Destination of the Week: Birmingham, England

3.20.2014

By Neal Broverman

Our new feature highlights a place you should be paying attention to now. Our second suggestion: England's second city.

Marriage equality is finally coming to England and Wales on March 29, a good reason to take your butt across the pond. The United Kingdom, and England, especially, has been so instrumental to modern Western civilization that anyone with an appreciation for history needs to see this country for themselves. London, obviously, receives the majority of visitors to England, but there are plenty of other places to explore. We wanted to highlight Birmingham, England's second-largest city and a place that often unfairly lives in her bigger sister's shadow. "Brummies" began settling in the area 1,000 years ago and the city became a powerhouse during the Industrial Age.

The city now has over 1,000,000 inhabitants and is chock-full of culture and amusements, like the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Waterhall Gallery at the IMAX Cinema, the National Sea Life Centre, and West Midlands Safari Park, and more canals than Venice. As for shopping, the Bull Ring shopping center dates back to medieval times and is now one of the busiest malls in the nation, with the gorgeous Selfridges department store a highlight. The gayborhood, centered around Hurst Street, is reknown. Visit Gay Brum touts dozens of bars and clubs — their video below says, "We love to party!"

Many direct flights are available to Birmingham, and train service from London will get you there in about 90 minutes. Click here for more info and see images of the city below.

Hurst Street in Birmingham's gay neighborhood.

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