Tuesday, 18 July 2017

100 Reasons You Should Visit Birmingham Right Now!

Okay so 100 seems a lot. And technically the 100 reasons all belong to one event, The Big Sleuth!

Although I can think of plenty of reasons to visit Birmingham (click here for our city guide), this post is about why you should visit right now, or before the 17th of September.

Like The Big Hoot last year The Big Sleuth is a charity event organised by Birmingham's Children Hospital and Wild in Art. Like the Elephant Hunt we did in Sheffield (you can check out the pics here) the concept is simple - explore the city in search of painted sculptures of animals. In this case bears.

Did you know that the sleuth means private detective and is the collective noun for a group of bears?! What a happy coincidence for this event.

There are two ways to find the bears, you can download an App (£1.99 with a % going to charity) or a good olde fashion map that can be picked up for a £1 donation. We opted for the map. If we planned to find all 100 we may have invested in the App as you get prizes for finding certain bears or certain numbers of bears. However we had a plan though, we were only going to find bears in the city centre.

The other bears are located in Solihull, Sutton Coldfields and parks and areas of interest around Birmingham. With 40 bears to find though we still had our work cut out.

After a delicious brunch at The Boston Tea Party, where we sat and planned our route, we headed out. It took us almost 3 hours and we covered almost 8 miles while discovering and rediscovering lots of places around the city.
Enjoying 'the Boss'
Each bear also has a Twitter account - just in case you want to get in touch. Out on the trail there were more than a few bear puns when it came to the naming of the bears, think Shakesbear:


Captain Blue Bear

Bisbee's personal favourite!
There were also some Birmingham references with Peaky Blinders and a bear designed by Bradley from the Vamps who was born locally.

Then there were the bears that had a theme all of their own. Including Spock, Ghostbusters and the oriental panda.

We managed to catch up on Wimbledon at Brindley Place where they had kindly laid out cushions, this also allowed us to tick off the bears we had seen and adjust our route. Brindley Place is a space jam-packed with restaurants by the canals. In summer they have a whole programme of outdoor activities ranging from films, to food festivals to live music. Check out their guide to whats on here.

Well one of us was watching tennis!
It was almost 6pm by the time we headed home, I had walked over 15,000 steps - thanks Fitbit! - and we had managed to pay a visit to Miss Macaroon, a shop that we had been wanting to try since it opened. We had macaroons in champagne, strawberry & cream, mango & passion fruit and parma violet flavours. All were delicious, although champagne was the personal favourite. If you make it to Birmingham do check out the store.

The reason we were interested in the store was because they don't just sell macaroons, in their words: 'At Miss Macaroon indulgence is also a virtue as our social enterprise activities are supported through every macaroon we sell. We provide employment and training programmes aimed at youngsters who may have slipped through the education system, are care leavers or find themselves homeless. This adds an entirely new and unique flavour to our macaroons, and one that can truly be savoured and enjoyed beyond the mere eating of the Miss Macaroon product itself. We're changing the world one macaroon at a time, thanks for joining us.'

I think we may have to head out and find a few more bears before the trail ends as there are a few left that we want to see including: Mary Berry's Soggy Bottom, Richard The Virgin Train Bear, Straw-Bear-y and Crunchie at Cadbury's World.
If you head into Birmingham and spot a few bears let us know!

1 comment:

  1. Aaah! My hometown Brum!
    I'll be there on a couple of weeks!!!


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