Flights to Birmingham (BHX)

Flights to Birmingham reveal industrial cities can be impressively cosmopolitan and welcoming. The birthplace of the steam engine innovates constantly.

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Flights to Birmingham

Creativity and invention are in Birmingham’s DNA. At the height of the industrial revolution the English city was known as the ‘workshop of the world’, and it registered three times as many patents as any other city. Catching flights to Birmingham will take you to the city that gave the world the modern steam engine, Cadbury’s chocolate, lawn tennis, HP Sauce, the Mini, Dunlop tyres, the first professional football league, Brylcreem and lots more.

Today, as one of the youngest cities in Europe, Brum, as it’s affectionately known, continues to re-invent itself. It’s packed with cultural attractions, from historic sights such as the Grade I listed Jacobean mansion Aston Hall, to Villa Park – home of Aston Villa Football Club. Then there are the world-class acoustics of Symphony Hall and the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Hippodrome Theatre.

It’s a city on the up, as you can see from its acres of green spaces and miles of rejuvenated canals leading to the stunning new Library of Birmingham and the modernist structure of the Selfridges building at the iconic Bullring shopping centre. In fact, Brum is one of the top destinations for shopping in the UK, with an eclectic retail scene that ranges from the renowned Jewellery Quarter to its exclusive mall, The Mailbox.

You’ll want to save some of your pennies for Birmingham’s food and drink too, and the diverse dining scene that reflects the city’s cosmopolitan population. There’s everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to a vibrant street-food culture. Add a thriving network of independent coffee shops and it’s clear that Birmingham is a culinary force to be reckoned with.

Each of Brum’s eclectic neighbourhoods has something to offer. In post-industrial Digbeth you’ll find a vibrant creative community, trendy Moseley has more of an indie vibe, and King’s Heath is pure suburbia. And at the heart of Birmingham’s appeal are the good-humoured, down-to-earth ‘Brummies’.

Join Digbeth Dining Club

Birmingham’s street food scene has taken off in the past few years with the arrival of Digbeth Dining Club. Every Friday, hungry revellers congregate under the blackened railway arches of the city’s creative quarter to enjoy street food from a roster of food trucks, from The Meat Shack to Buddha Belly.

Spot*light
Unit 2 (opposite Air Nightclub)
Lower Trinity Street
Digbeth
B9 4AG
+44 121 603 2524
digbethdiningclub.com

Take the Tolkien trail

Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien was inspired by his childhood in Birmingham. Of his old haunts, idyllic Sarehole Mill is now a museum, and the Moseley Bog Nature Reserve is a true hidden gem. Nearer the city centre, Perrott’s Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks tower inspired The Two Towers.

Sarehole Mill Museum
Cole Bank Road
Hall Green
B13 0BD
+44 121 348 8000
birminghammuseums.org.uk/sarehole

Explore the Jewellery Quarter

As well as boasting 200 listed buildings, Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter has Europe’s biggest concentration of jewellery businesses, making over 40 per cent of all the jewellery in Britain. At the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, you’ll learn that items made here include the original FA Cup trophy and the silver whistles used on the Titanic.

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
75-79 Vyse Street
B18 6HA
+44 121 348 8000
birminghammuseums.org.uk/jewellery

Explore Brum’s industrial past

Birmingham’s canals were the super-highways of the industrial revolution, so it’s worth taking the one-hour Country in the City canal tour through Gas Street Basin and beyond. Other industrial attractions include Thinktank Science Museum as well as Soho House (home of industrialist Matthew Boulton).

Thinktank
Millennium Point
Curzon Street
B4 7XG
+44 121 348 8000
thinktank.ac

Experience Birmingham Back to Backs

Step back into Victorian Birmingham, and see how everyday families lived and worked in this courtyard of historic houses. They’ve been painstakingly restored to evoke the atmosphere of a bygone age. Highlights include a tailor’s workshop and an old-fashioned sweet shop. Tours must be booked in advance.

55-63 Hurst Street
50-54 Inge Street
B5 4TE
+44 121 666 7671
nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs

Eat at Birmingham’s Balti Triangle

Birmingham may have more Michelin-starred restaurants than any English city outside London, but at the other end of the scale there’s the balti. Simple, cheap and delicious, this curry dish served in a steel bowl was invented by Pakistani Brummies in the 1970s. Brum’s Balti Triangle, from Sparkbrook to Moseley, is where to try it. Ladypool Road is a good place to start – check out Al Frash Balti.

