Birmingham once prided itself on being the "City of 1000 trades"  & consequently, was rather grimy, with many small works or factories hidden in small streets around the centre.  Not any more!   Birmingham is now bright,  attractive, clean & lively.  Bars & restaurants abound,  there are entertainments, museums, theatres, statues & exhibitions of all sorts.

Birmingham is home to the National Exhibition Centre which houses all kinds of large displays such as the Motor Show,  but there is also the National Indoor Arena,  the internationally famous Concert Hall,  where the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is the most frequent player, the Barber Institute of fine Fountain of Youtharts, hidden inside the University, & so on.  On a less elevated level, perhaps,  what about Cadbury's World,  dedicated to chocolate,  where every visitor comes away with a huge selection of free samples?

Birmingham has its Stately Homes too - There is Aston Hall, an Elizabethan house;  half-timbered Selly Manor, or Soho House,  the mansion of famous engineer & designer,  Matthew Boulton (1766 - 1809) &  the meeting place of the Lunar Society, the most advanced thinkers, inventors & scientists of the day, Birmingham, Victorian CityJames Watt (steam power) , Joseph Priestly (oxygen) & William Murdoch, (gas lighting).     And there are still relics of the former city - because the Gun Quarter,  with its Gun Barrel Proof House & the Jewellery Quarter with shops & workshops,  still exist in the City.    And, did you know?   Birmingham has officially more miles of canal than Venice!

 Birmingham's Canals

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