Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast

A mini guide to: Birmingham

BY Jenessa Williams

5th Jan 2018 Travel

A mini guide to: Birmingham

Nestled in the Midlands, Birmingham makes the ideal easy getaway no matter where you are in the UK and hosts a number of non-traditional delights to amuse all tastes.

Home of the largest domestic UK population outside of London, Birmingham is a city that rarely boasts of its stature.

Birthplace of Heavy Metal, central figures of the Pop Art movement and more recently, the headquarters of UK Athletics, it's a city that works hard and knows how to express itself.


Shop: The Bullring

Image via Chapman Taylor

Easily one of the most architecturally pleasing shopping malls in the UK, Birmingham’s Bullring is host to a multitude of brand names both high and low, as well as coffee shops, restaurants and bars.

Image via Twitter

Keep it quirky with a visit to the Cereal Killer Café (which serves over 100 types of cereal), or opt for a traditional day of personal shopping at Selfridges followed by afternoon tea at Brown’s Bar and Brasserie.

Right across from the train station, the Bullring is well located for a day trip, open until 8pm six days of the week.


Discover: The Real Peaky Blinders

Can’t get enough of Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy’s BBC Drama? Step inside the real Peaky Blinders world.

Led by Birmingham City University Professor Carl Chin, Peaky Tours delves into the history of the city gang, walking through the very streets where such criminal activity took place all those years ago.

With prices starting at just £12.95 per person, fit the basic tour into your city break or opt for a longer visit with the £39.95 luxury tour, which includes a Q&A with Professor Chin as well as an authentic meal of faggots and peas at the Anchor, a local Birmingham pub. 


Explore: The Custard Factory

Image via Stage Talk magazine

Located in the Birmingham district of Digbeth, The Custard Factory provides a lovely counter to the Bullring with its street art and well-curated independent shops.

Hosting a variety of pop up sample sales, art showings and street food markets, there is always something happening within The Custard Factory.

Known as Birmingham’s Creative Quarter, the permanent stores are also well worth a visit. Fern & Foxglove Bridal has everything that any alternative bride could want, whilst the Mockingbird offers a 101-seat cinema that shows new releases right back to old black and white classics.


Taste: Loki Wine Merchant Tasting House

Image via Time Out

Birmingham’s most highly winning wine merchant, a trip to Loki is essential for anyone who knows their Sauvignon from their San Gregorio.

Book onto a tasting class of your preferred ‘machine’ or simply retire with a bottle in their comfy bar—with a list that covers desert wines, champagne and all the usual favourites, it makes a wonderful end to an evening.


Stay: The High Field Town House

Image via The High Field Town House

Take a break from traditional hotel highrises and stay at The High Field Town House.

Located a short distance from the city centre, it’ll feel just like home – cosy open plan living space, roll top baths and modern-meets-art-deco interior styling.

Breakfast comes included, setting you up for a day of exploring. Various deals and offers run throughout the year – keep a eye on their website for the perfect Anniversary or Birthday getaway.

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit