It’s often claimed that Birmingham has more canals than Venice – this is apparently true, but only in terms of total mileage. There’s much more to Birmingham than just this, though. A past associated with the Industrial Revolution, political influence, its contributions to culture, its ease of access, and many more. There’s also been quite a lot of regeneration over recent years, and the city successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
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Getting to Birmingham is relatively simple, with many locations across the country having direct trains to the city. Birmingham New Street is one of the busiest stations outside London, and was refurbished in 2015, providing links to London Euston, Liverpool, Manchester, the South West, Wales, Scotland, and more. Birmingham Moor Street is a short walk from New Street, and mainly serves the West Midlands, with some long-distance services to London Marylebone. Moor Street was refurbished in the early 2000s to be in the style seen in the early 1930s, and provides a stark contrast to what can be found at New Street. Birmingham Airport has flights from Europe and further afield, and is connected to Birmingham International station, which has frequent direct trains into Birmingham New Street.
Despite its size, Birmingham city centre is easy to get around, with a multitude of transport options available.
Getting the best-value rail tickets possible is something that we at Trainsplit are sure many people want to do. This can include booking in advance, using a Railcard if you have one, travelling outside peak times, and – of course – splitting tickets via our website. If you’d like further information on any of these, please get in touch, and we’ll do what we can to assist you. We do have a comprehensive guide here at Trainsplit on the booking process, which we hope will be very useful, and we’ve covered some of the main points below.
As with any journey, you’ll want to make sure you have the best-value tickets possible. Our guide on demystifying the booking process can help guide you through this, and we’ll cover some of the key points below.
1. Book Early: The earlier you book, the more likely you are to find a good deal on train tickets. While it may seem somewhat obvious, booking in advance can significantly help you save money compared to the standard fare.
2. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates: If you're flexible with your travel dates, you're more likely to find a good deal.
3. Travel Off-Peak: Travelling during busy times, such as rush hours, can inflate prices. Opting for off-peak travel not only usually offers a better deal but also ensures a more peaceful start or end to your break, as trains are generally quieter during these times.
4. Consider Splitting Your Journey: If you're traveling a long distance, you may be able to save money by splitting your journey and taking two or more trains. You can easily do this on Trainsplit, a website that allows you to split your train journey into multiple tickets. This can often be a cheaper way to travel, as you can take advantage of different fares for different parts of your journey. In 2022, one of our customers enjoyed an extraordinary discount of 95.64% off their train journey. Imagine paying only £8.06 for excellent-value tickets that would have cost you £187.70 elsewhere! You could put the savings on your train tickets towards your hotel, a nice meal, or visit one of the city’s many attractions.
To use Trainsplit, simply enter your travel dates, and the website will show you the different options available. You can then choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
Here are some of the benefits of using Trainsplit:
5. Railcard discounts: If you don’t have a Railcard, it’s worth looking into getting one. There are many different types, and most will offer about a third off the price of most fares. If you’re planning on making a lot of journeys or are traveling a long way, then it’s definitely worth investigating – it may not take much effort for the Railcard to pay for itself through making your tickets even cheaper.
6. Look for discounted group fares: Take a look at Groupsave train tickets – these are a great way to get discounted train fares for groups of between 3 and 9 people traveling.
7. Consider an alternative route: Sometimes, the cheapest way to travel is not the most direct route. For example, if you're traveling from London to Birmingham, you might be able to save money by traveling via Oxford or Banbury. At Trainsplit, we do present alternative routes to customers if they’re available and cheaper than the more direct alternative.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering an alternative route:
However, if you're on a tight budget, it's worth considering an alternative route to save money on your train ticket.
Trainsplit is the only site that finds you cheaper alternative journeys not shown on other sites. It's a great way to save money on your train travel, especially if you're flexible with your travel dates and times. To use Trainsplit, simply enter your travel details, and it will show you a list of alternative routes with the cheapest prices.
8. Claim Delay Repay compensation for any delays on your journey. If you experience delays, you may be entitled to compensation through Delay Repay on your train tickets.
By incorporating these tips and using Trainsplit's unique journey planner to find the best train ticket deals, now is the perfect time to explore new destinations.
So what is there to do in Birmingham? Read on to find out some of our recommendations.
Nearest train station: Bournville
If you like chocolate, then chances are you’ll enjoy Cadbury World, located 15 minutes’ walk from Bournville station – it’s frequently served by trains from Birmingham New Street. Learn about the Cadbury story, find out about the manufacturing process, discover how different Cadbury products are made, and you can even have a go at some traditional chocolate-making techniques. There’s also, of course, the Cadbury World shop. Visiting Cadbury World is something that the whole family can enjoy. Bournville itself is a model village which was built by the Cadbury family for employees at the factory in the late 1800s, and may be of interest for any visitors to Cadbury World.
