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Solihull

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Solihull is a town near Birmingham in the West Midlands region of England.

Understand

Solihull is often regarded as the 'posh' part of Birmingham even though it isn't in Birmingham. Surrounded by leafy suburbs and expensive mansions, it is home to some of the Midlands' wealthiest. It is the site of the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham Airport, and is also well known for being home of the world-famous vehicle manufacturer Land Rover, whose plant is a couple of miles from the town centre.

The Metropolitan Borough of Solihull includes towns and districts of Castle Bromwich, Dorridge, Hampton-in-Arden, Hockley HeathKnowleMarston Green, Olton, Shirley, and the small village of Meriden.

Get in

By plane

Birmingham Airport (BHX IATA) (3 miles (5 km) north of Solihull town centre; and about 8 mi (13 km) east of central Birmingham). A major airport serving the West Midlands region with frequent domestic and international flights. There are several direct arrivals a day from all major UK and European destinations, and one or two from more far-flung places such as Delhi, Dubai (twice daily), Amritsar, Islamabad, Ashgabat, New York and Toronto.

A free people mover, Air-Rail Link, connects the airport passenger terminal with Birmingham International rail station between 05:15 and 02:00; it runs every two minutes and the journey time is less than two minutes.

A day ticket (Daysaver) for all NXWM buses is available for £4 (£4.60 before 9AM), but it can also be purchased for €5 on any airport service. Exact change is required. If a group is travelling together, a Group Daysaver for £8 will cover up to 5 people for unlimited journeys for a day.

National Express coaches serve the airport every half hour during the early hours of the morning which is very handy for morning flights, as the trains don't usually start until later in the morning. The fare varies depending on whether it is booked in advance, although tickets can be purchased on the coach subject to seats being available.

A taxi from the airport into Solihull town centre will cost about £15.

The National Exhibition Centre is adjacent to the airport and can be accessed by the Air-Rail Link via Birmingham International Station.

By train

  • 2 Solihull railway station. a couple of minutes walk from the town centre. Trains from Birmingham Moor Street run every few minutes. Chiltern Railways operate services to Solihull from London Marylebone station every 30 minutes, adult single fares cost from £14.90.
  • Birmingham International railway station. 3 miles north of Solihull, near the airport and NEC - trains run from here to CoventryBirmingham New Street and London Euston.

By bus

Solihull is well served by Travel West Midlands buses. The following services go from Birmingham city centre to Solihull town centre: 4, 6, 37, 57 and 57A. The 966 and 966A services connect Solihull town centre with the Airport, NEC and Birmingham International rail station. Adult single fares cost £1.90 on all TWM services.

By car

For Solihull town centre leave the M42 motorway at junction 5. For the NEC and Airport leave at junction 6.

By taxi

Solihull has an abundance of taxi ranks all over the town, the best-served being Solihull Town Centre. Hackney carriages (black cabs) and private hire vehicles (minicabs) are easy to find, but you should exercise usual caution and not get into an unmarked car or one you haven't booked.

Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times due to clubbers going home en masse, and there can be waits of over an hour.

Popular providers include:

  • Solihull Taxis, Online Booking System [1].
  • A2B +44 121 733 3000.
  • Able Radio Cars, Newbrough Road, Solihull, +44 121 694 6666.
  • Senator Cars, Oxhill Road, Solihull, +44 121 430 7000.
  • Royal-Ambassador Cars, Stratford Road, Solihull, +44 121 706 8888.

Solihull is covered by the app 'Uber', which is often a cheaper alternative to a taxi service

Get around

Solihull town centre is small enough to walk around on foot and much of the central area is pedestrianised. To visit attractions further afield Solihull is well served by buses and rail - see above.

See

  • 1 National Motorcycle Museum, at the A45 and M42 clover leaf (take a train from New Street station to Hampton-in-Arden, then walk north along Old Station Road until the end, the museum is then on your right), ☏ +44 1675 443311. Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM. On display in the museum is the world's largest collection of British motorcycles. With over 850 models on display, the museum's history covers over a century of motorcycle design and manufacturing. The museum opened in 1984 with an initial collection of some 350 motorcycles, among which several unique specimens such as a Wilkinson Luxury Tourer, a Wilkinson 850 and a Brough Superior Golden Dream. £10 for adults, £8 for children and seniors.
  • 2 Elmdon Park. Old walled garden is now a local nature reserve.
  • Brueton and Malvern Parks.
  • 3 Baddesley Clinton, Rising Lane, Baddesley Clinton, B93 0DQ (6 miles south of Solihull), ☏ +44 1564 783294, ✉ baddesleyclinton@nationaltrust.org.uk.
  • 4 Packwood House, Packwood Lane, Lapworth, B94 6AT (6 miles south of Solihull), ☏ +44 1564 782024, ✉ packwood@nationaltrust.org.uk.
  • 5 Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. Restored Jacobean gardens; listed grade II* and the only remaining example in the country of a formal English garden design. The adjacent Hall is now privately owned.

Do

  • Land Rover Experience – Home of the Legend. Includes a factory tour and hands-on driving course.
  • Solihull Ice Rink located about 10 minutes North of Solihull town centre - take the 71 or 72 bus.
  • 9-screen Cineworld cinema in the Touchwood shopping centre with ten surrounding restaurants.
  • Take a walk around Brueton and Malvern parks - feed the ducks, visit the nature centre and see the arboretum.

Buy

One of the main reasons for visiting Solihull has to be for shopping.

  • 1 Touchwood. This shopping centre attracts shoppers from all over the region with its extensive range of small boutique style shops as well as big high street names. It is especially impressive for clothes shopping with a list of stores including Gap, French Connection, Zara, Bravissimo, Republic, SuperDry and Hollister. Touchwood also has the only John Lewis department store in the West Midlands and a large Apple Store. On the boutique side Touchwood is particularly strong on jewellery with ten jewellers and quirky extras such as 'Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe'.
  • Mell Square, Mell Square, B91 3BG (Follow signs for Solihull Town Centre).

Eat

It is impossible to go hungry in Solihull town centre with a range of food outlets ranging from McDonald's on the High Street to Nandos, Wagamama and TGI Friday in Touchwood to expensive restaurants and brasseries at the top of the High Street near the church. All 3 department stores (M&S, Beatties and John Lewis) have cafes and there are many pubs in and around Solihull that serve excellent food. The Fieldhouse pub just outide the town centre in the Hillfield area is particularly notable for good food and a great atmosphere.

  • Touchwood - multiple restaurants.
  • Indian Dream, Dovehouse Parade.

Restaurant

Drink

There are plenty of pubs in Solihull town centre including a JD Wetherspoon pub called the White Swan, the modern Bar Censsa, and the Masons Arms near the entrance to Touchwood. There are also 'wine bars' such as the Town House.

Sleep

If the main reason you are visiting Solihull is for the NEC there is a good range of hotels on the NEC site including a Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Premier Travel Inn and Holiday Inn Express. In Solihull town centre are the Ramada hotel, the Renaissance Hotel and a Holiday Inn. There are also many B&Bs in the local area.

  • 1 The St Johns Hotel, 651 Warwick Road, ☏ +44 2920 454045, fax: +44 121 705-6629, ✉ enquiries.stjohns@principal-hayley.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Hotel and event venue offering 180 guest rooms, 13 event suites, leisure club and restaurant.

Go next

Solihull is an excellent base for visiting the surrounding West Midlands. As well the UK's second largest city, Birmingham, other places to see nearby include WarwickStratford-upon-Avon and Coventry.



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