Wallace & Gromit's Guide to Birmingham
There’s a lot more to Birmingham than Crufts! Come on a break with your canine chum and uncover the industrial heritage behind England’s second largest city.
lap bang in the centre of England, Birmingham also sits at the very heart of our country’s industry. It was here that, 200 years ago, beneath the smoke and glare of the blast furnaces, the age of machinery and the Industrial Revolution was born. At the forefront of manufacturing ever since, it’s a great place for you and your invention-loving Gromit to explore. And with some grand walks right on the doorstep, there’s no need to be sheepish about paying it a visit.
"How can we forget our first visit to Birmingham’s Bullring, eh Gromit? Though I must admit, I did feel a bit of a chump as I was the only one dressed in a matador outfit... Still, the stylish boutiques and world-class restaurants more than made up for it. (Did I ever tell you I modelled for Harvey Nicks in my younger days? Very dapper I looked, too!) And you’d be a right Charlie to miss out on the Chocolate Factory. A couple more hours there, and I don’t think I’d ever be able to fit into my matador costume again!" - Wallace
Cracking things to see and do
Home to over 100 specialists and craftspeople and sparkling with bling, Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is the perfect place for love-struck Wallaces to find that special romantic gift and a cracking place to window shop with your best bud. There are over 200 listed buildings here celebrating Birmingham’s jewellery manufacturing heritage. Look out for that pesky diamond-thieving penguin Feathers McGraw though! Or, make a break for Cannon Hill Park with its miles of mutt-friendly walkies or strike out along the towpath of one of Birmingham’s canals, watery legacies of the Industrial Revolution. Wallace may also be tempted to trade in his trusty sidecar at the National Motorcycle Museum *, the largest of its kind in the country. Also, heaven awaits sweet toothed Wallaces at Cadbury World *, where you’ll be taken on a tour of the humble cocoa bean’s origins, discover how the tasty chocolate treats are made and, of course, sample a few bars.
Gromit-friendly places to stay
The setting for the world’s biggest dog show, Birmingham is well used to catering for its four-legged visitors as well as their owners. Try the Novotel or the Quality Hotel , both a short scamper from the city centre, or out of town head for the Arden Hotel . Abbey Farm is an exquisite country B&B set in gardens complete with a lake and surrounded by miles of waggy-tailed walks and dog-friendly inns. Or, for a change of pace, discover Birmingham with your pooch from a different perspective on a narrowboat holiday.
Time for tea
A nice cup of tea and tasty local cheese are top on the list for our intrepid duo and you’ll find no shortage of either in Birmingham. One of the city’s most un-fur-gettable spots is the Grade II-listed Edwardian tea rooms at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery , where you can sip your brew while drinking in the high ceilings and ornately tiled floors. Alternatively savour the best of British with high tea at the Hotel la Tour . Afterwards, sniff out local cheeses and other delicacies at the Moseley Farmers Market . Make sure you treat yourself to a slab from Fowler’s, the oldest cheese-making family business in England.
*Assistance dogs only.
(c) Aardman Animations/Wallace & Gromit Ltd 2013