This is the ideal park for the entire family, offering a variety of facilities including boating lakes, playgrounds, tennis courts, tropical greenhouses and nature conservation areas. It is also the home of the Midland Arts Centre. A walking/bicycling route winds through the grounds that has recently been extended. The park also plays host to a variety of concerts, performances and the annual Fireworks Fantasia.
This 80-hectare (200-acre) safari park is located less than a 60-minute drive from Birmingham. It will take you about an hour to drive through the animal reserves, where you can see elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, monkeys, wallabies and tigers. The amusement park has many different rides, and a wristband ticket that gives you access to all of them. Other attractions include a seal aquarium, reptile house and sea lion show. There are also plenty of themed places to eat and buy souvenirs.
This square has transformed over the past decade from a grassy slope where office workers would picnic on a summer's afternoon to a pedestrian-friendly European plaza accessible all year. Birmingham's Town Hall and Council House are located on the square, but graded steps replace the slope and there's now a large fountain containing a sculpture known fondly by locals as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi. Stone lamps and statues of sphinxes adorn the grounds, as does a statue of Queen Victoria. Victoria Square has now become a popular meeting point and a relaxing place for people to watch.
These fine gardens, opened in 1832, were designed by John Claudius Loudon, a leading garden planner, and horticultural journalist. The gardens offer you the chance to see some of the most beautiful greenery in the world along with stunning glasshouses. Attractions besides plants include indoor aviaries, a restaurant with a fantastic view of the gardens, a children's adventure playground, a gift shop and plant center and a gallery displaying work by local artists.
The National Sea Life Centre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. One of the most thrilling things about this aquarium is its 360-degree transparent tunnel, which lets you stand in the middle of the ocean while sharks and other aquatic lives swim around you. There are 55 displays in total, including the "Kingdom of the Seahorse" and "Claws," featuring the giant Japanese spider crab. among other fearsome crustaceans.
Proudly proclaiming the fact that it is "Europe's largest", the Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm affords a peaceful retreat away from all things Shakespearean. Hundreds of butterflies can be viewed at close quarters, many of the species sporting spectacular colors. For those interested in less attractive, more frightening creatures, other insect displays are available, including stick insects, leaf-eating ants and the world's largest spider.
Designed by architect Patel Taylor, Eastside City Park is Birmingham's first public park for 130 years. Eastside City Park is spread over an area of 2 hectares (6.2 acres). At the Royal Institute of British Architects Midlands and East awards function held at Millennium Point, it bagged four awards. Some of the notable features of Eastside City Park include public squares, formal lawns, 310 trees and a canal that consists of 21 fountains. The Science Garden by Gillespie's, a part of the nearby Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum, is also found inside Eastside City Park's premises.
There are relatively few monuments to the Crimean War, which seems surprising considering its scale and significance. This red granite obelisk, standing at the edge of St Philip's churchyard in the city center, is one of them. It particularly commemorates one Lt Col Thomas Unett, a Birmingham man who was killed at the siege of Sebastopol in 1855. The obelisk bears the names of some of the most famous battles of the war: Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol.
Constructed between the years 1777 and 1779, St Paul's Square is one of the oldest squares of Birmingham city. Featuring Georgian architectural style, St Paul's Square is also Birmingham's only remaining square featuring Georgian architecture. Around St Paul's Square, you can find many cafes, restaurants and bars, be it some of the finest Italian restaurants or live music bistros. St Paul's Square also houses St Paul's Club, the earliest private members body of Midlands. St Paul's Square underwent significant restoration in the 1970s and several structures surrounding it are marked as Grade II listed.
Digbeth Branch Canal was constructed between the years 1783 and 1799 and it passes from an erstwhile industrial region and only has a handful of access points connecting local streets. Digbeth Branch Canal is slighly more than 1.60 kilometers (1 mile) in length and it houses several locks, an aqueduct, couple of tunnels and is enveloped by listed and heritage structures. The tunnel found at the eastern end of Curzon Street railway station is a Grade II listed structure. Digbeth Branch Canal also passes through this heritage tunnel.
Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice (as any local will only too proudly tell you), though many of them are hidden beneath street level. Gas Street Basin is where several canals meet and was once a thriving port. Today, you can still see colorful canal boats moored here, just a stone's throw from Broad Street in the city center. It's also an up-and-coming spot for new bars and cafes, and is close to popular Brindleyplace.