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Places to Visit

The Standbridge Hotel is located in Sutton Coldfield within the West Midlands which makes it an ideal location for those requiring relatively easy access to the business venues such as the NEC, ICC and NIA. For those on a leisure break, there are plenty of activities to be undertaken around the Heart of England.

Below are some suggestions for visits to exhibition venues, local historic towns and cities as well as leisure activities.

Venues

   NEC National Exhibition Centre (NEC)

The National Exhibition Centre is the busiest exhibition centre in Europe, staging almost 200 exhibitions every year and bringing up to 4,000,000 people to shows like Crufts and the Motor show.

NEC Arena NEC Arena

The NEC Arena is renowned for its blockbusting concerts and sporting events. It has played host to more than ten million people since the 12,000 seat arena opened.

NIA  National Indoor Arena (NIA)

The National Indoor Arena, in the centre of Birmingham, is the home of British indoor sport. It is designed to accommodate more than 30 different types of sport from athletics to boxing, badminton to judo and has already hosted five World and three European Championships.

The 13,000-arena has the country's only six-lane 200-metre athletics track, which is dismantled and stored away when not in use. Seven world records have been set on the track.

Since opening, it has become famous for hosting the television show Gladiators, the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest and Sir Cliff Richards Heathcliff production

   ICC International Convention Centre (ICC)

The International Convention Centre is one of Europe's leading conference facilities. Located in the centre of Birmingham, it plays host to a wide range of corporate and association conferences and high-profile events such as the G8 Birmingham Summit in 1998, which involved leaders of the world's eight economic superpowers including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Helmut Kohl.

The ICC has 11 main halls and ten executive meeting rooms, able to accommodate anything from a meeting for three people to a major congress for up to 7,000.

   SH Symphony Hall

The Symphony Hall has been acclaimed as one of the finest concert halls in the world by critics, performers and public.

The hall is home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and plays host to a prestigious line-up of visiting international orchestras and soloists. The classical programme is complemented by rock, pop, folk, country and jazz music and even stand-up comedy.

The hall is located within The ICC in the centre of Birmingham and is easily accessible and well equipped for people with disabilities.

   NMM   National Motorcycle Museum

The National Motorcycle Museum is open all year round and can be contacted on 01675 44 33 11. As well as a display of motorcycles, they also have conference facilities.




Leisure Pursuits

   Belfry  The Belfry

Sport plays a big part in Birmingham life and it is host to many sports events. The Belfry is famous the world-over for it's golf and any serious golfer visiting the Midlands will want to visit it's 18-hole course and shop.

The Belfry is three-time host to the world-famous Ryder Cup, which is scheduled to return in 2001.

   CW  Cadbury World

Visitors to Cadbury world can learn about the history of chocolate making and how Cadbury evolved from a small Birmingham based company to a worldwide organisation.

There is plenty for all to see and do and the free samples will keep children, young and old happy.

   SD   Tamworth Snowdome

The Tamworth Snowdome has provided the perfect environment for people to experience the thrill and exhilaration of real snow skiing in an Alpine environment.

Whether a beginner or pro, the team of top instructors will get you learning and improving quickly and safely.

The Tamworth Snowdome is approximately 10 miles north of The Grimstock Hotel and is best reached by using the M42 to junction 10.

   SLC   Birmingham Sealife Centre

Take a short walk from Brindley Place in Birmingham City Centre and you will come across Birmingham's National Sealife centre where you can learn the secret's of the deep.

Useful Travel Details

For details of Midlands bus services, either visit the Travel West Midlands web site or call Centro on 0121 200 2700.

To search and book train services, visit The Trainline.com - a service operated by Virgin Rail.

To search train services, visit the Network Rail web site.

For national rail enquiries, telephone 0345 484 950.

 

Note:

The Standbridge Hotel has no control over the content or accuracy of the external web sites linked on this page.


Historic Town and Cities

Birmingham

From the 14th century, the village of Birmingham was known as an area with expertise in the metal industry giving it a head start for the industrial revolution of the 18th century.

In 1760, the population was a mere 35,000 but this rapidly grew to 233,000 within 90 years. This was partly due to the opening of the Birmingham Canal in 1770 which bought more trade to the area.

After the second world war (1939-1945), Birmingham underwent a change of direction. It's ideal location in the centre of England and the developing motorway network made it an ideal base for the new services industry.

Since then, a lot of effort has been put into developing leisure facilities, shopping areas and exhibition centres worthy of England's 'second city'.

Sophisticated shopping developments like The Pavillions, The Pallasades, City Plaza and The Bullring co-exist with traditional street shops. The nightlife, too, has become distinctly metropolitan with a wide choice of cinemas, night-clubs, bars and theatres such as The Alexandra, The Hippodrome and the famous Birmingham Rep. Significantly, the former Sadler's Wells company has relocated to the city as the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the Convention Centre houses the much acclaimed Symphony Hall, home of the world-class City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery is close by as is the National Sea Life Centre, and The Jewellery Quarter.

Birmingham City Centre is approximately 15 minutes drive from the hotel.

Useful Birmingham Links
Birmingham City Councils Tourism Site
Birmingham on the Internet
Midlands What's on Live

Warwick

Warwick is famous for it's castle which was Norman in origin, but greatly enlarged by the Beauchamp family in the 14th century, eventually becoming a stately home.

Tours around the castle include audio visual presentations and the chance to glimpse upon Victorian life with a waxwork recreation of a Victorian party.

Warwick's other renowned attraction is St Mary's Church. It's tower and nave were rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1694 which destroyed most of the original town centre.

A reminder of workaday Warwick life is supplied at the 17th century St Johns House, a museum of folk history and the regimental museum of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment while the wider history of the county can be studied at the Warwickshire Museum in the market place.

Warwick is about 40 minutes drive from the hotel by M42 and M40.

Useful Warwick Links
The official Warwick Castle site
Warwickshire County Council's Tourism site

Stratford upon Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare is steeped in culture and history. Set in beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, on the banks of the river Avon, it is one of the most important tourist destinations in the UK.

Stratford upon Avon is about 45 minutes away from the hotel by M42 and M40.

Useful Stratford-upon-Avon Links
Stratford-upon-Avon web site.
Stratford web site.
South Warwickshire Tourism web site.

Sutton Coldfield

The imposing Holy Trinity Church stands among offices and busy shops in the town centre with handsome Georgian houses nearby.

Pride of the town is Sutton Park; 2,400 acres of woodland, heath and lakes.


The Arms of Sutton Coldfield are based on the Arms of the towns greatest benefactor, John Harman, otherwise known as Vesey. Born in Sutton in the fifteenth century, he attained high office during the reign of King Henry VIII, being consecrated Bishop of Exeter in 1519.

From the Arms of Vesey, the town Arms have taken the cross on a silver field with a stags head in the centre, and four birds, one on each arm of the cross. The stag surmounting the helmet holds two gold crossed keys and a sword, which are taken from the Arms of the Bishopric of Exeter. The mitre on the shield is a further allusion to Vesey as Bishop. The gold greyhound and red dragon supporters were used on the Arms of the early Tudor kings and commemorate the fact that:

Henry VIII granted a charter of incorporation for Sutton Coldfield to be a Royal Town in 1528 and placing the Chase and Manor in the hands of a local body for the benefit of the inhabitants in perpetuity.

Useful Sutton Coldfield Links
Sutton Coldfield - A Royal Town
Water colour paintings of Sutton Park