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W E S T   M I D L A N D S Birmingham is the second largest city in Great Britain and a convention centre with a railroad station that delivers visitors right into the heart of the gigantic National Exhibition Centre or NEC as it is called.

Birmingham grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution as a centre for metal working industries including the manufacture of guns and steam engines. It took on the look of an factory town, but was renewed following World War II. The centre of the old city is the Bull Ring, a market that dates back to the 12th century and still operates six days a week. Of architectural note are the Town Hall and the 19th century Italian Renaissance style Council House with its distinctive clock tower called Big Brum.

Sightseers should take time to visit the city's Museums and Art Galleries. Their collection includes Pre-Raphhaelite paintings, Van Gogh, Botticelli, Gainsborough and Constable. Other cultural destinations include Birmingham University's Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Birmingham Railway Museum and the Sarehole Mill, a branch of the City Museum.

Birmingham has a network of canals that date back to the 1600s and connects the city to London and to the coalfields. Boat trips on the canal are run from Kingston Row which won an inernational award for its fabulous renovation in 1996. Also worth a visit is Aston Hall, a short trip north from the city. It is a wonderfully preserved Jacobean house built in the first half of the 15th century.

Related Links
Birmingham Assist General and local info, events, links, plus.
National Exhibition Centre 8 miles east of city centre.
Birmingham International Airport
University of Birmingham
Coventry Weather
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Cadbury Chocolate of Birmingham
Symphony Hall
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

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