Despite spending three years studying in Leicester, I'd never really spent any time in Birmingham. I passed through it regularly on my way to somewhere else, and I saw two incredible gigs there (Joanna Newsom and Regina Spektor), but I'd never explored the city before. So after we'd finished making our wedding rings we decided to spend the day doing just that!
We started with a walk along the canal, from the Jewellery Quarter to the Library. Birmingham has a vast system of canals, more miles than Venice apparently! And during the Industrial Revolution it was vital for feeding the industry in the city.
The new Library of Birmingham was designed by the Dutch designer Mecanoo and opened in September. It's the largest municipal library in Europe and is pretty damn impressive! Sadly we didn't get much time inside as it closes at 5pm on a Saturday, but we did manage a quick venture up to the top floor to see the view! One day I'll have to go back to bask in all those books...
After the library we headed towards the city centre ready for our train back to London. We wandered through Centenary Square, the home of the library, which was decorated beautifully with all these pretty primroses.
Birmingham has a wealth of statues and public art, at times it almost felt like someone had been sneezing statues! We passed through Chamberlain Square, which had it's fair share of them, including an unusual one of Thomas Attwood who sits away from his plinth and whose bronze pages are scattered on the steps.
It was nice to finally explore Birmingham, the architecture was interesting and luckily the areas we explored were relatively quiet compared to the (probably very manic) city centre, which was perfect for two people getting out of London for the day!