Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Weekend in Birmingham – Cadbury World, Bullring Shopping Centre & Jamie’s Italian!

Last week I left you at Thomas Land in Drayton Manor & we were staying at the holiday Inn Express in Tamworth. We really only need one day in Thomas Land so for our second day in Birmingham we hop on a train for the 40 minute journey to the wonderful Cadbury World!

Take the train from Tamworth to Bournville, change at Birmingham New Street. Return tickets are priced at adult £10.90, child £5.45 & under 5’s free. We usually buy our train tickets on the day at the station.

Thank Crunchie!

You can buy tickets online from Cadbury World and save 5% on door prices. Online: adult £15.15, child £11.12, family (2+2) £46.36 & under 4’s are free

From the moment you arrive at Bournville train station you can smell the chocolaty goodness. You can follow the scent or the road signs for the short 15 minute walk to the factory!

Cadbury Adventure

While technically not a factory tour, it’s infinitely better. There are over a dozen adventures & experiences to keep you entertained for most of the day. As you enter a few of them you’ll even get free samples so you can munch your way around on the freshest Cadbury's to ever cross your lips. 

There is even a creation station where you can create your ultimate chocolate treat using a vast array of sweets & treats. Just writing that makes me want to go back for another visit.

Every time we have visited there's free live entertainment provided at the back of the factory. Everything from street dancers in the summer, to a Christmas pantomime in winter. There are also playgrounds, a restaurant & the world’s largest Cadbury shop onsite. Leave room in your suitcase for huge quantities of chocolate! (Like you don't already)

Aoife with a Chuckle Bean!

Cadbury World is decorated beautifully for Christmas. As well as the Christmas pantomime a visit to Santa with a gift is included in the ticket price. You can avail of the family Christmas dinner deal in the restaurant, only £24.95 for 4 meals & 4 drinks.

Rather than stay in Tamworth for the second night, you could book into the Travelodge Birmingham Central Bullring. You get what you pay for in this hotel, it’s very basic but the huge plus is that it really is central. 

The Bullring shopping centre, containing over 140 shops, is literally just across the road. On the other side of the Bullring is Birmingham New Street train station with easy access to the airport. 

I booked through hotels4u.com & paid £45 for a family room. I found the proximity of the hotel to the shopping centre very handy for sending the hubby back with shopping half way through the day rather than lug it around with us - down there for dancing, up here for thinking!

If you do go at Christmas you’ll get the added bonus of the Frankfurt Christmas Market which stretches from the Rotunda to ICC, through New Street & Victoria Square. Soaking in these smells & sights will soon have you in the festive mood.

Jamie’s Italian Birmingham

Another huge plus point for staying in the Travelodge is that Jamie’s Italian is also just across the road. We had both lunch & dinner at Jamie’s, the food is divine & reasonably priced. I think I would have stayed there if I could, rather than the hotel! As with all Jamie's, keep a keen eye out for the lemon Martini - my absolute fave. 

All in all, I'd heartily recommend Birmingham as a weekend destination you might not have considered before. It's just a short hop across the water so flights are always reasonably priced. Whether you're bringing the childer to enjoy the attractions or just skirting off on a shopping trip of your own - there's something for everyone in Brumland. 

Are you a Birmingham fan? Anything we should look out for on our next trip?

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