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Birmingham Off the Beaten Path

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Found this guide helpful

Birmingham could be the perfect destination for an off the beaten path experience if you know exactly where to go. There is a variety of places to make you feel like you're in an extraordinary destination: stunning museums, public parks, trendy bars, scenic railroads, wine tours, adventure sports, and gourmet cuisine. Ready to explore?

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

13 Places

6 City Tips

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Map

13 Places

Gas Street Basin

Neighbourhoods

Birmingham Open Market

Flea & Street Markets

Birmingham Back to Backs

Historic Sites

The Pen Museum

Speciality Museums

The Wellington

Bars & Clubs

The Shakespeare Express

Scenic Railroads

Grand Prix Karting

Auto Race Tracks

Lickey Hills Country Park

Parks

Coffin Works

History Museums, Speciality Museums

Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House

Gift & Speciality Shops, Wine Tours & Tastings

Ackers Adventure

Game & Entertainment Centres, Kayaking & Canoeing

Edgbaston Watersports

Boat Tours, Water Sports, Kayaking & Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Adam's

Restaurants

Hristo Y's City Tips

  • Book your accommodation well in advance to save money.
  • There is no underground here, but the bus network is really well managed and worth trying with a bus pass.
  • The area in and around Birmingham is magnificent: lakes, parks, and lots of greenery.
  • Leave tips or donate money where you think the service or experience merits it.
  • Keep an eye on attraction websites for special promotions, opening times, and programmes.
  • Book activities in advance when possible.
  • Save
    Gas Street Basin
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    At the heart of Birmingham, the intersection of several canals provides a beautiful place for a walk, a boat ride or an evening at the restaurants and bars. Don't forget that Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice! This place, once a thriving port area, will enchant you day and night.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • This is a truly charming spot for photographers.
    • The boat rides are wonderful!
    • Choose a sunny day for the best outing.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • a good wander 10/04/2018
    • Nice walking way around the shopping centers in the " MAIL BOX " area 07/04/2018
    • Gas Street Basin
    Address:
    Gas Street Basin Gas Street
    Birmingham B1 2JT
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 643 2514
    Other:
  • Save
    Birmingham Open Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    Almost every city has a local market that makes for an interesting, authentic experience for visitors. The Open Market in Birmingham — a part of regular life here — is no exception! You can browse the abundance of fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, or just people watch to get a sense of the human side of the city and envision its history as an industrious centre of trade. If you like hustle and bustle, this place is for you.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The market has indoor and outdoor sections, therefore fun to visit in any weather!
    • Very close to the Open Market is the Rag Market, where you can continue your walk.
    • It is difficult to negotiate here — I don't recommend trying!
    • Go early in the morning for the best experience.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Easter shopping 30/03/2018
    • great fresh food 21/12/2017
    • Birmingham Open Market
    Address:
    Edgbaston Street
    Birmingham B5 5BB
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 464 8349
  • Save
    Birmingham Back to Backs
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    Go back in time at this historic site, learning from very knowledgeable guides about the lives of the ordinary people who helped Birmingham become an extraordinary city. The industrial revolution in Birmingham is intriguingly represented in this carefully restored house, part of the last court of surviving back-to-back houses in Birmingham!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Located in the middle of the Chinese Quarter, across the street from the Birmingham Hippodrome.
    • You can only visit this attraction with a guide, in a small group.
    • Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A look back in Birmingham 18/04/2018
    • i was bourn in a two up two down back to back house in birmingham in the 1940s 17/04/2018
    • Birmingham Back to Backs
    Address:
    50 - 54 Inge St / 55 - 63 Hurst St
    Birmingham B5 4TE
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 666 7671
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Pen Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    This fascinating museum is all about the history of writing and the Birmingham steel pen trades, telling the story of Birmingham's part in the information revolution.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • I love the themed galleries, the pen room area, and the Philip Poole room.
    • Accessible for wheelchair users.
    • You'll have an opportunity to write your names in Braille — pretty cool!
    • The Pen Museum is run almost entirely by volunteers.
    • Plenty of activities for families.
