Tips for Birmingham mini-bus and coach tourism

Useful tips for Birmingham bus groups with ‘what to see’ and ‘what to do’ items and  ‘bus- friendly’ or must see tourist sites in Birmingham. Check our list of attractions before planning your bus tour with a stop or departure in Birmingham. Let us know if your favourite attraction or ‘bus-stop’ is not there and you think we should add it to our list of Birmingham highlights.

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City tours in Birmingham

You can rent a bus in Birmingham for tours in the city or in West Midlands county. For example, you can participate to a Big Brum Open Top Buz Sightseeing Tour. This tour is available every Saturday and Sunday during the period from April 27 to September 29. During this tour you will discover many highlights of Birmingham like Aston Hall, Soho House and the Pen Room Museum. Of course if your group has their own coach then this type of tour is possible any day of the year.

Victoria Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham City

Victoria Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham City credit: Bob Hall CC BY-SA 2.0

Walking and cycling tour through the city

In Birmingham there has been a boom in walking tours. For example, there are walking tours for children, some focusing on jewelry, and others focused on myths, monsters and legends.  Some companies that offer these tours are Birmingham Tours, Guided Tours of England and Midlands discovery Tours. It is also possible to participate in bicycle tours through companies like Push Bikes, Sky Ride and Bike Tours Direct.

Transport to and from the airport

If you are traveling by plane it is nice to have the transport from and to the airport pre booked. This is the cheapest and most convenient method of a private transfer from the airport to your destination. Birmingham Airport (BHX) is located about 15.5 km south east of the city. You can reserve or request minibus or bus in the city of Birmingham, where you can choose from multiple specialized companies, and you can request a size or specific type of bus. We recommend that you request a quote for example from Beaufort Cars, on Coleshill Road in the east of Birmingham. This company offers luxurious private taxi rides. Castle Cars and 24 Sevens Private Hire also provide taxi rides from and to the airport. These companies are located in the south of Birmingham and have taxis, vans and minibuses that can transport up to 16 people.

Reshoot - After Hours II
Reshoot - After Hours II credit: Bs0u10e0CC BY-SA 2.0
Selfridges Building, Birmingham.

Nightlife in Birmingham

Would you like a good night out during your holiday? Birmingham has a lively nightlife scene. In this city you will find many bars, clubs, discos and pubs. And it does not matter what kind of music you're into, because there is always something you'll like. The most famous street in Birmingham for socializing in the evening is Broad Street which is almost always busy and cozy. A very famous club is the Sanctuary, one of the biggest clubs in Birmingham. For a unique experience the bar of the Malmaison Hotel is highly recommended and is locally known as "The Champagne Bar of Birmingham". Overlooking the canal it's the place to come when you're looking to celebrate.

The Yardbird Jazz Club, Birmingham

The Yardbird Jazz Club, Birmingham credit: Javi CC BY-SA 2.0

Travel by Plane

The county West Midlands is easily accessible by plane. In the county there are two airports: Birmingham (BHX) and Coventry (CVT). Birmingham is larger and its main airlines are KLM, Flybe, and Ethihad Airways. Other airlines which are also very popular on this route, but don't fly directly are Lufthansa and Air France. From the airport in Birmingham it is around 17 km / 11 miles to Birmingham city center, 42 km / 26 miles to Wolverhampton and 18 km / 11 miles to Coventry.

From Coventry Airport it is about 7 km / 4 miles to the center of Coventry, 46 km / 29 miles to Birmingham, 66 km / 41 miles to Wolverhampton and 65 km / 40 miles to Dudley. Coventry is a small airport used by budget airlines flying to destinations in Europe.

The most convenient is to book a private airport transfer and our site lists different companies that provide airport transfers.

Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA upper wing

Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA upper wing credit: Alan Wilson CC BY-SA 2.0
Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, UK.

Travel by Road

Whether you travel by bus, taxi, limo or coach, you will reach your destination quickly because the West Midlands has an excellent road network. Major roads such as the M42, M6, A34 and A45 cut through the region. The A45 takes you quickly to the airport and the M6 is one of the main north to south motorways in the UK, connects cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham to the M1, and on to London. During your trip, you're unlikely to spend many hours on the road between destinations.

