Located close to the geographic centre of England, over one million people call the city of Birmingham home and almost another three million live in the West Midlands. This unarguably represents a considerable number of people who look to the city as the centre of their cultural life. Museums play a big part in this; fortunately, Birmingham has many excellent ones. Here is a rundown of five of the best.
One of the newest additions to Birmingham’s museums, Coffin Works is proving enormously popular. Located in the grade II building that was once home to the Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory, in the city’s Jewellery Quarter, it is a funerary museum that highlights the skills of countless tradesmen who made a living out of death. Neither macabre nor depressing, it is a fascinating place to visit.
National Motorcycle Museum
Anyone with more than a passing interest in two wheels and a motor can pass a very happy day at this large and well laid-out museum. The exhibits are impressive and offer an informative, and slightly nostalgic, look at the history of British motorcycling.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Home to a superb collection of pre-Raphaelite art and the Staffordshire Hoard, which is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold yet to be found, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has some internationally-acclaimed showstoppers. It also has many smaller but no less fascinating exhibits and collections, including an immersive section dedicated to local history. For anyone planning a visit, it is always worth checking the museum’s ‘What’s On’ webpage. With its central location, the museum is ideal for anyone with time to fill before checking into one of the serviced apartments in Birmingham, such as http://www.8waterloostreet.co.uk/.
Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is famous well beyond the city. A visit to this evocative museum not only opens the door to one of Birmingham’s one-time jewellery factories but also offers an absorbing history of the importance of the jewellery trade to the city.
Few visits to Birmingham would be complete without a visit to one of the world’s best-known chocolate companies. Located on the site of the original Cadbury’s factory, a visit here is less a factory tour and more a chocolatey adventure that takes in chocolate rain, a 4D cinema show and an Aztec jungle.