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Spring getaway to the British Isles!


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How delightful that this year's spring holiday will comprise a three-day software training seminar in beautiful Birmingham! I had to add an extra night's stay to make the airfare affordable ($1599, or $799 if I stay an extra night? Hmmm.) Trouble is, all my mates will be leaving Saturday morning & I don't fly out until Sunday. That leaves me Saturday on my own to explore or whatever. I didn't suspect that Brum would be the place to hang, and then I found this on the Webtourist "Know-Before-You-Go" page for the Big B.:

there's no pretending that Birmingham is packed with interesting sights - it isn't, though - along with its first-rate restaurant scene and nightlife - it's well worth a day or two - at least.

Well, then. Is there someplace charming and interesting within close reach of Birmingham where an American chick might wile away a May Day on her own & feel satisfied that she did something besides brood in her hotel room just waiting to fly home to hubby?

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hummm. i'm from the midlands. shush. don't tell anyone :-)

birmingham has undergone fairly extensive regeneration recently. the city centre has been like a building site for years, but it reopened at the end of last year. there is now some pretty good shopping, selfriges and house of fraser spring to mind. i understand the HOF food hall is pretty special. it's also supposed to be pretty good for retail therapy.

there's a hotel du vin in the centre, which will be a nice place to go if you like wine.

my brother works in birmingham so let me get some ideas on restaurants and nice stuff to do from him. i can be quite withering about the midlands, but there is a fair amount to get up to these days.

what sort of stuff do you generally like doing? i don't want to recommend anything that you'd hate...

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I'd say come to Cambridge, except I'm going to be in Paris.

In Birmingham I'm told the club scene is good, if you like dancing and loud music. Its also the Balti (curry) capital of the UK. Connections are good and lots of places in easy reach. Stratford-on Avon for the Shakespeare for example, or London, if you are flying from there. You could even take the train to Paris.

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Well, then. Is there someplace charming and interesting within close reach of Birmingham where an American chick might wile away a May Day on her own & feel satisfied that she did something besides brood in her hotel room just waiting to fly home to hubby?

Hire a car for the day and head for Ludlow Shropshire .Everywhere nearby is a beauty spot. thatched houses, rolling countryside.

S/W of Birmingham. Try and book lunch at 'The Merchant House' Chef Shaun Hill, voted best restaurant in England. (book as soon as you can).

The drive there will delight . Have a coffe in Bewdly.Once in Ludlow walk round the castle and an adjacent Medievil house, just as it was. lots of traditional shops a bunch of butchers, admire the game hanging outside.

A.E. Houseman tells it all.

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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Hire a car for the day and head for Ludlow Shropshire .Everywhere nearby is a beauty spot. thatched houses, rolling countryside.

S/W of Birmingham. Try and book lunch at 'The Merchant House' Chef Shaun Hill, voted best restaurant in England. (book as soon as you can).

The drive there will delight . Have a coffe in Bewdly.Once in Ludlow walk round the castle and an adjacent Medievil house, just as it was. lots of traditional shops a bunch of butchers, admire the game hanging outside.

A.E. Houseman tells it all.

That's sounds like just the sort of thing. Is there train service to Ludlow? Hiring a car seems a bit of a bother for one day.

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hummm. i'm from the midlands. shush. don't tell anyone :-)

birmingham has undergone fairly extensive regeneration recently. the city centre has been like a building site for years, but it reopened at the end of last year. there is now some pretty good shopping, selfriges and house of fraser spring to mind. i understand the HOF food hall is pretty special. it's also supposed to be pretty good for retail therapy.

there's a hotel du vin in the centre, which will be a nice place to go if you like wine.

my brother works in birmingham so let me get some ideas on restaurants and nice stuff to do from him. i can be quite withering about the midlands, but there is a fair amount to get up to these days.

This doesn't sound so bad, if it comes right down to it.

what sort of stuff do you generally like doing? i don't want to recommend anything that you'd hate...

No, Jack already did that. Clubs and dancing. :laugh:

Frankly, I'm pretty adaptable and can go urban -----> rural as necessary. Just not into "scenes" (but scenery is fine).

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Is there train service to Ludlow? Hiring a car seems a bit of a bother for one day.

According to the National Rail website, your only option is to leave Birmingham at 4:33 a.m. You will arrive at Ludlow at 7:54 a.m., 3 hours and 21 minutes later. You must then start back at 13:14, travel for 2 hours 19 minutes, and arrive once more at Birmingham at 15:33 in the afternoon. That will give you plenty of time to take a shower and hit the curry joints.

EDIT: Birmingham to Ludlow by car is 51.8 miles and should take just over an hour and a half of leisurely driving.

Edited by John Whiting (log)

John Whiting, London

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I don't know why everybody has a downer on Birmingham, if you're going to be in Birmingham stay there. Take a stroll along the restored canal paths (more canals than Venice), take coffee at one of the many waterside watering holes, check out the Sea life centre in brindleyplace, admire some stylish new buildings around the new bullring, get some serious retail therapy round there too, check out any events at the NEC or NIA, pig out at Cadbury World, and of course eat, too many choices!

So OK Brum doesn't have any headliner attractions but there's lot's of good stuff to see and do if you're only there for a day or two.

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