There are no restrictions for people
with HIV/AIDS entering the United Kingdom (and Gibraltar). See
Website for current UK regulations.
Last updated: August, 2012
England's "Second City", often referred to as "Brum", is slap bang in the
middle of England as has good communications from just about everywhere.
There is a thriving gay community, though admittedly not as well-known as
those of London, Brighton or Manchester. The city is full of surprises for
Over the past few years, the somewhat drab industrial city really has
rediscovered itself and is now a vibrant place to visit - or to live. The canals
have been revitalised and the areas around them in the city centre have been
redeveloped to create a "waterside" atmosphere where business and leisure
meet. Victoria Square is the location of one of the largest fountains
in Europe. Officially known as "The River", the fountain has become
known as "The Floozy in the Jacuzzi".
The name of the city is made up of Birm (the ancient tribal leader), ing
("of the people") and ham (home).
Air - Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is served by more
than 40 airlines flying to most European countries and beyond. Direct
intercontinental flights to and from Newark, New Jersey, by FlyBE and Continental; Toronto by
Air India; Delhi and Mumbai (Air India); and Dubai (Emirates).
Frequents rail service from airport's train station to Birmingham New Street
- about every 15 minutes, journey time 11 or 16 minutes (£3.80 one way) Airport
Rail - Birmingham city centre has three rail stations - New Street
(the main station), Snow Hill and Moor Street. Direct services to New
Street from most parts of the country, including Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, London, Brighton, Bristol,
Bournemouth, Plymouth and East Anglia. Train times, fares and online
booking, click here.
Tourist Office: The Rotunda, 150 New Street, B2 4PA.
0870 225 0127
The new Bull Ring. Itís Birminghamís newest shopping destination, and
the most exhilarating city centre retail experience youíll find anywhere in Europe.
Built at a cost of over £500 million, Bullring has brought over 26 football
pitches worth of shops, boutiques and restaurants into the centre of town.
It has reintroduced some of Birminghamís traditional streets and is a
stimulating, glass covered environment where you can shop, eat or just be.
Bullring isnít just a shopping centre. Itís a new beginning for the city. It
has introduced 3,200 more car parking spaces, improved public transport
links and a refurbished Moor Street Station. And with a stunning mix of
contemporary architecture and historic buildings, Bullring has completely
changed the face of Birmingham.
Culture: Birmingham offers a wide range of concert halls,
theatres and galleries.
Symphony Hall (home of the City of Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra) is widely regarded as the finest concert hall in Europe
whilst the NIA and
NEC Arena attract leading performers from the world of
rock and pop. The Hippodrome is
not only home to the world famous Birmingham Royal
Ballet and is the regional base for the Welsh National Opera, but also
features to touring shows. The worldís
finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art can be found in
and Art Gallery whilst the Barber Institute of Fine Arts was voted Art
Gallery of the Year 2004 in the Good Britain Guide.
Gay Village: This is centred on Hurst Street and is very
close to the Bullring and New Street train station. Most - but not all
- of the gay bars and nightclubs are located in the area. The
Hippodrome Theatre is in Hurst Street.
Famous natives of Birmingham:
John Cadbury (founder of a tea and coffee shop, that
also sold chocolate, in Bull Street - now the world-famous Cadbury's); Sir
Michael Balcon (one of the pioneers of the British film industry); Jasper Carrott (comedian);
Sid Field (the British comedian once described by Bob
Hope as "probably the best comedian of them all"); Tony Hancock (comedian -
"Hancock's Half Hour" on radio and TV): Ozzy Osbourne (co-founder and lead
singer of Black Sabbath); J.R. Tolkein (author of "Lord of the
Rings" - born in South Africa, but was raised in Birmingham from age
Have you anything to say about Birmingham?
Perhaps you have knowledge of one of the listing below and would like to
give your view, or suggest a new listing. Send us
an email and we will include your thoughts
NOTE: Since the Sexual Orientation
Regulations applying to the provision of goods and services came into effect
in the UK from April 30, 2007, all venues with the
symbol are not permitted by law to discriminate against "straight" people.
