Birmingham Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Birmingham

The main city of England’s West Midlands and one of the centres of the country's Industrial Revolution, Birmingham is a vibrant metropolis with no shortage of old-time and new landmarks to behold. Starting from the Town Hall in Victoria Square, marking the city center, down to the easily recognizable BrindleyPlace and other notable attractions along the way, you'll enjoy your stay in Birmingham fuller if follow this orientation walk and learn more about the past and present of this wonderful city!
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Birmingham Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Birmingham Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: England » Birmingham (See other walking tours in Birmingham)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: VictoriaP
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Centenary Square
  • Brindleyplace
  • National Sea Life Centre
  • Birmingham Town Hall
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • Victoria Square
  • Council House
  • 17 & 19 Newhall Street
  • St. Philip's Cathedral
  • New Street
  • The Church of St. Martin
  • The Bull Ring Market
Centenary Square

1) Centenary Square

Centenary Square in Birmingham is a public square named so in 1989 for the centenary of Birmingham becoming a city. Previously, this was an industrial area filled with small workshops and canal wharves up until the 1920s when it was bought by the city council to create a grand civic centre comprising museums, council offices, cathedral and opera house. That project, however, had to be abandoned due to World War II, seeing only the Hall of Memory and half of the planned Baskerville House brought to completion. In 1991 the square was remodeled in tune with the new International Convention Centre, featuring new paving resembling a Persian carpet, railings and lamps, a fountain and several sculptures, including the controversial sculpture called "Forward" by Raymond Mason. Later, in 2013, during the construction of the Library of Birmingham, several of the 1991 design elements had to be removed to give way to a library amphitheatre. Today the square serves as a major cultural venue, hosting events like seasonal markets, arts festivals, commemoration services, New Year's Celebrations and, during Christmas, a temporary ice rink and Ferris wheel.

2) Brindleyplace (must see)

Brindleyplace is a large mixed-use canalside development. It is often written erroneously as Brindley Place, the name of the street (in turn named after the 18th century canal engineer James Brindley) around which it is built.

It was developed by Argent Group PLC from 1993 onwards. In addition to shops, bars and restaurants, Brindleyplace is home to the National Sea Life Centre, Royal Bank of Scotland, Orion Media (including BRMB and Mercia), Ikon Gallery of art and a Hilton Garden Inn. The site covers 17 acres (69,000 m²) of mixed-use redevelopment on a grand scale - the UK's largest such project.

The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line Canal separates Brindleyplace from the International Convention Centre, although there are linking bridges. The National Indoor Arena, Old Turn Junction and bustling bars of Broad Street are nearby and it is easily accessible and within walking distance of the main bus and train routes.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Sea Life Centre

3) National Sea Life Centre (must see)

The National Sea Life Centre is an aquarium with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life. Its one-million-litre ocean tank houses giant green sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks and tropical reef fish, with a fully transparent underwater tunnel.

The building was designed by Sir Norman Foster. However, Foster has effectively "buried" this project in his portfolio, and is reportedly embarrassed by the final building.

The National Sea Life Centre has an extensive seahorse breeding programme, with many species of newly reared seahorses in tanks viewable by visitors.

In other displays, it has a Giant Pacific Octopus, as well as horseshoe crabs, green sea turtles, lobsters, sharks, sting rays, and otters.

In Easter 2009, the Centre announced as its newest attraction a "Sensorama 4-D Cinema". So-called because in addition to 3-D viewing, the audience can be subjected to sensations such as wind, salt spray, and the smell the seaweed, or other sensations depending on the (sea-themed) film.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Birmingham Town Hall

4) Birmingham Town Hall (must see)

Birmingham Town Hall is a Grade I listed concert and meeting venue in Victoria Square. It was created as a home for the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival established in 1784, the purpose of which was to raise funds for the General Hospital, after St Philip's Church (later to become a Cathedral) became too small to hold the festival, and for public meetings. Between 2002 and 2008, it was refurbished into a concert hall and is now used for performances as diverse as organ recitals, rock, pop and classical concerts and events such as graduation ceremonies for Aston University.

The town hall is famous for its concert pipe organ. Originally installed in 1834 by William Hill with 4 manuals and 70 stops, this was subject to many rebuilds and alterations, all by William Hill, until a restoration by Willis in 1932. By 1956 the organ had been enlarged to 90 stops.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

5) Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (must see)

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BM&AG) is a museum and art gallery.

Entrance to the Museum and Art Gallery is free, but some major exhibitions in the Gas Hall incur an entrance fee. It has a collection of international importance covering fine art, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, archaeology, ethnography, local history and industrial history.

The Art Gallery is most noted for its extensive collections of paintings ranging from the 14th to the 21st century. They include works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the largest collection of works by Edward Burne-Jones in the world.