    • Open every day (11am-4pm), with shorter hours on Sundays (1pm-4pm).
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An interesting glimpse into this very niche industry 30/03/2018
    • Great visit 23/03/2018
    • The Pen Museum
    Address:
    The Argent Centre 60 Frederick Street
    Hockley
    Birmingham B1 3HS
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 236 9834
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Sun
    13:00 - 16:00
    Tue - Sat
    11:00 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Wellington
    Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    The Wellington is one of the best off the beaten path pubs with a great variety of ales as well as imported lagers. If you are keen on drinking the British way — or would like to try — this is the place to go.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Check the "Beers Currently in Stock" section of the website beforehand.
    • Crowded on Fridays and during the weekends.
    • Food options are limited, but you can take food in.
    • Very central location, close to the Birmingham Cathedral.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 148 Nightlife in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • My favourite stop in Birmingham 03/04/2018
    • Great little pub 28/03/2018
    • The Wellington
    Address:
    37 Bennetts Hill
    Birmingham B2 5SN
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 200 3115
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Shakespeare Express
    Scenic Railroads
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    The Shakespeare Express is a vintage train experience between Birmingham and Stratford-Upon-Avon, 50 miles of main line steam travel!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Food and drinks are served, and can be pre-booked to save money.
    • Booking in advance will save you money and secure your seats, as this train gets full, especially on weekends.
    • Perfect for celebrating a special occasion in a unique way.
    • The ride is one hour in each direction. It's worth riding both ways and making a day of it!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #107 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    • Cracking Day Out 26/08/2017
    • Birthday Treat 24/08/2017
    • The Shakespeare Express
    Address:
    Snow Hill Station
    Birmingham B19 1AA
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 708 4960
    Other:
  • Save
    Grand Prix Karting
    Auto Race Tracks
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    This track is probably the most famous outdoor go karting track in the UK. Perfect for getting your adrenaline pumping and checking out a new activity! There are four circuits available for different levels of experience.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Grand Prix organises events and race days — check in advance.
    • Open daily.
    • You can buy food and drinks on site.
    • This track is easy to reach, just one mile from the city centre. Free parking is available.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #96 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    • 10 out of 10 for Birthday Party for 10 ten year olds!! 15/04/2018
    • Grand day out 17/02/2018
    • Grand Prix Karting
    Address:
    1 Adderley Road South
    Saltley
    Birmingham B8 1AD
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 327 7700
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Lickey Hills Country Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    This park is one of the most varied and treasured in the UK. Located only 10 miles from Birmingham, it offers various activities for all ages. You can enjoy the peace and quiet, observe the wildlife, go for a walk or bike ride, try out orienteering, play golf or tennis, ride a horse or just linger over a cup of tea in a beautiful setting.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The park opens at 7.30am and closes between 5.15pm and 9.45pm, depending on the time of year.
    • Mountain bike enthusiasts should check out the specially marked routes.
    • It's an excellent place for families — children will especially enjoy the adventure playground!
    • I highly recommend you stop by the Visitor Centre first to get oriented.
    • Free car parking is available on site.
    • A number of marked trails with a variety of difficulty levels await you!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A medium sized country park that's good for an hour at least of walking/hiking 16/04/2018
    • Lovely place to walk 14/04/2018
    • Lickey Hills Country Park
    Address:
    Warren Lane
    Rednal
    Birmingham B45 8ER
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 447 7106
    Other:
  • Save
    Coffin Works
    History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    Step back in time to learn about the production of some of the world's finest coffin furniture. This specialty museum depicts the factory's heyday back in the 1960s, and if you choose to take the guided tour, you'll have an opportunity to see the original machinery working again!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Pre-book tours to avoid disappointment.
    • Accessible for wheelchair users.
    • Exhibitions and events are hosted here — check the official museum website.
    • Situated in the Jewellery Quarter, one of the most popular and bustling places in Birmingham.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 300 things to do in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tour full of fascinating detail 17/04/2018