800px-St_Peter's_Church,_Wolverhampton

St Peter's Church and gardens in en:Wolverhampton credit: G-Man Public Domain

Business Travel and Tourism

Do you want to organize an international congress in West Midlands? Or are you looking to do business in the West Midlands? The institution Meet England can assist you with this. Meet England is the business section of the organization Visit England, which overseas tourism in England. The West Midlands is also a major industrial area and is home to a plethora of engineering and metalwork industries.

Each year, many visitors come to Coventry to attend congresses. Perhaps the most famous place in this city to give a congress is The Ricoh Arena, located at the Phoenix Way. This building has a conference and exhibition center of 15.000 m2 and an on site hotel with 121 rooms. The building is suitable for 7.000 people and there are 66 event rooms. The Ricoh Arena is just a 20 minute drive from Birmingham Airport.

Another very popular destination for congresses in the county of West Midlands is Birmingham. Birmingham is a modern city and regularly hosts business events for over 75.000 participants. The most famous center for congresses in Birmingham is the International Convention Centre (ICC), located on Broad Street. The building has 11 rooms and 10 meeting rooms. The accessibility of this building is excellent, as it is only 25 minutes drive from Birmingham Airport. Another good choice is the National Exhibition Centre which is the busiest exhibition centre in Europe. If you're lucky you can attend a conference and then check out a famous band playing in the adjacent LG Arena.

ANTHONYS TRAVEL midi 12 reclining

Minibus 12 reclining seats from Anthony's Travel

Golf Travel and Tourism

This is one of the best counties in the United Kingdom to play golf. A well-known course is The 3 Hammers Golf Complex on Old Stafford Road. It features 18 challenging holes, a driving range, and an indoor hall so golf is possible during all weather conditions. Other facilities are a shop and eating and drinking facilities. Another famous place to play golf is the West Midlands Golf Club in Solihull.

The walk up the steep hill - Beacon Hill - Lickey Hills Country Park

The walk up the steep hill - Beacon Hill - Lickey Hills Country Park credit: Elliott Brown CC BY 2.0
Lickey Hills Golf Club

Tours in the county West Midlands

Birmingham

The main town in the West Midlands is Birmingham. This city was very important during the industrial revolution, because it was the center of the metallurgic industry. With one million inhabitants, it is the largest city in the county. While visually Birmingham doesn't impress, the local people are friendly and it is home to very impressive architecture. The local Brummie accent is infectious so you're bound to pick some up during your stay. Your tour with a rented coach or minibus with driver around West Midlands should not miss this place.

Some well-known attractions in Birmingham are

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, New Street Station, Birmingham Think-tank, Jewellery Quarter and Bullring. But less known are places like the Edgbaston Water Works. The towers on this industrial plant were the inspiration for the 2 towers in the Lord of the Rings.

Birmingham City Centre

Birmingham City Centre credit: Bob Hall CC BY-SA 2.0

Coventry

Coventry is another well-known city in the county West Midlands. The city has over 300.000 inhabitants and is famous for its auto industry. The black taxis which you see in London and are so famous around the world, are produced in this city. Some well-known attractions in Coventry are: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry Transport Museum, Coombe Abbey Country Park, Midland Air Museum and Holy Trinity Church.

Canalside play area

Canalside play area credit: Richard Penn CC BY 2.0

Shakespeare

This is very close to the West Midlands County is Stratford on Aven, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The playwright is arguably the most famous writer in world history and contributed over 3000 words to the English language. You can visit his birthplace and do all your favorite Romeo and Juliet reenactments. 

What to see during your tour in Birmingham with a hired midibus

If your group is on a bus tour in Birmingham there are a number of places, attractions and events that you really should not miss:

Aston Park

If the bustle of the city momentarily comes a little bit too much then relax in the Aston Park. The park is located in the north of Birmingham. Ask the driver to drop off your group at the entrance and arrange a time for return. In this park you can relax completely and enjoy the green environment around you. The park is located near the Aston Villa Football Club and you can tour the ground and check out their not very impressive trophy collection. You can also explore Aston Hall, a well known country house full of exceptional artifacts. Today, the Aston Hall is part of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Like the park, admission is free for visitors.

Entente Florale, Aston Hal

Entente Florale, Aston Hall credit: Guy Evans CC BY 2.0

St. Martin's Church

The St. Martin's Church is a beautiful church. It is located between the markets and the Bullring shopping center and was originally the parish church of Birmingham when this city was just a village. Unfortunately the St. Martin's Church was demolished and rebuilt in 1873. The church has a width of 155 meters and is 60 meters high and is especially known for its famous stained glass windows. These windows were created by the writer and designer William Morris and somehow survived the bombing during the Second World War.

