Quality Hotel Birmingham South NEC
47-49 Sherbourne Road
Birmingham, EN B27 6DX
Phone: (44) 121 706-5900
Fax: (44) 121 624-5900
Arts & Museums
The museum lies to the east of Birmingham city center, located on a former site of a Great Western Railway steam shed and locomotive works. The museum is now home to a dozen steam locomotives, ranging from the 7029 "Clun Castle" to "Henry" the industrial tank engine. Visitors can see the exhibits from outside, revolving on the fully operational turntable, and inside the workshop.
Blakesley Hall is a timber framed Elizabethan yeoman's farmhouse, built in 1590 in Old Yardley for Richard Smallbroke (a Birmingham businessman and farmer). The Hall is furnished and staffed in 17th century fashion and is a fascinating place to visit. It is open to schools as well as the public.
Sarehole Mill is a restored Victorian-style working watermill originally built in 1765. Situated on the bank of the River Cole, it features a Victorian engine house and bakehouse and gives an insight into rural life of the period. Sarehole Mill was the inspiration for the village and mill in The Hobbit, since JRR Tolkien used to live in the area and spent much of his childhood by the mill. The mill is open all year round and is a popular destination for school trips.
Established in 2008, Eastside Projects is a contemporary art gallery that is forever changing. Managed by a group of designers and artists, the gallery is a work of art in itself housed within an old industrial space. The gallery regularly commissions artwork and organizes exhibitions covering a range of mediums and themes. Apart from the temporary exhibitions, the gallery is also home to a number of long-term projects and programmes, some of which have become a permanent feature, evolving and growing along with the gallery itself. Through these programmes, the gallery aims to enrich the lives of the community it resides within, and explore how art can contribute to society.
The Bond Gallery specializes in contemporary art, and has a lively and wide-ranging programs of exhibitions. Call for more details.
Established in 2001, the Thinktank (Birmingham Science Museum) is located with the Millennium point complex. The hands-on museum is an exciting place for children and adults alike. Within the fours storied building, each floor symbolizes a theme. There are scientific demonstrations, future exhibitions that talk about technology and inventions including the study of robotics, that are path-breaking and thus have drawn large crowds. With over 200 scientific displays, the museum draws curious science addicts from all over. A visit to this museum calls for a fun and educational outing. Check website for more details.
Temple Gallery is a contemporary art gallery, which has a good range of work by artists such as Terry Frost, Richard Tuff, Jack Vettriano and Annora Spence. There are original oil and watercolor paintings and some unusual animal sculptures. Lithographic, silk screen and other prints are of limited editions and at affordable prices. There's not much that is cheap here, but the range is good and you are free to wander around without being hassled by over-zealous staff.
Housing one of the world's finest collections of Pre-Raphaelite art, with works by Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Holman Hunt, Birmingham's principal museum and gallery is located in a stunning Victorian building. The museum displays works by British and European artists, along with collections of ceramics, sculpture, silver and stained glass. You can also find archaeological, ethnographic and local history exhibits, including Egyptian mummies. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
The Gas Hall is really a part of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, but its history makes it worth a mention in its own right. It is actually a large Victorian building adjacent to the main museum and now has access either via the museum or directly from the street. It is so called because the building used to be occupied by the main gas company in the city, and was the place where local people went to pay their gas bills. Since the early 1990s it has been an important space for temporary exhibitions, of which there have been many of international importance. These have so far included exhibitions devoted to Canaletto, ancient China, Mughal India and more recently the Home of Metal. Opening hours are generally for the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, but may be different during specific exhibitions. Check website for more details on current and upcoming events and exact timings.
Birmingham's Ikon Gallery is one of Europe's premier venues for new art. Along with art exhibitions, the gallery also organizes public talks, gallery tours and special events. Conveniently situated just off Broad Street, in the fabulously trendy Brindleyplace complex, the gallery has two floors (440 square meters) of exhibition space. There is also a special education and events room, a resource area for visitors, a cafe and an art bookshop.
A new initiative, B16 became operational in July 1999. Its intention is to provide a program of exhibitions for local artists, with an emphasis on contemporary, innovative visual art. Film and music events are also planned. It is more than just a venue for art, as B16 provides a meeting place for artists to exchange ideas.
A little way out from the city center but easy to get to, the Barber Institute is adjacent to the University of Birmingham. This is one of the world's finest small art galleries with an outstanding collection of old and modern paintings, drawings and sculpture. This gallery is not normally as busy as some larger galleries, so your tour will be un-crowded and pleasant. Artists' works include Bellini, Canaletto, Monet, Renoir, Rossetti and Van Gogh. The Institute is also a regular venue for concerts, lectures and other events. Admission is free.