Birmingham Winchester 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 Hampshire in the south of the United Kingdom, the city of Winchester has been in continuous settlement for over 2,000 years. The city began as a Celtic hill fort which predated the Roman invasion. Following the Roman conquest the town grew and after several centuries it discovered a new identity as an important Saxon city. Eventually, King Alfred the Great named Winchester as the capital, first of his kingdom of Wessex and later all of England. It remained as such until the Norman invasion in 1066. Today, the city is an attractive and peaceful cathedral city nestled deep in the English countryside located close to London and Southampton.
Most of the things to see and do in Winchester, and the places to eat, drink and sleep are within easy walking distance of each other and the railway station. There are several attractive walks in the surrounding countryside, particularly towards Twyford along the Water Meadows, and on Old Winchester Hill. The city has a reasonable bus service, both within the town and to the surrounding area, although frequencies can be quite low with little service in the evenings or on Sunday.