England’s second city after London, Birmingham features a center combining solid Victorian buildings, often ornately decorated, with cutting-edge contemporary architecture. New Street Station is located in the heart of the city and is around two hours and 20 minutes from central London’s Euston Station. Downtown Birmingham attractions include the jewelry quarter with around 100 independent jewelry shops, and the splendid Greek revival Town Hall built in the 1830s. A selection of hotels are located within a five-minute walk of New Street Station.
The Comfort Inn Birmingham
The Comfort Inn Birmingham is housed in a Victorian building a few steps from New Street Station and the shopping and restaurants of the Pallasades mall. The Electric Cinema, the U.K.’s oldest operating movie house, is on the same street as the hotel, as is the Old Rep Theatre which stages concerts and drama performances. Nearby dining options include the Shangri-la Chinese Restaurant and Chez Jules, which serves a French bistro menu. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which includes collections of archaeology, ethnology and Pre-Raphaelite painting, is less than 10 minutes’ walk from the hotel.
The Macdonald Burlington Hotel
Overlooking a pedestrianised shopping street a five-minute walk from the station, the Macdonald Burlington Hotel is set in a fine19th-century building. Lit by candles and chandeliers in the evenings, the on-site Berlioz Restaurant serves a contemporary British menu. The Bacchus Bar, located below the hotel, is themed with ancient Greek mythology in mind, while the nearby Shakespeare Inn is a more traditionally styled English pub. Just behind the hotel, the Burlington Arcade, opened in 1819, features upmarket jewelry, clothing and antique stores.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Birmingham
Five minutes’ walk from New Street Station and housed in a 39-story glass tower with modern architectural styling, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Birmingham, has 211 rooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows. The health club, located on the 18th floor, has fitness equipment, a sauna and spectacular city views, while the You Spa offers massages, beauty treatments and manicures. The Radisson Blu’s Filini restaurant serves sophisticated Italian cuisine. The Birmingham Hippodrome, which features ballet, opera and drama, is a five-minute walk away.
Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre
Housed in a modern, 11-story building with 280 rooms, the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre is a five-minute walk from the station. The hotel’s Albany Restaurant offers an international menu, while the bar serves sandwiches and burgers. Restaurants within a five-minute walk include the Maharajah, serving north Indian dishes, and the Chung Ying Garden Cantonese Restaurant. For those in search of nightlife, just around the corner is Oceana Birmingham, a complex of five bars and two nightclubs under one roof.
- selfridges birmingham image by Paul Hill from Fotolia.com