Birmingham Wakefield 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 the county of West Yorkshire, the city of Wakefield is at the centre of the United Kingdom's communications network with excellent transport links by road, rail and air to the rest of the United Kingdom. The Pennines lie to the west of the city which itself is located on the River Calder.
Local bus services are provided by Arriva and Stagecoach who offer passengers destinations throughout the city and beyond. A free city bus service is provided by Metro and the Council and is available in the city centre. The bus operates throughout the day on a circular route linking Wakefield's two train stations, the bus station and the main shopping areas.
The site of a battle during the Wars of the Roses and a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War, Wakefield developed in spite of setbacks to become an important market town and centre for wool, exploiting its position on the navigable River Calder to become an inland port. During the 18th century Wakefield continued to develop through trade in corn, coal mining and textiles, and in 1888 its parish church, with Saxon origins, acquired cathedral status.