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Late arrival in Birmingham, England

I'm looking at train schedules and it looks like I will arrive in Birmingham at 11 pm. It the area around the train station safe that late at night? Will anything be open that late at night (I'm guessing only pubs will be but food won't be available, only drinks)? IS there a taxi stand at the train station, I will require a taxi to my hotel or b and b?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
27729 posts

Having worked in and out of New Street late at night for many years (is it New Street that you will be, or Moor Street, or Snow Hill??) it isn't where I'd want hang out. The station will be fine but I wouldn't go for a stroll unless you knew where you were going.

Yes there is a taxi rank at New Street, not so much at the other two.

Posted by
27729 posts

Same result, perhaps, but a different reason from Emma.

Birmingham is not like London or other capital city. It just doesn't have a lot of people around late at night except for the pub and club crowd, not all of whom are completely cogent, and there are some creatures of the night around who you might not want to deal with.

Train crew are not known for being shrinking violets but I know for a fact that the railway companies at New Street provided transport to their cars for middle of the night shift changes that was not provided at other times.

I would have no issue in the station, but I use common sense in the town at night.

Posted by
16883 posts

I assume that your starting town or station will have options to buy food and drink that you can take onto the train and you are welcome to do that.

Posted by
27729 posts

The food outlets, and other shops at New Street Station are upstairs at what is called Grand Central. Their food website is at http://www.grandcentralbirmingham.com/eat and at the top you see that the mall closes at 8 pm and the last restaurants close at 11.

I agree that taking food onto the train is wise.

Can you take an earlier train or more efficient route? Where are you arriving from?

Posted by
110 posts

Thank you for the helpful replies.

My plan was to travel from Glasgow to Birmingham. I was planning on spending as much time in Glasgow as possible before taking a direct train without connections to Birmingham. I haven't booked a hotel in Birmingham as yet but was thinking of staying near Birmingham New Street Station.

My other option is to travel from Edinburgh as it has more direct trains to Birmingham. However, if I do this, my only oppourtunity to visit Glasgow would be as a day trip from Edinburgh on a Saturday.

Posted by
1889 posts

You seem to be travelling long distances by British standards yet missing out places of interest that are less distance travelled. You could, for example, go from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Penrith by train and then bus into the Lake District (Keswick maybe).
http://www.golakes.co.uk

You could also go by train to see Chester - 1 change required if coming down from Scotland. http://www.visitchester.com
Then (next day) you could head west by train to Conwy and then continue into NW Wales (Snowdonia National Park). http://www.visitwales.com/explore/north-wales/llandudno-colwyn-bay/must-do-in-conwy

If staying in Birmingham, don’t forget that is a short train ride to Stratford-upon-Avon.
https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/england/central-england/stratford-upon-avon

Posted by
110 posts

Thank you for the additional replies.

James, I'd been to Chester and Stratford upon Avon some years ago. I will be in Keswick earlier in the trip as I have a Lake District tour (from Edinburgh with Rabbies) booked.

My rationale for visiting Birmingham is because my grandfather used to frequent the city for business and I've never been to Birmingham.

Posted by
1889 posts

Got it Tina. Birmingham has many fine Victorian buildings in the centre. You will also find a modern mall. (Shops are also found at New Street station).

Posted by
110 posts

Thank you for the help and advise and the links.

I'm thinking of staying at the Ibis Budget in Chinatown. I did check the Premier Inn but it's significantly more expensive. Ideally, I'd prefer a homey B and B instead of an impersonal hotel but I haven't found one close enough to the station around the same price as the Ibis Budget.

My grandfather was a Londoner, he passed away about 20 years ago. I have some memories of him when I was a child talking about travelling to factories and corporate offices in Manchester and Birmingham. I have no clue which factories and offices he'd visit. He used to export British products mainly sweets, chocolates, snack food and medication. I'm guessing he would have had some contacts at Cadbury's. I think he was also working with Pascal Sweets, but that brand name appears to be obsolete now.

I plan on arriving in the evening on Sunday and spending Monday and the early part of Tuesday in the city. Ideally, I would have left on Tuesday morning but some sights (mainly Back to Backs and museums will be closed Monday). I did plan on visiting the Jewlery Quarter Museum and Back to Backs on the Tuesday.

Posted by
27729 posts

You could do far worse than trundling down the Cross City train line from New Street to Bournville (look out for all the purple paint) station - trains every 10 minutes - and have a stroll round the planned town. Cadbury (now owned by an American outfit) also has a mis-shapes and seconds store, and the arrival at Bournville is industrial scenic (look out the right side window to see the old part of the factory).

The station and factory are adjacent to a canal, too.

Posted by
110 posts

Thank you.

I'll give up on the idea of staying at a b and b and book the Ibis Budget.

I was thinking of visiting Cadbury's. I'm certain I'll enjoy visiting Birmingham and seeing the sights.