Birmingham Brighton Train
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In recent years the city of Birmingham has evolved from its industrial roots into a modern, thriving and cultural city. The redevelopment of the Bullring Shopping Centre and also of the old industrial areas such as Brindleyplace, The Mailbox and the International Convention Centre have all played their part in the rejuvenation of the city. Old streets, buildings and canals have been restored to create a city for the 21st century.
Birmingham, along with the residential borough of Solihull and Wolverhampton, along with the industrial towns of the Black Country, together form the West Midlands Built-up Area which covers around 230 square miles. Surrounding this, is Birmingham's metropolitan area which includes Tamworth and the cities of Lichfield in Staffordshire, Coventry, Nuneaton, Warwick, Leamington Spa and the towns of Redditch and Bromsgrove in Warwickshire.
Birmingham is also a very green city with 571 parks which is more than any other European city. Sutton Park covers 2,400 acres and is the largest urban park in Europe and a National Nature Reserve. Birmingham Botanical Gardens, located close to the city centre, retains the regency landscape of its original design by J. C. Loudon in 1829,while the Winterbourne Botanic Garden in Edgbaston reflects the more informal Arts and Crafts tastes of its Edwardian origins.
Located in East Sussex, the coastal town and resort of Brighton is around 50 miles to the south of London. The city is known for its oriental architecture and large gay community. Due to its close proximity to London it has become popular with media and music types who choose not to live in London. This is led to the city sometimes called "London-by-the-Sea".
In the summer, the pebble beach in Brighton is full of tourists and Brightonians alike. Poi twirlers strike a beautiful image against the sunsets, and flaming lanterns are launched into the air on summer evenings. To the east of Brighton there is a designated nudist beach. The pebble beach gives way to a flat sandy seabed just below mid tide line so time your swimming to the low tide and avoid the painful feet. Just beyond the Marina is an area for surfers and local fishermen cast their rods from the Marina or by the giant doughnut.
The Brighton Festival, featuring music, arts exhibitions, book debates and much more is the second biggest arts festival in the UK after the Edinburgh Festival. The Brighton Festival Fringe runs at the same time as the main Arts Festival and usually comprises over 600 events including comedy, theatre, music and 'open houses'.