Some Great Things To See In Birmingham

Here are some super places to visit in Birmingham UK.

National SEA LIFE Centre

The Waters Edge, Brindley place, Birmingham B1 2HL

 

Now in its twentieth year, the National Sea life centre never ceases to amaze. Just think, a world class aquarium, right in the centre of Birmingham (which is pretty much right in the centre of the country!). It’s open from ten o’clock every day and well worth the time to visit.

You’ll see a host of things ranging from poison dart frogs and piranhas, jelly fish, crabs, starfish to otters and penguins (plus a whole load you’ve never heard about). A fantastic new addition is the octopus hideout where you can learn loads about these fascinating creatures.

Don’t forget the sharks! You can almost touch them when you walk through our three-hundred-and-sixty-degree tunnel – without getting wet You can even feed them! If you are lucky, you’ll get a big hello from our giant sea turtle.

BBC Birmingham Tours

BBC Birmingham, The Mailbox, Birmingham, B1 1RF

Step inside the exciting world of broadcasting at BBC Birmingham! Peek behind the scenes of Midlands Today, BBC WM, Asian Network, and if you’re lucky, the famous Archers studio.

You will be able to pretend you are a presenter and maybe even sitting their chair.  You might even be able to get into a radio drama studio where famous programmes like the Archers’ were recorded

The tour guides will explain how programmes are developed from the first script to the final show.  You will be amazed how late this can happen and how close to the broadcast it can sometimes occur.

There is an interactive room, where you will be able to have a go at producing your very own radio show.  Can you imagine the fun you will have doing that?

Back to Backs

55-63 Hurst Street, Birmingham B5 4TE

Court 15 is Birmingham’s so last remaining or back to back houses.  1. There were over 10,000 similar courts across the city.  Almost half of the population burning lived in houses just my trees in the 19th century.  They were basically blocks of houses that surrounded a central courtyard.  The museum has totally recreated these buildings so that you can see exactly how people lived from day to day.  Sadly, most of this heritage Birmingham has been destroyed apart from these last remaining houses.  It is well worth a trip to see how most people lived in the 19th century.

Soho House

Soho Avenue, Birmingham, B18 5LB

Soho House was where industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton lived from 1766 to 1809.

Incredibly, in a city like Birmingham, this house once stood in grounds of over 100 acres.  It’s hard to imagine that one person could have such a large amount of land in a city.  Of course, Birmingham was much smaller in those days.

The house has had nothing done to it apart from clean / restore and contains many things that were popular during the late Georgian period.  Many items were actually made in and asks you Boulton’s nearby factory.  This factory is where Bolton and James watt first in developed until the steam engine that was to have such an effect on the industrial revolution in the Midlands.

Soho house was also used as a meeting place of a group called the lunar society.  This was a group of scientists and industrialists and artists who would meet once a month on the night of a full Moon (hence the name Lunar society).

Although nowhere near previously mentioned 100 acres, the grounds are still amazing.  They have been totally recreated from details found in Alton archives.

Ikon Gallery

1 Oozells Square, Brindley place, Birmingham, B1 2HS

The Ikon it is an amazing contemporary art venue located in the centre of Birmingham.  Entry is free which I’m sure you will agree is fantastic how you are such an amazing place.  It housed in a form a boarding school in a stunning Victorian building.

It’s not just a collection of pictures hung on walls.  There is something going on all time including exhibitions, workshops, seminars and events.  You can also have lunch and afternoon tea or an evening meal in the bookshops and café.

It’s a non-profit independent organisation and it’s one of several in the UK that promotes contemporary all modern art.  It was founded by an artist group in 1964 and its mission statement was thus “Ikon is intended as an antithesis to exclusive art establishments and galleries it has been formed because of the need or an accessible place where the exchange of visual ideas can become a familiar reality”

 

Here is a quote from a Robert Groves on how the name Ikon was decided upon…

How it all began

In 1964, the artists’ group that founded Ikon published a prospectus that was as clear as it was idealistic. Their aesthetic proposition was neatly summarised:

“Ikon is intended as an antithesis to exclusive art establishments and galleries … [it] has been formed because of the need for an accessible place where the exchange of visual ideas can become a familiar reality.”

We had a meeting at Midge and Angus’ in order to decide on a name for the organisation. We all turned up with suggestions, such as “New Birmingham Gallery” and “Image”. I was particularly interested in Russian or Greek – eastern orthodox – icons, and thought well “Ikon” is a lovely word. It means image and you get a four letter word that divides beautifully geometrically and was splendid in all directions. It was appropriate (also) because it suggested moving images … When I mooted it, the others said “Oh no, no really, no, not having any of that …” After a few more beers everyone else’s suggestions were shot down and they said “Oh well, I suppose it will have to be Ikon then”.

Robert Groves

Town Hall & Symphony Hall

Broad Street and Victoria Square.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are two world renowned concert halls that attract world class artists from all four corners of the globe.  The Town Hall was built in 18 and 34 and is a great league one listed building besides being one of the oldest concert halls around.

They hold around about 800 events every year which attract over ½ million visitors.  It’s not just a classical music but also pop rock folk jazz and many other genres.  There is also an extensive training grants talent and development programme in place which caters for over 18,000 people.  It is a major contributor to the local economy.  Both the Town Hall and Symphony Hall are part funded by the Birmingham city council and additionally supported by the Arts Council of England.  In at 2007 in the Town Hall had an extensive 35,000,000 renovations to bring it up to its current amazing standard.

They have been a wide variety of that famous people perform in the Town Hall.  These ranged from people like Charles Dickens to pop and rock stars such as the Beatles, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin and PJ Harvey.

The Old Rep

Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY

The Old Rep Theatre was Britain’s first purpose-built theatre. After 12 months of construction it opened in 1913 and was home to the Birmingham repertory company.  The first performance was Shakespeare’s 12th night.  It retains many of the original features including some many famous ones.  It is now a run by a group of young people for other young people and offers the various creative programs and workshops.  If you look outside you’ll find a blue plaque dedicated to the founder of the Old Rep Theatre, Sir Barry Jackson.  It was built on such a small site, at the auditorium have to be quite steep to fit in.  This meant and most seats had an excellent view of the  theatre’s stage.. For more century old culture in birmingham try this.

 

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