Image credit: Bas van der Horst | Unsplash
Birmingham is known as the "City of a Thousand Canals," and for good reason. The city has a network of canals that is over 130 miles long. The canals were built in the 18th and 19th centuries to transport goods around the city. Today, the canals are a popular tourist destination, and they offer a unique way to see the city.
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Big cities often have a wide variety of shopping options, and Birmingham is no exception. With the recent redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station came Grand Central, which has a variety of restaurants and shops. It’s closely linked to the nearby Bull Ring Shopping Centre, which has a wide variety of stores to suit many individual needs. Clothes, jewellery, toys, cosmetics, electronics, and many more.
Image credit: Mihai-Bogdan Lazar
Birmingham’s cultural history is one that cannot be ignored. Renowned venues for musical performances (and, of course, others) include the Symphony Hall, the O2 Academy, Utilita Arena Birmingham, and Resorts World Arena – all of which have good transport options nearby. Some of the UK’s most well-known musical groups hail from Birmingham, including Black Sabbath, Duran Duran, and Dexys Midnight Runners. There have also been influences from the Indian diaspora in the city with the rise of modern bhangra. It’s not just music, though. JRR Tolkien grew up in the city, and the poet Benjamin Zephaniah was born in nearby Handsworth. There are also contributions from the world of theatre, comedy, and visual arts, among more.
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Given its central location in England, Birmingham can be a good place to base yourself for any day trips out.
One popular place to visit is Stratford-upon-Avon, most famous for being the birthplace of renowned playwright William Shakespeare. Trains depart from Birmingham Moor Street.
If theme parks are your thing, then Drayton Manor in nearby Tamworth is worth considering. This can be accessed by the 110 bus from Birmingham. Alternatively, you can take the train to Tamworth and either get the 110 bus from Corporation Street in the town centre or book a taxi. Home to Thomas Land, and with a variety of attractions, it’s a good option for all the family.
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If you fancy visiting a smaller city, nearby Lichfield is easily accessible by train from Birmingham New Street, with its Gothic cathedral being a highlight. The city is also known for being the birthplace of Samuel Johnson, who is frequently credited with writing the first-ever English dictionary, which was published back in 1755.
The Trainsplit app is more than just a way to save money on train travel. It's a great way to explore new places and meet new people.
If you’re interested in history, then the Black Country Living Museum in nearby Dudley might be for you. There are a number of buildings telling the history of the area, including shops, houses, and other industrial buildings, alongside a collection of transport vehicles. The museum has also been a filming location for several productions, including the hit BBC TV series Peaky Blinders. Birmingham itself has a long history dating back many years, and during the Industrial Revolution, the city was home to improvements that James Watt made to his steam engine alongside Matthew Boulton.
The city is also home to the aptly-named ‘Jewellery Quarter’, where a sizeable amount of jewellery in the UK is still made. Many of the buildings keep their 19th Century appearance to this day, and there are also a number of art galleries. Birmingham is also where Lloyds Bank was initially founded, and its roots can be traced back to 1765.
There’s more to Birmingham than we’ve been able to cover here. The city has a thriving food scene, with a wide variety of cuisines, and the balti – a dish based on Indian cuisine – is said to have originated in the city in 1977.
Villa Park Stadium | Image credit: Trung Tran | Unsplash
Birmingham’s sporting history is rich, boasting two football teams (Aston Villa and Birmingham City), along with West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers not too far away. Stadium tours are available for each ground, providing a deep dive into each club’s history.
|Aston Villa||Villa Park||Witton|
|Birmingham City||St Andrew’s||Bordesley|
|West Bromwich Albion||The Hawthorns||The Hawthorns|
In addition to football, Birmingham is well-known for cricket, with Edgbaston Cricket Ground (nearest station is University; buses are available between Birmingham New Street and the ground on match days) being the city's cricket hub. The stadium has been the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club since 1894 and has hosted Ashes series Test matches since 1902. Like football grounds, you can take a tour of Edgbaston if you wish.
Other sports in the city include athletics, based at the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr (nearest station is Perry Barr) – the stadium was the centerpiece of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Birmingham hosts various other sports, including rugby union, speedway, hockey, and more.
Are you a Sports Fan? Trainsplit has partnered with Pledgeball, a grassroots charity that rallies fellow fans to take action to protect where we play, making changes that improve our air and our green spaces. It can be as simple as swapping to reusable water bottles or taking the train to a match instead of driving. Fans, players, clubs, grassroots teams – the impact we can have together is game-changing.
