Experience the best of Birmingham with Virgin Red

An image of a canal in Birmingham in the evening
by Sarah Crake
21 July 2023

If you’re in the mood to head somewhere new, consider Birmingham – a city packed with amazing attractions, food, and fun. Bang in the centre of England, the UK’s second largest city is more than a railway hub; it’s a vibrant destination in itself.   

This marvellous Midlands city is a must-visit and the smoothest way to get there is by train. Book your journey with Virgin Trains Ticketing where you’ll find money-saving solutions like split ticketing, zero booking fees and the ability to unlock discounts on your train travel by using the Virgin Points you earn on all train tickets – just make sure you’re signed up to Virgin Red and have linked your account to use your Virgin Points. And every time you book a ticket between 13 July and 27 August 2023, you can enter a prize draw to win one million points!* 

An animation showing someone rushing for a train

Book with Virgin Trains Ticketing

Once hailed as the world's largest industrial city, modern Birmingham boasts plenty of green, open space, and experimental architecture including the famously futuristic Selfridges store. Add top-notch dining, excellent nightlife, great shopping, and cutting-edge culture and you can see why it’s the place to be.  

So book a ticket, grab a bag, and check out the best things to do in Brum.  

Birmingham bound 

If you're planning a staycation, why not make a reservation with Booking.com and earn 8 points per £1? Birmingham has options for every budget, but if you’re feeling fancy splash out with a stay at The Grand Hotel. 

An image of St Philip’s Cathedral in Birmingham

Located in the heart of the city overlooking St Philip’s Cathedral, this 5-star hotel has a lavish dining room, a wide range of cuisines available and is close to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Meanwhile The Hyatt Regency is just a stone’s throw from Regency Wharf with its canal boats and waterfront bars. Night owls should consider the Leonardo Royal Hotel as the location makes it the perfect place to rest your head after a night out. 

Galleries galore 

Over the past decade, Birmingham has transformed into a cultural powerhouse with a world-class art scene featuring museums, contemporary galleries, festivals, and theatres. There's loads to see, including masterpieces by the Pre-Raphaelites at the impressive Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. 

An external image of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Explore the stylish boutiques of the Custard Factory, a creative hub filled with local independent shops and artists' studios. The cool and creative Digbeth neighbourhood is worth a visit to take in the epic street art and the award-winning street food event, Digbeth Dining Club.  

Waterway wanders 

A 35-mile network of canals winds through the city and the towpaths offer many postcard moments. Beloved by walkers, cyclists, and narrowboat owners, Birmingham is said to have more canals than Venice. During the Industrial Revolution the inky channels were flanked by factories, but these days the canals are adorned with cute and quirky waterfront cafes and bars in Gas Street Basin.   

An image of a waterway in Birmingham

Take a walking tour and stop by the Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and see the iconic bull statue near Bullring & Grand Central. While in the area head to the revamped shopping centre for some retail therapy, which provides a mix of high-street favourites and designer brands. For a touch of luxury, visit the Mailbox, home to Harvey Nichols and upscale eateries. Don’t forget that if you’d rather order later with brands to save your carry-on luggage, there are ways to earn Virgin Points online with brands like Kiehl’s, Boots and Hotel Chocolat

Roll up, roll up! 

The city’s waterways featured heavily in Peaky Blinders, and the TV series turned cultural phenomenon captured viewers’ imaginations while bringing attention to Birmingham. 

Why not challenge yourself in the Peaky Blinders Escape Room with Virgin Experience Days? Featuring characters from the show, you can choose from two different escape experiences, where you and your gang have just 60 minutes to work together to crack baffling codes, puzzles, and brainteasers. You’ll also find plenty of Peaky Blinders-themed walking and pub tours in the city. 

Curry favour  

Typhoo Tea, Bird's Custard, and HP Sauce are famous British brands that originated in the city, but Birmingham is more famous for chocolate and curry. Visit the Balti Triangle where the legendary Balti curry was born – a spicy, aromatic Kashmiri dish served with boiled rice named after its steel bowl.  

An image of a brunch with Virgin Experience Days
Virgin Experience Days

Experience some Middle Eastern magic at Qavali with an Indo-Persian Bottomless Brunch for Two with Virgin Experience Days. With delicious flavours from across the Persian Empire, your tastebuds are in for a treat. 

Shine bright like a diamond 

The historic streets of the Jewellery Quarter has long attracted skilled craftsmen, designers and diamond suppliers from all over the country. Home to over 700 jewellers, an estimated 40% of British jewellery is made in this unique area and it’s well-worth a visit even if you’re not in the market for gems. 

Start planning your visit today, and don't forget to make the most of your Brummie adventures with Virgin Red.  

Terms and Conditions  

*Full terms and conditions apply. Please see here the key terms and conditions:  

  • Prize draw promotion runs until 23:59 on 27.08.23. 18+ UK resident only. Virgin Red membership required. For full T&Cs visit VirginRed.com. Promoter: Virgin Red Limited, 66 Porchester Road, London W2 6ET  

  • The Virgin Red Programme terms and conditions apply to the use of Virgin Points.  

  • Purchase of rail tickets is governed by the VTT Terms and Conditions.  

  • All train ticket bookings will be governed by the National Tail Conditions of Travel.