We had not intended to go to Birmingham so didn’t really have expectations for the city. We had previously decided to skip visiting the Lakes district due to transportation difficulties so tried to split up the trip to Glasgow into shorter chunks. Birmingham and Manchester were the two cities we opted to stop in. Bath to Birmingham was about 1.5 hours; Birmingham to Manchester was another 1.5 hours; Manchester to Glasgow was a little over 3 hours. I spent a little bit of time online to see what there was to see in each city. If all else fails, most major cities have some type of HOHO sightseeing bus!
We arrived in Birmingham sometime before noon. We had reserved a last minute room at the Woodlands Hotel using Expedia. Birmingham is the second largest city in England and as such, the accommodations in the center of town were incredibly expensive. From what I had read ahead of time, there wasn’t much in the way of not-to-be-missed tourist attractions so we didn’t want to pay dearly for staying in the downtown area. The hotel we selected was a fair distance from downtown in a neighborhood called Edgbaston. We grabbed a bite to eat at the train station and took a cab to the hotel.
The hotel is in a residential neighborhood with some restaurants fairly nearby (within a mile). The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are also close by. We arrived before the official check-in time but were hoping that our room would be ready. Similar to our hotel in Bath, this hotel appeared to have originally been a house that had at some point been converted to a hotel. The front door was secured; I tried to open it but had no luck! Clayton noticed that there was a bell to ring. The door was quickly opened by the very friendly and accommodating proprietress. She did indeed have a room prepared which was much appreciated. The room had a nice sitting area and a bathroom that we didn’t have to climb stairs to reach. Nice!
We decided to just stay in for the afternoon. I have occasional insomnia issues and had not slept hardly at all the night before. Since there wasn’t anything compelling in Birmingham to see we figured we would just take it easy for the afternoon. I needed to work on my blog while the details from our visit to Bath were relatively fresh in my mind so this would be a good opportunity to get caught up. For some reason the internet was not functioning. I stopped by the desk to let the proprietress know (I wish I had gotten her name; I don’t know what to call her!) that the internet was down. She promised to follow up and asked me to let her know if it still wasn’t working in 5-10 minutes. I went upstairs and typed for a bit; sure enough, the internet came back up and I was able to get on-line. And, the internet was really fast! The internet at our place in Bath was really hit and miss (mainly miss); it was slow and we kept getting dropped. Here, we could actually get caught up on bill-paying, researching, emailing and all of that fun stuff.
We went out for a walk in the late afternoon. We needed to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. We were on a main street; it was very flat so easy walking. We walked for quite a distance and decided since we were out that we might as well eat, so found a restaurant on the way back to the hotel. We decided to stay in for the evening. I was pretty exhausted from lack of sleep.
Maybe I have underestimated Birmingham but it seemed like any big city from what we saw on our taxi ride out to the ‘burbs. Maybe if I had done more research I would’ve found some interesting sites. Maybe if we had not just left the charming town of Bath and the tour of the Cotswolds the city might have seemed more appealing. Maybe if I weren’t so tired we would’ve taken a cab back to the downtown area and explored.
We had a lovely hot English breakfast at the hotel in the morning. We took a cab back to the train station and headed out to Manchester.