Birmingham Hereford 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 Hereford, in the county of Herefordshire, straddles the banks of the River Wye and has been the commercial centre of Herefordshire farming communities for centuries. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll alongside the crystal clear waters of the River Wye or enjoy in the vibrant centre of High Town, where you can take in a show at The Courtyard Theatre. The magnificent Hereford Cathedral towers over the town. Take a moment to have a look at the stonemasons' work - the skill of these craftsmen is very evident. After exploring the cathedral make sure that you visit the Mappa Mundi, a thirteenth century map which shows Jerusalem as the center of the world. Christopher de Hamel, a leading authority on medieval manuscripts said "... it is without parallel the most important and most celebrated medieval map in any form ..." . Even though Hereford is a medieval town, it has progressed with the ages, adapting its traditional buildings to accommodate both residents and visitors alike. You can stay at anything from the most modern to the most antiquated buildings. Restaurants are plentiful with a wide range of cuisines. This really is a lovely place to stay while visiting the Marches and surrounding districts.