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England's ‘second city’ of Birmingham has many world-class visitor attractions and cultural institutions, and is centrally located just 1 hour 25 minutes by train to central London and within two hours of many other major UK cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol. It also features the Birmingham Hippodrome, the UK's most popular theatre, and an extensive canal network that is larger than that of Venice. You can find a wide selection of three star hotels throughout the city, many of which offer en-suite facilities and free WiFi access.
Showcasing hundreds of aquatic creatures from all over the world, this acclaimed family-themed attraction opened to visitors in 1996. It's particularly noted for its 360-degree ocean tunnel, which is underwater and is the only ocean tunnel of its kind in the country. Nearby you can find a good range of stylish three star hotel such as the Shaftesbury House by CityQuarters Birmingham, as well as an excellent variety of shops and nightlife venues.
If you're a lover of authentic Chinese cuisine, you won't want to exclude a visit to the thriving Chinese Quarter, also known as Chinatown, which has a superb range of restaurants serving everything from hearty northern-Chinese recipes to exotic Malaysian cuisine.
At the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter you can learn how Birmingham once produced approximately 40% of Britain's jewellery during the industrial era. This area was already home to goldsmiths by the 16th century, and is home to beautifully preserved St. Paul's Square, which dates back to the Georgian period and is overlooked by the late-18th century St. Paul's Church. As well as various hotels, it's also very close to the International Convention Centre, one of Britain's major conference venues.
Another leading visitor attraction, this gallery contains around half a million artefacts illustrating this region's profound cultural and industrial heritage, and is housed in a splendid Victorian Baroque building. In a charming Victorian landmark, the exhibition gallery was founded by the Birmingham Society of Artists in 1829, and is overlooked by a picturesque 50-metre clock tower. It's a short walk from Birmingham Cathedral and the Symphony Hall, and minutes from the city's New Street railway station and several three star hotels.
Easily accessible from all three star hotels in Birmingham, the National Exhibition Centre, close to the city's international airport, is one of Britain's most important exhibition centres. Each year, it hosts an extraordinary array of major events, from the BBC Good Food Show and the Crufts Dog Show to The Cycle Show and the Euro Bus Expo.
Only a short train or car journey from most of Birmingham's three star hotels, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, in the sought-after district of Edgbaston, are less than two miles from the centre of the city. The elegantly landscaped gardens date back to the early 19th Century, when they were chiefly designed by the eminent Scottish botanist John Claudius Loudon, and organises numerous fairs and concerts during the warmer months.