Birmingham is known as the heart of England. With train lines and motorways sprawling in and out of the city, the city is accessible to almost every other region of England, Scotland and Wales. Birmingham is rich with culture, history and activity and a great place to explore, shop, dine and has plenty of hidden treasures within its vast landscape. With so much on offer, Birmingham is the perfect setting for a weekend away, a date or even a trip. As almost anyone can find something they love in the heart of England. The West Midland’s biggest city could be the perfect place for new couples, established couples or those just wanting to date.
Birmingham has a multitude of destinations to take the person you’re trying to impress. Finding that certain someone is, however, the first step to going on a date. There is some debate as to whether dating in larger cities is easier than dating in smaller areas. Birmingham is a diverse and large city, meaning that there are a lot more people to potentially engage with. However, in smaller places with limited choices, intimacy and commitment are far more likely. Online, however, there is an equal playing field, with many singles opting to find partners via dating sites or applications. Singles looking for dating in the Birmingham area, for instance, can narrow their search down by using region-specific pages. Either way, there are plenty of fish in the online sea, and with Birmingham accessible from all over the country, the city could be the perfect meeting ground for a romance to blossom.
Check What’s On
Birmingham is home to a fair few convention centres, arenas and markets, with hundreds of festivals also taking place all year round. For example, the city holds the biggest German market in the UK during the Christmas period, spanning miles across the city centre and bringing thousands of tourists to the city each year. Across the summer, the Botanic Gardens puts on various festival, music and cultural events within its stunning grounds. There’s Crufts at the NEC for dog lovers or ice-skating at the ICC all winter, and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra are found at the NIA most weekends. So, check that you’re not missing out on large scale events or festivals prior to arrival.
With more canals than Venice, Birmingham has a surprising amount of water for a landlocked city. The canals spread across the city and are a vital part of the West Midland’s industrial heritage. Often skirting under the city’s roads, they are still used as an alternative mode of transport. Take a stroll along the canal, from Brindley Place, a popular dining area on the canal side, to the Jewellery Quarter, and you’ll cross the city without ever placing a foot on road or pavement. There’s plenty of boat rides, canal restaurants and even floating pubs to quench any date’s thirst.
If your ideal date includes splashing the cash or taking part in a little retail therapy, there are plenty of shopping malls, as well as a variety of independent retail districts in Birmingham. There’s the Bullring, open late, which also includes a Selfridges and some of the best city centre dining. But, if you’re after something a little different, head down to Digbeth, where you’ll find the Custard Factory, vintage shops and art galleries. Set amongst an ex-industrial landscape of factories, Digbeth provides many youngsters, artists and tourists with plenty of hang out spots, Irish pubs and warehouse parties.
If you love curry – and, let’s face it, who can’t resist a good curry, especially a date-night curry – then Birmingham is the perfect place for you. The city invented the balti, and, so, curry culture is a vital part of the city’s food scene. The ‘balti triangle’ clustered along Ladypool Road, Stratford Road and Stoney Lane, in the areas of Spark Hill and Spark Brook, is the native home of the balti. Easily accessible from the city centre, the area is packed with south Asian delights and hundreds of authentic balti houses. A must for any foodie couples.
Broad Street is home to the majority of clubs, bars and nightlife. Bustling on every Friday and Saturday night, it’s a great destination to hit if your date is turning lively and you want to bust out a few shapes, or just find some live music. There is always Digbeth, again, which hosts the majority of the city’s alternative nightlife. If you’re after a classier affair, head down to the Mailbox, which is home to canal-side dining and luxury late night shopping and bars. Or try Chinatown, for a intimate collection of bars, restaurants and clubs.
The morning after
For day trips, Birmingham has a host of places to check out. For art lovers, there’s the Birmingham Art Museum, home to an excellent William Morris collection, and the iKon gallery, the city’s contemporary visual art venue. For theatre, check out the Hippodrome or the Birmingham Rep, which hosts a huge programme of new work. Another popular attraction is the Birmingham Central Library. Recently refurbished in 2012, the library is an architectural masterpiece, and worth visiting for its immaculate design and secret Shakespeare gallery. Strolling through the city centre, there’s plenty of romantic spots to sit and take in the city’s vast history. Victoria Square and Chamberlain Square are home to some beautiful ancient architectural designs, and visitors can get lost finding new spots and avenues to hide away.
If you’re hoping to lose your heart to someone you love, or just wanting to visit the heart of England, there is plenty to discover in Birmingham. With a international airport, and excellent transport links, it’s no wonder the city is a popular destination for a weekend away.