visit Birmingham without having a curry, so Saturday night should be curry night. Although there are some great curry houses across the city and in the outskirts, I suggest staying in the centre. Asha’s is an impressive restaurant with highly rated food found right in the heart of the city. Then you can move on to the pubs and bars in the surrounding area. Pure craft bar, the Post Office Vaults and Bacchus bar are amongst the many places I recommend. 

 

Sunday :

 

Brindleyplace and canal. Photo courtesy Tammie Naughton.

 

Start off with breakfast in Brindley place, overlooking the canals. If you had a late night then you may want to enjoy some fresh air, the perfect place to do this is Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Spend the morning enjoying the beautiful gardens and then head to a pub for Sunday Lunch. I suggest going to the Jewellery quarter, to try the food at the Lord Clifden or the Rose Villa Tavern.

 

Chamberlain clock, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. Photo courtesy Daniel Sturley.

 

If you have time stay here and visit the Coffin Works which takes you back to factory life in old industrial Birmingham. You must book on a tour to enter so call ahead before you visit.

 

There’s so much to do in Brum so after you’ve done this weekend break you must come back to explore more of our great city!

 

This post has been compiled by :

 

Tara Bruton, a Birmingham Geek who loves travel, photography and beer! Travel blogger, freelancer & author.

 

Travelgeektara.com
@travelgeektara

 

 

Send us your suggestion for "48 Hours in Birmingham" in 300-500 words to jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com

 

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
04 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

Here's a photo update of the progress at Bank Tower Two on Broad Street which has the core up to the 26th floor and the main structure of the lower few floors complete. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos.

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two


Here's a photo update of the progress at Bank Tower Two on Broad Street which has the core up to the 26th floor and the main structure of the lower few floors complete. Click 'View Article' to see the gallery of photos.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Inspiration

Construction & regeneration
04 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

Cranes in Reflection

A nice photo of the huge crane reflected in a puddle at Leftbank where BankTower Two is going up on Broad Street in Birmingham, built by Wates Group

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Gallery

Construction & regeneration
03 Feb 2018 - Daniel Sturley

The Construction of Three Snowhill

Here's a photo update of the construction of Three Snowhill which is really moving on with the steel structure and looking massive already. Click 'View Article' to see the photos.

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The Construction of Three Snowhill


Here's a photo update of the construction of Three Snowhill which is really moving on with the steel structure and looking massive already. Click 'View Article' to see the photos.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Daniel Sturley

 

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Activity for you

History & heritage
03 Feb 2018 - FreeTimePays

Half Term Open Day at The Lock Up - get your tickets now!

Lock Up open day during Half Term. Take the web link for tickets
21 Feb 2018

The Lock Up, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham

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