Birmingham Carlisle 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.
The city of Carlisle is ideally located between Scotland and the Lake District, and both within easy reach. It is situated on the path of Hadrian's Wall, Carlisle is a vibrant, cultured city and with direct rail links to the West Coast Main Line and M6 motorway, the city is an attractive base for visitors. Carlisle Castle is a great medieval fortress that has watched over the city for nearly a thousand years. The Castle is also home to the Border Regiment Museum which relates the history of Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment, the Border Regiment and the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment and local Militia. Bothergate, the original southern entrance to the City, was replaced in the 16th century, and then again in the 19th century, with two new towers known as the Citadel. This was designed by Thomas Telford and Sir Robert Smirke, who also designed the bridge over the River Eden, as assize courts and a prison. The West Tower is now open to the public. Carlisle Great Fair is held in late August each year. It was originally established in 1353, and now runs as a sort of mini ‘Edinburgh Festival’.