Birmingham Southampton Train
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The city of Birmingham, which is located in the West Midlands in England and is the most populous city in Britain outside London. The city is a major international commercial centre and as a result it has excellent transport, retail, events and conference facilities. The city has six universities which makes it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London.
Birmingham's architecture is largely a product of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries having only really developed as a city as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Evidence of Birmingham's medieval history can be seen in its oldest churches, particularly the original parish church of St Martin in the Bull Ring, and two public houses - the Lad in the Lane and The Old Crown.
Birmingham's universities are: Aston University, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham, Newman University and a campus of the University of Law and BPP University. The city is also home to the regional base of the Open University.
The city has three main line railway stations: Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. Between them they offer passengers many direct services across the United Kingdom. Curzon Street railway station is planned to be the northern terminus for phase 1 of the High Speed 2 rail link from London which is due to open in 2026.
The city of Southampton has always been influenced by the sea. The Hampshire city lies at the northern tip of Southampton Water which is a deep water estuary where the rivers Test and Itchen meet. Southampton city centre lies in between the two rivers. The Town Quay is the city's original public quay which can date its origins back to the 13th century. The Eastern Docks in the city were created in the 1830's by reclaiming mud flats between the rivers Itchen and Test estuaries. The Western Docks were created in the 1930's when the Southern Railway Company commissioned a major land reclamation and dredging programme.
One of the main advantages of Southampton Water is that it has a double high tide which makes the movement of large ships much easier. This is not caused as popularly supposed by the presence of the Isle of Wight, but is a function of the shape and depth of the English Channel. The double high tide is perhaps one of the reasons why Southampton Water hosts many of the world's largest and luxurious cruise ships.
Southampton is home to Southampton Football Club, sometimes referred to as "The Saints", who play in the Premier League at St Mary's Stadium, having relocated in 2001 from their 103-year-old former stadium, "The Dell".