Things to do near Birmingham New Street?
July 16, 2009 6:48 AM   Subscribe

I've got a couple of hours between trains at Birmingham New Street station. What can I do nearby?

I saw this post and the Ikon gallery sounds interesting; it claims to be 15 minutes walk away. But I'd love to hear better suggestions. It can be a place to see, eat, shop or chill. My tastes are catholic, but I don't want to go to an identikit shopping centre or pay a fortune for a short visit somewhere.

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter seems to have a good reputation; is it suitable for a flying visit from New Street?

It'll be in August if that makes a difference.
posted by Busy Old Fool to Travel & Transportation around Birmingham, England (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't think you could really call The Bullring identikit. Not with that glorious wonder of a Selfridges building.

I mean, if I was there, I'd spend my few hours going to Mount Fuji for something to eat, then sitting out on the steps, enjoying the summer sun on the contrast of the old church and the space-age building, before heading down to the extensive market and seeing all the wonderful things on sale. And then stopping at Singfat before heading back to New Street.

Depending on what time you'll be there and how long, there's The Electric Cinema as well.

The Custard Factory might have some interesting stuff on, and, at least, there's the giant dragon.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:55 AM on July 16, 2009

Best answer: The Jewellery Quarter museum is indeed pretty good, and you can get a train or tram from Moor Street (?). If you've only got a couple of hours you'd need to check that you could get back in time. Walking would take too long, I think.

The Ikon gallery is pretty close, and the walk to it takes you through some interesting parts of the city centre, with plenty of sitting/chilling opportunities on the way. I've heard people say good things about the food at the Ikon, as well. If it were me, I'd go to the Ikon, because I haven't been to it before.

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is good, if a bit more conventional. It's closer to the station than the other options.
posted by altolinguistic at 8:46 AM on July 16, 2009

Best answer: I'd go to the Museum & Art Gallery, it has some beautiful art and interesting exhibitions on. Also tea at Hudsons Coffee House on Colmore Row which is near the Art Gallery, it has an old fashioned ambiance, is a one off, and houses a BookCrossing Zone so you can pick up something to read too!

Message me if you want any more info

Have fun!
posted by LyzzyBee at 9:07 AM on July 16, 2009

Another vote for the Museum and Art Gallery!
posted by Huw at 9:27 AM on July 16, 2009

Best answer: Ditto on the museum and art gallery - among other exhibits it has a world-class collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings, if those are to your taste, and it's an easy walk from the station.

Thinktank seems to contain much of what used to be in the museum of science and industry (two areas where Birmingham has a long and important history), and is also within walking distance.
posted by nja at 9:47 AM on July 16, 2009

Response by poster: Many thanks for the suggestions so far.

One clarification: by "a couple of hours" I mean literally two hours between one train arriving and another leaving, so one attraction (or two located next door to each other) is probably the best I'm going to be able to do.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:08 PM on July 16, 2009

Best answer: Chill out and sample the real ale range at The Wellington.
posted by sagwalla at 7:05 AM on July 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks again! In the end, I played it safe and went for the closest option, the Museum and Art Gallery. Once I took out time to walk there & back, collect my tickets, eat a sarnie, get to the station with time to spare etc. I had only a bit more than an hour. If I get the same chance again in future, I'll be sure to try some of the other suggestions in thread.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 5:40 AM on August 13, 2009

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