The symbol is used to denote that the venue is primarily for LGBT people
and is therefore "straight friendly".
(Birmingham Pride: May - Spring Bank Holiday
2010: May 29 & 30 (to be confirmed)
Birmingham Gay & Lesbian Switchboard. PO Box 3626, Birmingham B5
0845 257 8255
A telephone help line which is available between 7pm and 10pm every night of
the year (outside these hours, voicemail is available)
Gay Birmingham Remembered.
An offshoot of the Birmingham Pride Community Trust and funded by the
Heritage Lottery Fund,
Gay Birmingham Remembered is all about the cultural heritage of lesbians and
gay men which has previously gone largely unrecorded and is particularly
limited in Birmingham/ West Midlands. Contributions of memories and
memorabilia are welcome - see website for details.
HGL. 146 Bromsgrove Street, B5 6GR
440 6161 website
Healthy Gay Life is part of the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care
Trust (NHS) and offers health advice for gay men. 'Drop-in' sessions
are currently every Thursday between 9am and 1.30pm (check special
Regional Gay Publication
Midlands Zone, 4/5 Dogpole, Shrewsbury, SY1 1EN.
Free glossy monthly available at most gay venues throughout the West and
Four Kings Hotel, 152 Hurst Street, B5
6RY. ( 622 4742.
The Fountain, 102 Wrentham Street, B5 6QL.
622 1452. website
A gay bar/pub with accommodation. En-suite single, double or twin
rooms. From £40 a night weekdays - £60 at weekends. Includes
breakfast. Wi-Fi available.
Ibis Budget (formally ETAP Hotel), 1 Great Colmore Street, B15 2AP
Modern gay-friendly "budget" hotel. But .... no TV remote
controls in rooms, no tea/coffee making facilities, once free Wi-Fi
internet connection now £7 for two hours (available in reception area only).
Only a few minutes walk from the Gay Village. Rooms, with shower (no bath)
and toilet, sleep up to three people (the third in a bunk bed). £39 per room, per night. Part
of the French Accor Hotel group. Book well in advance for
weekend stays as this hotel is very popular
Alan from Norwich writes:
Fantastic value for money. The rooms are clean have a good sized
shower. Took your point about no coffee making facilities so brought a
travel kettle and a jar of coffer - the only trouble was I forgot to bring a
mug! But the staff came up trumps and lent me on from their breakfast
room (July 2007).
Ibis Hotel, Ladywell Walk, B5 4ST
Mid-price gay-friendly hotel situated off Hurst Street (Gay Village).
Rooms, with en suite, from about £57 a night -from £72 when major
events are on. (Summer specials during July and August)
Ibis Hotel, 55 Irving Street, B1 1DH ( 622 4925.
Mid-price gay-friendly hotel situated very close to the gay village.
Free car parking. Rooms from £45 a night - from £64 when major
events are on). (Summer specials during July and August))
Malmaison, 1 Warfside Street, B1 1RD (
Luxury upmarket hotel, situated in the 'oh, so chic' Mailbox shopping
centre, for those whose credit card is "unshockable"! Rooms from
£140 in winter to £320 for an open-plan suite.
18 Holliday Street, B1 1TB. (
0845 890 9099. website
A "budget boutique" and gay-friendly hotel in the Canal District, close to
Gay Village (10 minute walk). Each room has a 42" plasma screen
television, Wi-Fi internet connection and luxury bathroom with power shower.
Prices from £49.95 a room.
The smoking ban came into effect in England on July 1,
and all clubs and bars become 'smoke free'. Many of those listed below
will provide special outside facilities for nicotine addicts
Bar Jester, 42 Holloway Circus, Queensway, B1 1EG. (
643 8344 website
This iconic lounge/nightclub was one of Birmingham's original 'watering
holes' for the gay community. Open seven days a week from 10pm to late.
