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Birmingham: The Jewellery Quarter - a Gem of a Neighbourhood

A brace of fascinating hands-on museums offer insight into some of the 'thousand trades' of the city's industrial heydey
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.1 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  Jewellery has been made in this Birmingham neighbourhood for 200 years. Around 40 percent of UK jewellery production is still... more »

Tips:  Wear sensible shoes - the floors of old factories are often uneven, and there can be stairs to negotiate.

Use public transport - the ... more »

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Points of Interest

It may seem a little strange to begin your tour with a visit to a railway station, but Moor Street is a delight - a sparkling example of Edwardian railway architecture that was lovingly restored 10 years ago, and is presented in 1930s style - you rather feel as if you are a bit player in an episode of 'Poirot' when you arrive. It’s beautifully... More

As soon as you exit at Jewellery Quarter station you will see a couple of things, a large clock mechanism indicating the station interchange, and very slightly to your left an ornate 'Temple of Relief,' the splendid name by which Birmingham refers to its ornately decorated cast iron Victorian pissoirs!

Whichever direction you look in, on... More

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The word 'museum', with its connotations of dusty display cases really doesn't do justice to what's on offer behind the modest facade of this unremarkable backstreet building. There are indeed some (scrupulously dusted!) display cases in the exhibition section of the museum but they are not the main attraction.

The Museum occupies the premises... More

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Pens made in Birmingham once accounted for three-quarters of all the world's writing. This museum is simultaneously an elegy for the fountain pen, and a propaganda job for its reinstatement. You leave somehow convinced that you would write better - in every sense - if you embraced the nib.

You get a chance to cut out the blank for your own nib,... More

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Perhaps Birmingham nibs were used to execute the original illustrations behind some of the artwork on display in this funky gallery, which specialises in signed, fine art prints of album art. For most people, a visit is likely to be window shopping (the price tags are hefty), but it's fun to go in and see if your favourite band or artist is... More

The soaring spire of St Paul's Church is one of the Jewellery Quarter's great landmarks, though it was added in 1823, nearly 35 years after the church was first consecrated. It adds a dash of exuberance (and a flavour of New England) to a building facade that is otherwise graceful, but rather austere.

On completion it was the church of the men of... More

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7. Around St Paul's Square

If you need a refueling stop, explore the square (Birmingham's only remaining Georgian square) and the surrounding streets - particularly Ludgate Hill and Brook Street, where you'll find a good choice of bars, bistros and restaurants to satisfy most tastes.