Part of the United Kingdom, England is a country that shares borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. To the northwest is the Irish Sea and to the southwest the Celtic Sea. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south.
In the West Midlands region of England, you'll find Birmingham, a major city in England. It has many Industrial Revolution-era landmarks.
Victoria Square is located in the heart of the city and is pedestrian-friendly. This area can be explored by the Birmingham City Center Path.
Along the way, you can see the old Town Hall that was built in 1832. It resembles a Roman temple with 40 ornated Corinthian columns built of Anglesey marble.
Symphony Hall is the center of the music scene and hosted the first performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah in 1847. Today it features A-list singers and performers. The hall is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In the forecourt, you can see two memorials. One to Queen Victoria. The other is to inventor James Watt.
Nearby is the Renaissance-style Council House with its famous “Big Brum” clock.
Chamberlain Square is pedestrian-only.
The Central Library is home to the largest collection of works by Shakespeare outside of the United States. Here you'll find 50,000 volumes in 90 languages.
The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery opened in 1885. It has a collection of artwork by pre-Raphaelite painters, artwork from the 17th and 19th centuries, and sculptures by Rodin and James Tower. Visit the Edwardian Tearooms to have a high tea experience.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are located in the suburbs of Edgbaston. These are 19th-century gardens with preserved Victorian-era glasshouses and other period features. You can see a collection of bonsai trees, among them one that is more than 250 years old. There are over 7,000 plants from all over the world. Among the wildlife are rare tropical birds and a butterfly house. On premises, is a gift shop, a tearoom, and playgrounds for children.
The National SEA LIFE Center is one of the most visited tourist attractions. There are more than 60 exhibits related to marine life. See the huge million-liter ocean tank with its underwater tunnel letting visitors view marine creatures like reef sharks and giant turtles.
Other creatures making their homes here are rare seahorses, giant octopuses, lobsters, crabs, and stingrays. The big stars of the show are the playful otters Mango and Starsky.
Visitors enjoy the Penguin Ice Adventure habitat. There is a 4-D cinema and you can book behind-the-scenes or penguin-feeding experiences.
The Jewelry Quarter is an area in Birmingham with over 200 jewelry workshops and silversmiths. These produce 40 percent of the jewelry in Britain.
The Museum of the Jewelry Quarter offers visitors a look at the trade in the Smith & Pepper Factory.
Nearby is the Hall of Memory which was built in 1925 to commemorate the 14,000 city men who lost their lives in WW I.
See the beautiful St. Paul's Square with its charming church.
St. Philip's Cathedral was built in 1715 and is the third smallest in England. It was rebuilt in 1948.
The Birmingham Back-to-Backs attraction is a unique collection of small back-to-back houses that once were prolific throughout the city.
They were built around a central courtyard, Court 15, in the mid-19th century. Highlights include a traditional 1930s sweet shop and a souvenir shop. There are fun workshops. Visitors can book one of the two cottages for an overnight stay. Admission is by guided tour only.
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is located on the edge of Cannon Hill Park. The small zoo has a variety of animals among them red pandas, lemurs, and meerkats. It has become important for its research and breeding programs. Children can get hands-on experiences.
Just a short drive from Birmingham is Cadbury World, one of the area's largest and most popular attractions. Visitors can find out about the history of chocolate, see the manufacturing process, and enjoy themed interactive exhibits. Among the highlights is the Bull Street attraction with replica shops from the 1820s.
Visitors can try making their own confections and shop in the world's largest Cadbury sweet shop.
Take a look around Bournville built by the Cadbury family to house their large workforce.