The collection of antiquities includes coins from ancient times through to the Middle Ages, artefacts from Ancient India and Central Asia, Ancient Cyprus and Ancient Egypt. There is material from Classical Greece, the Roman Empire and Latin America. There is also mediaeval material.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Victoria Square

6) Victoria Square (must see)

Victoria Square is a pedestrianised public square. It is home to both the Town Hall and the Council House, and directly adjacent to Chamberlain Square.

The square is often considered to be the centre of Birmingham, and is the point from where local road sign distances are measured. It is a short walk from St. Philip's Cathedral on Colmore Row and is on the main pedestrian route between the Bull Ring and Brindleyplace areas.

The square was formerly known as Council House Square, and had a tramway running through it.

It was renamed on 10 January 1901, to honour Queen Victoria, and a statue of her was erected and unveiled. She died just 12 days later.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Council House

7) Council House (must see)

Birmingham City Council House in Birmingham, England is the home of Birmingham City Council. It is located in Victoria Square in the city centre and is a Grade II* listed building. The side of the building, which faces Chamberlain Square, is the entrance and façade of the Museum and Art Gallery which is partly housed within the same building. Above the main entrance, which faces Victoria Square, is a mosaic by Salviati Burke and Co. of Venice. On 9 August 1902, The Council House, along with the Town Hall, was illuminated in celebration of the coronation of King Edward VII.
Sight description based on wikipedia
17 & 19 Newhall Street

8) 17 & 19 Newhall Street

17 & 19 Newhall Street is a red brick and terracotta Grade I listed building on the corner of Newhall Street and Edmund Street in the city centre of Birmingham, England. The building was designed in 1896 by Frederick Martin of the firm Martin & Chamberlain. Originally having the postal address of 19 Newhall Street, it was built as the new Central Telephone Exchange and offices for the National Telephone Company and is popularly known as the Bell Edison Telephone Building - the NTC logo behind the wrought iron gates to the main entrance includes those names.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Philip's Cathedral

9) St. Philip's Cathedral (must see)

The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip is the Church of England cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Birmingham. St Philip's was built in the early 18th century in the Baroque style by Thomas Archer and is located on Colmore Row, Birmingham, England.The cathedral is a Grade I listed building. St Philip's is surrounded by a churchyard; six of the monuments there have heritage listings, including one commemorating two men who died during the construction of Birmingham Town Hall and a memorial to the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings.
Sight description based on wikipedia
New Street

10) New Street

The New Street is located right in the Birmingham City Centre and is the shop avenue, where fashion boutiques and stylish kiosks attract the most exquisite tastes. If you appreciate brands, quality and affordable prices, you should definitely choose New Street Shops.
The Church of St. Martin

11) The Church of St. Martin (must see)

The church of St Martin in the Bull Ring in Birmingham is a parish church in the Church of England. It is the original parish church of Birmingham. It stands between the Bull Ring shopping centre and the markets. The church is a Grade II listed building. The current Rector is the Revd. Canon Stewart W. Jones. The roof shows the influence of the great hammerbeam roof of Westminster Hall. The beams are decorated with fine tracery and end in large carvings of angels. The floor tiles are Victorian Minton and display the quartered arms of the de Bermingham family.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Bull Ring Market

12) The Bull Ring Market (must see)

The Bull Ring is a major commercial area of Birmingham. It has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages, when its market was first held. It has been developed into a shopping centre twice; first in the 1960s, and then in the 2000s. The site is located on the edge of the sandstone city ridge which results in the steep gradient towards Digbeth. The current shopping centre is the busiest in the United Kingdom with 36.5 million visitors in 2004, and is also the twelfth largest. The Bullring Shopping Centre was masterplanned and designed mainly by Benoy. The shopping centre consists of two main buildings which are connected by an underground passage lined with shops and is also accessible from St Martin's Square via glass doors.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Birmingham, England

Create Your Own Walk in Birmingham

Create Your Own Walk in Birmingham

Creating your own self-guided walk in Birmingham is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums and Galleries Tour

Museums and Galleries Tour

Britain's most attractive and beautiful museums and galleries are to be seen in this city. Whether you like to learn about the city's history, its science or maybe visit exhibitions with the possibility of buying something you enjoy, it is all possible in Birmingham's rich heritage and top-class attractions. Birmingham will offer you an incredible walking tour of museums and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Historic Religious Buildings

Historic Religious Buildings

Birmingham offers a variety of religious buildings from beautiful upgraded cathedrals to old churches; for example, Birmingham Central Mosque is one of the largest in Europe. History and religion meet in Birmingham's churches with wonderful views and beautiful parks in which to rest.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Architecture Jewels

Architecture Jewels

Birmingham has a variety of mixed-styles of architecture from old Victorian style to cylindrical highrise skyscrapers that will have a huge impact on all of Birmingham's tourists. The beautiful architecture of the buildings in Birmingham is one of the top sightseeing tours in England.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles