Birmingham is Britain's second largest city and is situated in the heart of England, about halfway between London and Liverpool. It is a city of mixed cultures, beliefs and lifestyles and has recently become a fashionable place to set up a business or to hold a conference although it still retains pride in being a city built on industry. Birmingham has some interesting old buildings such as The Town Hall and the Council House. Full of theatres, restaurants and pubs, there is always something going on in the city. The Birmingham Museum and the IKON Gallery are worth a visit. More recently, Birmingham has become known for the Spaghetti Junction – an infamously complex motorway system on the city's periphery. It has also developed an excellent reputation for the arts, with the Barber Institute, the Rep Theatre and in particular, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The modern Symphony Hall is famed for having the best acoustics in Europe.
The entire city centre has undergone a facelift, with a renovated City Hall, Victoria Square and new pedestrian areas. The canals have once again become an important feature with the Gas Street Basin Development and Brindley place belying Birmingham's reputation for being a dull, industrial, urban sprawl. Gastronomically, Birmingham is famous for being the home of Cadbury's confectionery, where chocolate lovers can even visit the factory.
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7 Best Beaches In The World
1. La Minitas Beach, La Romana, Dominican Republic
The beaches of the Dominican Republic are renowned for their beauty and tranquility. Pristine, unspoiled and scenic, you almost can't go wrong anywhere in the D.R. The only way to access La Minitas Beach is by a ten minute shuttle or golf cart ride, making this a great pick.
2. White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines
Over two miles of powder soft white sands that never get hot, this little slice of heaven lay virtually untouched until about 30 years ago. It is now considered by most to be one the best tropical vacation spots in the world. Make sure you go during September or June when temperatures are moderate, there is little rain and the prevailing wind blows a cool breeze.
3. South Beach, Miami, Florida
South Beach is the "see and be seen" beach. It really comes alive at night, and you are almost assured of seeing someone famous if you spend time there.
4. Santorini's Red Beach, Akrotiri, Greek Islands
Santorini's Red Beach is one of the most picturesque locations on the list. Surrounded by soaring red lava cliffs, this beach also has some of the most beautiful and unique red sand in the world. The beach is only accessible by boat, or by a ten minute descent by foot from above. The entire island was formed from a now-sleeping volcano – sleeping but not dead.
5. Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
If picturesque is what you are looking for, then Hanalei Bay Beach is a must-see. A near perfect semi-circle of white sand is surrounded by a backdrop of waterfalls and gorgeous mountains stretching up past the clouds. While it can get crowded, especially during the winter when the surfing is excellent, you won't find a more stunning view to gaze at anywhere in the world.
6. Tulum Beach, Tulum, Mexico
Mexico is hardly short of beautiful cities, with gorgeous beaches. What sets Tulum apart is the proximity to some of the most stunning Mayan ruins in all of Mexico. Tulum is yet to be completely invaded by tourism and is, therefore, still rather secluded and peaceful. If you have an interest in archeology, ancient civilisations or just love exploring, then Tulum is the perfect combination of sun and adventure.
7. Santa Cruz Beaches, Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz is classic California beach. With almost 30 miles of oceanfront beaches to choose from, you can't go wrong in Santa Cruz. It has an old fashioned boardwalk and an amusement park, complete with rides, games and food just steps from the beach. Santa Cruz has something for everyone and a beach to suit everyone's style.