Boltz Club, 40 Lower Essex Street, B56SN. (
666 6888 website
Boltz Club is the Midlandís horniest and sleaziest cruise club.
Membership is required, is free and you can join during your first visit.
Open seven days a week from 3pm to midnight (Saturday nights open until very
Club DV8, 16 Lower Essex Street, B5 6RD. (
622 1060 website
Club DV8 is fast becoming one of the most popular Gay Venues in the City,
giving all the main ingredients for a great 'fun' night out, and playing
host to some of the busiest club nights in town. In the heart of the
Eden Bar, 116 Sherlock Street, B5 6NB. (622
Formally the White Swan pub, there has been a total "makeover" so you can
"give in to your temptation". Entertainment in "the Garden of Eden".
The Fountain, 102 Wrentham Street, B5 6QL.
622 1452. website
A busy gay bar in the Village catering for the skins, bears, daddies,
scallies crowd. Open from 5pm Monday to Friday - from 1pm on Saturday
and Sunday. Licensed until 4am 365 days a year, but doors close around
midnight. Also has accommodation (see above)
48 Bromsgrove Street,UK. B5 6NU. ( 622
Open daily from noon. Entertainment every night of the week.
Loft Lounge, 143 Bromsgrove Street, B5 6RG. (
622 2444/622 4218 website
A fine restaurant/bar in the heart of the Gay Village. Winner
of "Birmingham's Best Food" 2007. Open daily from
11 am until 11pm (restaurant) or 2am (bar). Stylish surroundings
inspired by New York "loft living". Highly recommended -
arguably the best bar and restaurant targeted at the gay community in the
Midlands, and one of the best in all of UK.
Nightingale, Kent Street, B5
6RD. ( 622 1718 website
One of the UK's best gay clubs. Known simply as "the Gale", the club
is owned by its 600 or so members and profits are ploughed back into the
business, which includes a "style bar". Three floors of entertainment, a restaurant, and a "quiet" bar
for a drink and a chat and a little piano music.
Queens Tavern, 21 Essex Street, B5 4TR. (
622 5012 website
Smallish bar in the quiet area of The Village close to the Hippodrome.
Sidewalk (formally The Angel), 127/131 Hurst St, B5 6SE. (
666 6220 website
The former Angels Cafe Bar has now re-opened following change of
ownership and complete re-fit. Open Sunday to Wednesday noon to
midnight; Thursday and Friday noon to 2am; Saturday noon to 4am.
Restaurants opens Monday to Sunday 1pm to 9pm.
152 Hurst Street, B5
6RY. ( 622 4742.
[note new url]
Essentially a pub.
Recently renovated, the Village is one of Birmingham's oldest gay
hostelries. For that quiet drink and a chat, try the "sofa lounge". Entertainment
every night, with cabaret every Friday and Sunday. Patio garden at rear for smokers.
Clone Zone, 84 Hurst Street, B5 4TD. (
0121 666 6640
In the heart of the gay village. Licensed to sell R18 DVDs
Prowler Expectations, 29-30 Stephenson Street, B2 4BH ( 0121
Gay and lesbian lifestyle store by New Street Station (Navigation Street
entrance) and five minutes walk from the Gay Village. The largest 'gay'
shop in Birmingham with huge selection of books, gifts and clothes, plus an
extensive range of leather and rubber items. Licensed to sell R18 DVDs
Unit 2, 78 Far East Building, Lower Essex Street, B5 6SN. ( 622 7070
In the heart of the Gay Village - and one minute from the Nightingale.
All the usual facilities. Open daily as follows: Monday from 3pm
to 11pm; Tuesday to Thursday 12 noon to 11pm; Friday and Saturday 12 noon to
3am; Sunday 12 noon to 10pm. Admission is £10 (concessions available
for students and those receiving benefits).
Alan from Norwich writes: I have now paid three visits to Unit 2
and on all occasions I have found it to be very clean. The staff and
customers are friendly. One of the better saunas in England and
certainly the best in the Midlands.