    • Interesting tour 15/04/2018
    • Coffin Works
    Address:
    13-15 Fleet Street
    Jewellery Quarter
    Birmingham B3 1JP
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 233 4790
    Price range:
    US$13 - US$13
    Hours:
    Wed - Sun
    11:00 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House
    Gift & Speciality Shops, Wine Tours & Tastings
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    At Loki, you can try as many as 40 wines via modern wine tasting machines! The director and in-house wine expert create a personalised experience that truly differentiates this great spot. If you enjoy drinking wine and want some guidance in choosing your favourites, this is the place for you!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Located next to Birmingham Cathedral.
    • Get a Loki Wine Tasting Card in order to sample a frequently updated fine selection of wines (during one visit or across several visits) — find details on the website.
    • Relaxed atmosphere inside.
    • Check the website for information on special scheduled tasting events and daily tastings. Booking in advance is recommended!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 15 Food & Drink in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wine tasting! 08/04/2018
    • Perfect! 07/04/2018
    • Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House
    Address:
    36 Great Western Arcade
    Birmingham B2 5HU
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 212 9440
    Hours:
    Mon - Tue
    10:00 - 19:00
    Wed
    10:00 - 20:00
    Thu - Fri
    10:00 - 21:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Ackers Adventure
    Game & Entertainment Centres, Kayaking & Canoeing
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    Challenge yourself in this outdoor activity park outside the city centre of Birmingham. The activities fit every taste and every age: skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, climbing, zip line and many more! Should you like to unwind or experience the fun-packed side of Birmingham, head to Ackers Adventure.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The closest rail station is Small Heath in Birmingham. Ackers Adventure is also accessible by bus and on foot, but it's a bit long to walk (about an hour from the centre).
    • Fees are paid separately for each attraction.
    • Discounts apply for families, children, and groups.
    • If you want to spend most of the day at the park, you can consider booking accommodation on site.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 6 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Half term 11/04/2018
    • Have already booked to come back!!! 07/04/2018
    • Ackers Adventure
    Address:
    The Ackers Base Camp Golden Hillock Road
    Sparkbrook
    Birmingham B11 2PY
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 772 5111
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 15:30
    Mon
    10:00 - 17:30
    Tue - Fri
    10:00 - 21:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Edgbaston Watersports
    Boat Tours, Water Sports, Kayaking & Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    This wonderful water sports park, right in the heart of Birmingham on the Edgbaston Reservoir, is for the adventurous traveler! Lessons and academies are offered, should you want to pick up a new skill.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Get in touch for bookings or for more information.
    • I recommend checking out the powerboat series, stand-up paddle boarding, or the family holiday schemes.
    • If you just want to walk around and enjoy the views, entrance is free!
    • Available for events and private parties.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 6 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Birmingham
    • Let down before birthday 21/06/2017
    • Penny Pinchers 15/02/2017
    • Edgbaston Watersports
    Address:
    Edgbaston Reservoir
    Edgbaston
    Birmingham B16 0AA
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 454 1997
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Adam's
    Restaurants (European, British)
    See more photos
    Hristo Y Says:

    For either lunch or dinner, this restaurant will surprise you with the quality for the price you pay. Enjoy seasonal, inventive dishes, with menus changing depending on the time of the year.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • A wonderful place for special occasions, when you want the food and presentation to be just perfect!
    • Reservations should typically be made in advance. Please be aware of the cancellation policy.
    • Great wine list for you to choose from.
    • The tasting menu is well worth it.
    • If you've never entered a restaurant with Michelin stars, you are now in the right place.
    • Located near the Town Hall, Adam's is very easy to find.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1,879 restaurants in Birmingham
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Kevin Baggott 18/04/2018
    • The best by far in Birmingham 17/04/2018
    • Adam's
    Address:
    16 Waterloo Street
    Birmingham B2 5UG
    England
    Phone:
    +44 121 643 3745
    Price range:
    US$50 - US$157
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    12:00 - 14:00
    19:00 - 21:30
    Other:
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