Al Frash Balti
186 Ladypool Road
Sparkhill
B12 8JS
+44 121 753 3120
alfrash.com

Adam’s (Modern British)

The fourth Birmingham restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, this former pop-up has now expanded to three floors near Waterloo Street. The new premises have a 12-seater Chef’s Table located within the kitchen environment. Its starters alone will get you raving, but the tasting menus are also excellent.

New Oxford House,
16 Waterloo Street,
Birmingham
B2 5UG
+44 121 643 3745
adamsrestaurant.co.uk

Sushi Passion (Japanese)

A true Birmingham success story, this sushi restaurant (owned by Polish chef Adam Glamacinski), has upgraded from a small stall at the Bullring market to a quirky new space in a Victorian arcade. A model train set delivers your food.

31 Great Western Arcade
Colmore Row
B2 5HU
+44 121 238 2933
facebook.com/Sushi-Passion

Purnell’s (Modern British)

Self-proclaimed ‘Yummy Brummie’ Glynn Purnell presents Michelin-starred food with a playful twist at this redbrick restaurant in the heart of the city’s financial district. Brought up on a Birmingham council estate, Purnell litters his menu with cheeky references to his childhood, and the food is first class.

55 Cornwall Street
B3 2DH
+44 121 212 9799
purnellsrestaurant.com

Pure Bar & Kitchen (Gastropub)

Warwickshire’s Purity brewery and Birmingham’s Michelin-starred Simpson’s restaurant joined forces to create this brilliant gastropub in a Grade II listed building off Victoria Square. You can enjoy superb British plates and classic snacks in a stripped-back industrial interior.

30 Waterloo Street
B2 5TJ
+44 121 237 5666
purebarandkitchen.com

Lasan (Indian)

Gordon Ramsay named it the best local restaurant in the UK and Aktar Islam’s Lasan takes authentic, traditional recipes and brings them right up to date with locally sourced ingredients and 21st century expertise. Who says you can only get good Indian food in the Balti Triangle?

3-4 Dakota Buildings
James Street
St Paul’s Square
B3 1SD
+44 121 212 3664
lasan.co.uk

Hotel La Tour

Overlooking Birmingham’s regenerated Eastside and its public park, plus the Thinktank Science Museum and historic Curzon Street Station (the oldest railway terminus in the world), Hotel La Tour is also within walking distance of the Bullring shopping centre. Rooms are contemporary and comfortable, and Marco Pierre White’s first ‘English Chophouse’ is well worth staying for.

Albert Street
B5 5JE
+44 121 718 8000
hotel-latour.co.uk

Hotel Du Vin

Built in 1884, the grand Victorian redbrick building that was once Birmingham’s eye hospital is now home to a luxury four-star hotel. Inside you’ll see wrought iron staircases, imposing granite pillars, a bistro and lounge. Right on the doorstep there’s also the independent Urban Coffee Company and Michelin-starred restaurant Purnell’s.

25 Church Street
B3 2NR
+44 12 179 43005
hotelduvin.com/birmingham

The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel

With six luxurious rooms and three lounges, this boutique hotel in leafy Edgbaston sets the standard for understated luxury in Birmingham. Housed in an impressive Victorian townhouse built in 1847, it accompanies Michelin-starred restaurant Simpson’s in a quiet street just a short walk from the Botanical Gardens.

18 Highfield Road
B15 3DU
+44 121 454 5212
theedgbaston.co.uk

Staying Cool Serviced Apartments

This iconic, Grade II listed Rotunda building, which towers over the city, has serviced apartments with stunning views. The suites – named after models of another Birmingham 1960s icon, the Mini car – have a pop art vibe, and look down on the Bullring shopping centre.

The Rotunda
150 New Street
B2 4PA
+44 121 285 1290
stayingcool.com/birmingham

Indigo

This cool and colourful hotel occupies the 23rd and 24th floors of The Cube. This striking modernist building overlooks the heart of Birmingham’s canals and The Mailbox complex, with its lounges, restaurants and boutiques. As well as a health club and spa, there’s a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill on site, which boasts panoramic views of the city.

The Cube
Wharfside Street
B1 1RS
+44 121 643 2010
hotelindigobirmingham.co.uk

Bloc Hotel

At the heart of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, and minutes from the Georgian elegance of St. Paul’s Square, this chic capsule hotel has forward-thinking design at its core, and is perfect if you’re on a budget or enjoying a flying visit to the city.

Caroline Street
B3 1UG
+44 121 212 1223
blochotels.com

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