There are so many things about the city to be proud of; from the Bullring to Birmingham's Art Scene, here is a rundown of 10 of the best things to come from Birmingham.
Every city is the home to at least a few superstars but no one has such an eclectic line-up like we do in Birmingham. Our stars include Ozzy Osbourne, Felicity Jones, Emma Willis, Jasper Carrott, Cat Deeley, Jamelia, Shazia Mirza, Julie Walters, Benjamin Zephaniah, UB40, Led Zeppelin, Duran Duran and maybe most importantly, we have John, George and Richard Cadbury, the founders of Cadbury Chocolate.
Birmingham is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with over 8,000 acres and 600 parks & open spaces, which is apparently more than Paris! It also has more canals than Venice, with 56 km of waterways. The canals range from taking you high above houses in the suburbs to deep below the buildings in the City Centre, and offer some wonderful views too. They are also at the heart of the country's industrial history, as these canals were essential for transporting goods at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
We have some incredible buildings. The Library of Birmingham has been recognised for its beautiful design and has won many awards for its architecture. Selfridges, Grand Central and The Mailbox are pretty exceptional too, along with St Chad’s Cathedral, which was designed by the same architect that designed Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London.
The Bullring is one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe and has been ‘the place to shop’ since the Middle Ages. The Bullring also houses the famous Birmingham Bull, the symbol of the city, which itself is pretty amazing as it changes its outfit to suit any occasion! Because of places like the Bullring, Birmingham attracts over 34 million visitors a year, almost 1 million of these being international visitors.
Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, with under 25’s accounting for nearly 40% of its population and under 20’s accounting for 30%. It is also home to 5 universities and over 73,000 students. The perfect conditions for an incredible nightlife! Because of the amount of young people, Birmingham is the most entrepreneurial city in the UK and is the best performing core city for its school, college and university grades.
Birmingham's Arts Scene
With theatres such as Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Old Rep, Alexandra Theatre and The Crescent Theatre as well as music venues like the Symphony Hall, Town Hall and Genting Arena, Birmingham certainly knows how to pull a crowd. The city hosts over 50 festivals each year, including the Birmingham Weekender, Moseley Folk Festival, Flat Pack Film festival, Fierce Festival and the massive Birmingham International Jazz Festival.
Birmingham is the curry capital of the UK, with a better selection of Asian and Indian restaurants than anywhere else in the country. There are over 100 Balti houses in the city and its famous ‘Balti Triangle’ attracts over 20,000 visitors a week. It has won lots of awards and has even been featured in the New York Times.
Birmingham is home to 1.1 million people and nearly a third of Birmingham’s residents are of minority ethnic origin, making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK. We are a shining example of how people from different backgrounds can all live happily together.
Did you know that many brilliant creations owe their existence to Birmingham? For example, the photocopier, the cooker, the bicycle bell, car horns, roller skates and even the whistle was invented here. Brummies are life savers too, as X- Rays wouldn’t be available in hospitals without us, and we even invented the fire alarm! We are also responsible for the vacuum cleaner, windscreen wipers, electric kettles, the camera, the microwave, pacemakers, microphones, pens, staplers and even Cluedo! Pretty cool, huh?
Just to name a few... we call bread rolls a ‘cob,’ we call a forwards roll a ‘gambol,’ we call roundabouts ‘islands’, we call alleyways ‘gullys’ and to end this blog perfectly, instead of saying goodbye, we say... tara-a-bit!