I’ve taken to booking long weekends away from work at the end of last year. It all came about pretty naturally, I had three days of holiday left to use and I had the whole of Christmas already booked off.
With nothing I needed to spend these days on, I opted to split them over three consecutive Fridays and go off to explore a few different places. It quickly became apparent that I had made the right choices.
By the time I was heading out for my third weekend of a city-break, I knew exactly what I wanted to do in Birmingham. There were the obvious options, Cadbury World, the Bullring, the Sea Life Centre or even just heading to the museum. Yet with so much experience already, I knew that I was going to be heading to somewhere else.
Friday nights always come with a pub crawl. Birmingham doesn’t disappoint on the pub front. There’s lots of places to go which have a tonne of character and are untroubled by the tourists. They are perfect to make sure that you wake up with a vast collection of memories and another chance to perfect your own personal hangover cure.
By the time I wake up on a Saturday afternoon, there’s only just enough time to head over to one of Birmingham’s most under-rated attractions. I found it last year when I happened to be in the area looking for somewhere to take the new boyfriend and saw an advert in the local paper.
Back then it was all about a visit to see the lanterns at Christmas. The Botanical Gardens would light up over night with characteristic impressions and models of all sorts of creatures. Since that early date, we have had a romantic link with the gardens. Now whenever we head to Birmingham, we will always make a diversion over to the gardens.
Walking through the peacock garden or taking a relaxing break by the side of the lake filled with water lily’s, there’s no other place which holds such strong connections for us and always reminds us both of those heady days of our first dates.
We’d jump off the plane, check our bags into https://www.excess-baggage.com/ so we were free to run into the city, then we’d head straight to the calm and the surreal world of the Botanical Gardens.
It happens to be one of Birmingham’s almost hidden secrets. You can drive straight past the entrance way and never know that it was there. The whole atmosphere and ethos of the gardens is to make the least amount of impact on their surroundings and this seems to have run out into their advertising.
If you’re anywhere near Birmingham, it is definitely worth a detour over to the Botanical Gardens and even a trip through the Bonsai rooms. You never know, you might just meet that someone special and start to make a life time’s worth of happy memories.