It is said that Birmingham has more canals than Venice, and for the most part built in the 1700’s 1800’s for industrial haulage. At the height of the industrial boom there were at least 170 miles of canals in the Birmingham canal navigations.
The history and heritage is very apparent today with well preserved bridges, locks and canal side buildings that once would have been bustling with industry, now bars, restaurants. The new architecture in the area also adds to the diversity in Birmingham, I love the way old and new blends into the cityscape. We were on a day trip in February with our second eldest son and our grandson and although the day trip wasn’t to see the canals, our walk along the canals was part of the memorable moments of the day too.
It’s lovely to reminisce about family outings these days, our trip to Birmingham in February was quite impulsive and so much fun, a real action-packed day from start to finish and our little grandson was tuckered out by the end of the day. I decided to write about our experience in Birmingham after looking through the photos I’d taken in February. As I write, the UK is in lockdown so it’s nice to look back to fun days out with family from before, a virtual tour by photographs you may call it.
My second eldest son had been looking for somewhere go for a day trip with his son one weekend and he spotted a good deal for an activity in Birmingham, a last-minute decision and invited us along for the day, his treat. How could we say no to an all-expense paid family day out complete with driver! 😀
We paid for lunch and he drove us in his car, I think we got a good deal.
I hadn’t realised how interesting Birmingham is, and so much history to take in, everywhere I looked the eye takes in another place to visit, or more historical buildings. The drive through Birmingham was a real insight and will certainly be somewhere to return to some day to fully take in all there is to see and do there. We managed to find the multistory car park closest to our destination and bundled little one into his pushchair and set off to explore.
In a short distance we were walking along the canal near our venue, The Birmingham Sealife Centre. We crossed over the canal bridge to join the pre-paid entrance queue to show the little one some marine life. His little face lit up when he watched the colourful fish, the manta rays, jellyfish and seahorses swim past him. I think his favorites were the jellyfish.
The centre has so much more to offer besides the snippets I mention here, and we had a good few hours exploring. Our little adventurer had a wonderful time, eyes wide and in awe of it all but he was starting to get tired and it was already past lunch time.
We took a leisurely walk along the canal tow path with no idea where we were going, just enjoying the experience. Our grandson had some sandwiches while we decided where to go for lunch, you can’t keep tots hungry while the adults make a decision, there were so many choices of restaurants throughout the area and it made the decision trickier.
After a good lunch we continued to explore the canals without any real plan, just a leisurely wander enjoying the views, the history and the architecture. The information plaques were really useful all along the route, pointing out historical facts. My husband walked and talked with our son, and grandson in his pushchair who by this time was in full snooze mode, while I stopped randomly to take photos here and there before catching up to them each time.
One of the information plaques is in commemoration of the efforts of the boating men, women and children, during the two world wars. 1914-18 & 1939-45 “They worked with little respite carrying munitions, food, and other essential materials, unflinchingly risking their lives to supply both the front line and the home front.”
Our experience in Birmingham was a very positive one, we came away with some really good vibes and plenty of ideas for a return trip when life returns to some kind of normality. For the time-being while normality is staying home and saving lives, it’s good to spend time looking back and reminiscing at day trips on a virtual tour through photos.
There are virtual tours online for some art galleries and museums if you search for them, which another way of taking a day trip using a virtual tour right in your living room on your pc. Browsing the Baldhiker website is another way to take a trip while sitting at home and seeing the sights of the world through the travel blogs here, or another way to pass the time is to find a tasty recipe to bake while we’re all staying home. I hope you’re staying safe and that I’ve inspired you in some way.