Drayton Manor Theme Park

The Drayton Manor Theme Park is an amusement park that is suitable for young and old. It's popular as a day trip and is located north-east from Birmingham in Staffordshire. The park has existed since 1949 and expanded to included attractions like a Pirate Cave and Thomas the Tank Engine Land. There is also a zoo in the park as well as a large restaurant where your group can load up with snacks and drinks. For groups wanting something a little more exciting than talking trains there are also spectacular roller coasters available. You can also relax in the 4D cinema.

Drayton-Manor-view.

Drayton-Manor-view. credit: Wikiman123~enwiki public domain

Events

Birmingham is a city where many events take place each year. One of these annual events is the St. Patrick's Day parade which is the third largest in the world behind New York and Dublin. St. Patrick's Day is every year on March 17. During this feast, the patron of the country will be commemorated, who is, unsurprisingly, St Patrick.  If you want to visit the city around this period then book your bus several months ahead as this is a typical day when all minibuses and coaches from the area are fully booked.

Another event that takes place every year is the Summer BBC Good Food Festival. This is a very big festival for food lovers at the National Exhibition Centre. During this festival workshops and demonstrations will be given and you can also try some food. Well-known chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver also come to this festival to show off their creations and give lessons.

Another well-known annual event is the Art fest. This is an art festival in the city of Birmingham. The festival is the largest art festival in the whole United Kingdom. At different places and stages in the city you can find forms of art like: music, dance, theatre and film.

National Sea Life Centre

A well known attraction in Birmingham is the National Sea Life Centre, which is situated in the South West of Birmingham. Here you can see special fish from around the world all in one place. There is an aquarium with a transparent tunnel through it, so you can stand beneath turtles and stingrays and it feels like you are in the middle of the marine world. The National Sea Life Centre has 55 attractions and if you are travelling in a group you can get group discount tickets in advance.

Shopping

Shopaholics can indulge in Birmingham. First is the famous Bullring. No, this wasn't where bulls used to fight indoors, it's an indoor shopping centre that is 11 acres big and includes about 180 restaurants, shops and boutiques. This mall was opened in 2003 and was visited by 36.5 million visitors that year. The mall is covered with about 15.000 aluminum discs making the building very striking and winning the architect several architectural awards for this special design.

Another mall that you definitely should not miss during your visit is The Mailbox. This shopping center comprises mainly designer clothing brands like Emporio Armani. If you want to buy something here it is necessary to bring a full wallet, but it is also a unique experience to just look around here. This mall is actually much more than a shopping center, and is home to all kind of luxurious spas and hotels.

Furthermore, the traditional markets of Birmingham are also very popular. These attract over 20 million visitors annually and you'll find stalls selling a bit of everything. Don't expect to be able to understand the local's brummie accent, but that's part of the fun.

Christmas shoppers in the Bullring

Christmas shoppers in the Bullring credit: Mark Hillary CC BY 2.0

Good food

Are your taste and the taste of your fellow travelers a bit different? That is no problem in this city. Birmingham offers a lot of dining options from different nationalities. It is especially known for the Balti cuisine which originated from India and burns the mouth. From the outside, these Balti restaurants look run down and definitely now where you bring someone you wanted to impress. But they're cheap and delicious. A good example is Shah's Restaurant & Cafe located in the east of the city.

Another restaurant that serves very good food is the Opus Restaurant, located in the south-west of the city in Cornwall Street. This restaurant is ideal for almost every occasion and is a better choice for brining a business client. In Broad Street you can find many restaurants and cafes, both the fast and easy, but also something more luxurious. Finally, Birmingham has the fifth busiest Mcdonalds in the world, which might explain why the city also has one of the largest proportions of obesity in the whole of Europe.

The Mailbox, Birmingham, canalside restaurants

The Mailbox, Birmingham, canalside restaurants. credit: Robert of Ramsor CC BY-SA 3.0

More about Birmingham

Would you like to organize a bus tour to see all these beautiful highlights? Request quotes and compare the different bus and coach hire companies:

Coach hire in Birmingham
Bus tours in Birmingham