Birmingham: England’s second largest city

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Hi all, welcome and thank you for coming back to the blog. It’s a new travel location! Over the next few blogs I will be sharing posts from my visit to this pleasantly surprising city. I hope you will enjoy what’s to come.

About Birmingham

Birmingham is situated in the West Midlands in England. It is one of the UK’S major cities and has the nickname of ‘City of a thousand trades’ due to its past central involvement of being one of the most manufacturing places in the world. You can still see some of the old warehouses and factories in and around the city, some which have been renovated into shopping centre’s, apartments and pubs etc.

Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom after London and is often one of the most overlooked and underrated cities in the UK. In fact, I have on several occasions heard people mistake other cities as being the second city.

It may well be overlooked, but this is a thriving metropolitan city and has a lot to offer such as its spectacular canal networks, parentage of food and cuisine, Art, famous rock music, night-life, cultural intent and more.

Here are some incredible facts about this city

More canals than Venice

Yes that’s right! Myth- Kind of! Birmingham does not have more canals than Venice, but it does have more miles of canals. Birmingham has 35miles of canals while Venice only has 26 miles of canals.

Largest public library in Europe

The library of Birmingham is the largest public library in Europe to date. Not only this, but it has the largest Shakespeare book collection in the world and also has a Victorian Shakespeare room.

Largest Christmas market in the UK

Not only does it have the largest Christmas market in the UK it’s one of the biggest in Europe. The only other two which are larger are Germany and Austria.

The second youngest city in Europe

It is the second youngest city in Europe after Bradford. It has the largest fraction of under 25 year olds whereas Bradford has the largest fraction of under 16 year olds.

Curry capital of the UK

Curry houses started to appear here in the1960s and became considerably popular by the 1970s, it was at this point when the Balti dishes started to appear. It has been considered as the birthplace of the Balti however, it has been hugely debated that the Balti was invented in Pakistan. Either way it is considered as the curry capital of the UK with many curry and Balti houses, and not forgetting their famous Balti Triangle wich consists of over 50 Balti houses.

Inspiration for the popular tv show (Peaky Blinders)

The show tells the stories of the real peaky blinders gang who originated from Birmingham and operated on the streets here. Now there are many inspired peaky blinders themed experiences to enjoy in the city.

Thank you for reading

Until next time

stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎ

Natalie x

Chester, England: The River Dee, A Bouncy Bridge and a Roman Park

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*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info

The River Dee

As I exited the bottom of the Roman gardens I come to the River Dee. I had originally planned to buy a ticket at the quayside for a half an hour cruise along the river, but got distracted when I noticed the beautiful Queens park suspension bridge. Instead, I headed towards the bridge. I know it’s a suspension bridge, but I didn’t quite expect it to be as bouncy as it was to walk along. In-fact, I almost lost my footing on it! Anyway, it was well worth the the distraction, especially at the stop and stare moment mid way. The views are stunning!

Queens park suspension bridge

I did plan to take my cruise after exploring this bridge, but again was distracted when I seen people walking into an entrance. I wondered where the entrance led to, so decided to have a nosey. The entrance turned out to be the entrance to Grosvenor Park.

Grosvenor Park

Grosvenor Park dates back to 1867 and is one of the UK’s most perfect and most beautiful examples of a victorian Park.

The park is touched up with neatly lined trees along with ornaments, statues, flower beds and a number of grade II listed features.

It also features a miniature railway and playground area. It costs Β£1.50 for adults, Β£1 for children, or Β£3.50 for two adults and three children.

Other features include a cafe which offers drinks and light snacks along with toilets.

All three of the places mentioned are within walking distance of the city centre, so definitely worth visiting.

I never did end up going back to the boat trip. I ended up being distracted again by something else ha. I’ll save that for my next blog.

Thanks for reading stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎ

Chester, England: The largest amphitheatre in Britain

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*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info

I didn’t know it was an amphitheatre

I was surprised to learn that Chester had an amphitheatre whilst researching places to go before my trip. The funny thing is, I actually realised I’d seen it before on a previous trip a few years earlier but, I didn’t know it was an amphitheatre. It didn’t look like the amphitheatres I’m used to seeing. Having said this, I think that’s what makes it quite unique.

A bit about the history

It’s dated right back to the 1st century AD and is the largest amphitheatre to be discovered in Britain. It was used for gladiatorial combat, cockfighting and bull baiting in front of a large crowd of up to 8,000 people. It was first discovered underground in the 1970s.

The complications

you’ll have noticed it doesn’t look that big in the picture. That’s because only two fifths of it are visible, the rest is under a brick wall. Archaeologists were unable to excavate the rest of it due to other buildings that have been built over it. Some of these buildings are important in their own right such as Dee House, an 18th century house which sits over most of the covered site. Authorities won’t give permission for it’s removal and have actually protected Dee House. It’s such a shame, especially since Dee House has been empty since 1993. Either way I’d say it’s still impressive and worth a visit and you’ll be able to say you have visited Britain’s largest discovered amphitheatre to dateπŸ‘πŸΎ.

It’s free to visit and you can find it at Little St John Street, CH1 1RE

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

stay safe

Natalie x

Chester, England: The second most photographed clock in England

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Just a few steps away from Chester Cathedral, (mentioned in my last post), is the second most visited clock in England after Big Ben.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

Eastgate clock is another one of Chester’s most popular treasures not be missed on a visit here.

The clock is located on the gateway which used to be the entrance of the Roman Fortress of Deva.

The clock was placed here in 1899 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, which had taken place two years earlier.

Thanks for stopping by.

until next time

Natalie x