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Bournville: the home of the Cadbury chocolate factory and so much more.
But what else is there to see and do here:
If you don't mind a walk, a great trip is to catch an early train out of New Street (Birmingham main station) to Bournville. Wander around and then take a stroll (about 4-5 miles) back to the centre of town along the canal. The exercise will certainly allow you to enjoy a great lunch when you get back to town!
A little bit of history about Bournville: George Cadbury started a housing estate in 1895 with the idea that he could provide a positive and healthy working environment for his employees. He believed that good housing and the welfare of his workforce would illustrate the benefits for the good of society. The Bournville Building Estate followed and the subsequent Bournville Village Trust of 1900 was set up as a charitable organisation to ensure that his work would be continued and of benefit to future generations.
Digbeth: Industrial area east of city centre.
Digbeth is home to Birmingham's coach station, and is just outside the city centre. The area has traditionally been the heart of Birmingham's Irish community, and there are still plenty of good Irish pubs in the area. Also worth a look is the 'Custard Factory' - once owned by Birds Custard, the building has been regenerated and is now home to workshops, shops and clubs. Further along the high street out of the city centre is 'The Old Crown', a grade 2 listed Inn which claims to date back to the 12th Century, and beyond that is 'The Rainbow' a recently refurbished pub with live music and club nights catering for a young, student crowd. The famous 'Alfie Bird's' club and restaurant is now sadly closed. Digbeth has a couple of good places to eat although the celebrity chef owned 'Curry Queen' on Coventry Street is also now shut.
A little hint for walkers: Instead of getting to the City Centre the long way (i.e. right up the high street) go to Coventry St (near Pirlos) through the arches and into the multistorey car park, simply take the lift up to either Park Street or all the way up for the Sky walkway connecting to the Bullring.
Moseley: Residential and recreational area just south of the city centre.
A leafy suburb just 15 minutes bus ride from the city centre, bounded by Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Cannon Hill Park, with much fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Once home to the author JRR Tolkein, Moseley has acquired a "bohemian" reputation attracting writers, poets, musicians and artists, as well as students and those seeking "alternative" lifestyles. The commercial area surrounding the cross roads of Wakegreen, Salsbury and Alcester Roads is known as "Moseley Village" and has a collection of artisan shops and boutiques reflecting the eclectic nature of this unique, cosmopolitan enclave.
Moseley has a vibrant evening culture. Restaurants and cafes include: Thai, Moroccan, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Bangladeshi & Indian. Pubs & bars thrive, with something for every taste and budget from cocktails to real ale, pre club to gastro pub and all within a five minute walk from a bus stop (Nos. 50, 35 & 1).
Visitors to Birmingham with an afternoon or evening to spare should consider spending a few hours in Moseley, a friendly and diverse community awaits.
Northfield: Residential area with historic medieval church and inn in south west Birmingham.
Although largely a modern shopping and residential area, the oldest building in Birmingham, St. Lawrence Church, with its Norman doorway in "Old Northfield" is well worth a visit particularly on the last Saturday of the month when it is open to visitors. The churchyard is usually very peaceful and contains graves identifiable to the 17th century. Across the road from it is the medieval Village Pound which contains The Great Stone and next to it is the 16th century Great Stone Inn where a decent meal can be bought. Walk down Church Hill and the Victorian school and nailers' cottages can be viewed. At the bottom of the hill is Northfield Railway Station. The shopping area at the top of Church Road and along Bristol Road includes a 1960's shopping centre and attractive art deco buildings but is of no great interest to visitors, consisting, as it does, almost entirely of charity shops and cheap "bargain" shops.