Winterbourne Garden is the University of Birmingham's botanic garden and is used by students as well as being open to the public. It was originally an "early 20th century suburban villa garden", the small estate having been built in 1903. The last private owner bequeathed it to the University in 1944. The first garden layout was inspired by Gertrude Jekyll of the Arts and Crafts movement and was further developed over the years.
Today its six acres hold national collections of roses and displays plants from all over the world. Particular features are the Nut Tunnel, woven from living hazel, and a sunken rock garden with Japanese Tea House.
It is open April to September, Mondays to Fridays 11am to 4pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm. The remainder of the year it is open Mondays to Fridays noon to 3.30pm. Guided walks and special events are held; details are available at the website. A car park, toilets and café are available on site and the garden is accessible to disabled visitors.
The recently renovated Town Hall is a Grade A listed building which dates from 1834 and features neo-classical architecture. Lunchtime organ concerts and other events are regularly presented and public tours with a duration of approximately one hour are available.
Exhibitions, workshops, banquets, wrestling matches and festivals are often held at the Town Hall, which can also be rented for corporate functions, graduation ceremonies and more. The ticket office is open daily from 10h00 to 18h00, except on Sundays when the hours are from 12h00 to 16h00. Hours are extended on concert evenings.
Birmingham Back to Backs
The Birmingham Back to Backs are managed by the National Trust and are a courtyard of restored 19th century working-class houses. They are the last surviving example of this type of housing in the Birmingham area and have been staged to show four different periods in the history of the buildings - from 1840 through to 1977.
Admission is by timed ticket and visitors must go round the houses with a guided tour. The houses are open from 2nd February to the 23rd of December but the opening hours are restricted during school terms due to visits from school parties in the mornings. It's thus advisable to phone ahead and check the Back to Backs will be open when you visit. Opening hours are generally from 10 am to 5 pm.
Admission prices are £4.90 for adults and £2.70 for children. Family tickets cost £12.25
Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham
The Frankfurt Christmas Market takes place annually in Victoria Square, Birmingham. There are over 75 different stalls here - making it the largest authentic christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Visitors are welcome to sample some German seasonal specialities such as Gluehwein (mulled wine) or Christmas bakery and also have the possibility to try some German beer or Bratwurst (grilled sausage). Market tenders offer a variety of traditional Christmas gifts such as candles, wooden toys, Christmas decoration and much more. The market operates from mid November up until Christmas and it is open from 10am until 8pm daily.
The Severn Bore
Arising in the Cambrian Mountains in mid Wales and joining the Irish Sea as the Bristol Channel, the Severn is Britain's longest river (354 kilometres). The river is the site of one of the country's few natural phenomena, the Severn Bore. This is a tidal wave which travels upstream propagated by the narrowing of the river's channel. Usually seen as a series of three or four waves, the Bore can reach speeds of up to 13 miles per hour and, with a particularly high tide, can reach a height of six feet.
There are several places where the Bore can be seen and there are tide tables which predict the hour of its occurrence. At Minsterworth the road is right beside the river and access to the river can be gained at the Bird-in-Hand pub, by the old ferry or at the church. It has become an attraction for surfers to ride the wave upstream and the record distance is currently some seven and a half miles (set in April 2006).
Local parking is available at several sites where the road approaches the river bank.
There is local parking at the access points.
Viewing: no charge
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