The Original Patty Men - 9 Shaws Passage, Digbeth, Birmingham, B55JG
££ - £££ American, British
If you're a burger lover, don't miss this place. The Original Patty Men serve up mouthwatering gourmet burgers with creative toppings and perfectly cooked patties. Their homemade sauces and sides are also delightful.
Baked in Brick - The Custard Factory, Gibb Street The Custard Factory, Birmingham B9 4AA
££ - £££ Pizza, Street Food, Vegetarian Friendly
Another fantastic choice for street food lovers, Baked in Brick is renowned for their wood-fired pizzas and mouthwatering gourmet BBQ dishes. Their converted Mini Cooper pizza oven is a sight to behold.
Purecraft Bar & Kitchen - 30 Waterloo St, Birmingham, B2 5TJ
££ - £££ Bar, British, Contemporary
Craft beer enthusiasts will appreciate Purecraft's extensive selection of local and international brews. Pair your drinks with their delectable modern British dishes for a satisfying meal.
Cucina Rustica Address: 24 Ludgate Hill, Birmingham, B3 1DX
££ - £££ Italian, Mediterranean, European
Situated on Ludgate Hill and a short walk from Birmingham Snow Hill station, Cucina Rustica offers a charming setting for a romantic Italian meal. The restaurant prides itself on sourcing fresh fish and vegetables daily from the local market. Start your meal with one of the antipasti sharing boards, featuring a variety of seafood or cured Italian meats, salami, and cheeses. Other tempting starters include burrata, arancini, and melanzane alla parmigiana. The pasta menu includes classics like lasagne, spaghetti carbonara, and penne arrabbiata. For pizza lovers, options range from the classic margherita to the flavorful prosciutto. Additional mains feature dishes such as crispy duck leg with Chianti sauce, chicken breast with spicy sausage, and slow-roasted lamb shank. The dessert menu boasts treats like Italian apple cake, classic tiramisu, and an Italian cheeseboard. A diverse wine list includes bottles from regions across Italy.
Gas Street Social - The Mailbox, 166-168 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RL
££ - £££ Bar, European, British
For those who enjoy pub food with a touch of sophistication, Gas Street Social near the Mailbox (closest station: Birmingham New Street) is an excellent choice. The menu offers classic breakfast dishes, variations on Eggs Benedict, pancakes, waffles, and unique sandwiches, including a twist on the classic club sandwich. Shareable options for groups include wings, nachos, mac & cheese bites, and cajun fried shrimp. The menu also features various burgers, peanut butter noodles, Caesar salad, slow-cooked beef shin tacos, and more. Explore the cocktail menu, which includes local twists on classics and original recipes. Don't miss the bottomless brunch, available every day.
Tiger Bites Pig - 34 Stephenson Street, Birmingham, B2 4BH
£ - Asian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
For enthusiasts of street food and Chinese cuisine, Tiger Bites Pig, just around the corner from Birmingham New Street, is a must-visit. Although the menu is compact, the offerings are anything but ordinary. Sample items include a variety of bao buns featuring options like chilli & black vinegar braised beef shin with oyster mushrooms, cured egg yolk, and crispy shallots; white-cut chicken with ginger, spring onion, Sichuan chilli oil, sesame paste, and crispy chicken crackle; and sesame & chilli tofu with crispy tofu crackle, ginger, and spring onion. Rice bowls are also available, featuring choices such as red braised pork belly, mapo tofu & woodland mushroom, and salt & pepper tofu.
The Meat Shack - 17 Thorp Street, Birmingham, B5 4AT
£ - American, Bar, British
Burgers have gained immense popularity in the UK, and The Meat Shack, a short walk south of Birmingham New Street, offers a diverse array of burger options. Catering to various tastes, their menu includes chicken burgers, vegetarian alternatives, and more. Elevate your fries with tempting options like the Nakatomi (hoisin, sriracha, lime mayo, coriander, red chilli, sesame seeds). Additionally, indulge in chicken or cauliflower bites paired with a variety of delectable dips.
Birmingham's food scene is continuously evolving, so don't hesitate to explore new places and hidden gems. Bon appétit!
Use Birmingham as a base for a few days, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy exploring the city and surrounding area to see what it has to offer. Make sure you get an excellent deal on cheap rail tickets by using TrainSplit. We are on hand to help if you have any queries regarding your rail tickets.
Remember, if you have any questions about train travel or need assistance, feel free to reach out to our team. We're here to help you plan a memorable journey.
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