Birmingham Salisbury Train
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In recent years the city of Birmingham has evolved from its industrial roots into a modern, thriving and cultural city. The redevelopment of the Bullring Shopping Centre and also of the old industrial areas such as Brindleyplace, The Mailbox and the International Convention Centre have all played their part in the rejuvenation of the city. Old streets, buildings and canals have been restored to create a city for the 21st century.
Birmingham, along with the residential borough of Solihull and Wolverhampton, along with the industrial towns of the Black Country, together form the West Midlands Built-up Area which covers around 230 square miles. Surrounding this, is Birmingham's metropolitan area which includes Tamworth and the cities of Lichfield in Staffordshire, Coventry, Nuneaton, Warwick, Leamington Spa and the towns of Redditch and Bromsgrove in Warwickshire.
Birmingham is also a very green city with 571 parks which is more than any other European city. Sutton Park covers 2,400 acres and is the largest urban park in Europe and a National Nature Reserve. Birmingham Botanical Gardens, located close to the city centre, retains the regency landscape of its original design by J. C. Loudon in 1829,while the Winterbourne Botanic Garden in Edgbaston reflects the more informal Arts and Crafts tastes of its Edwardian origins.
Located in the county of Wiltshire in the south of England, the city of Salisbury is the only city in Wiltshire and has at its centre a 13th century cathedral. Old Serum is the site of the original city and is located on a hilltop just to the north of the present day city. The site shows evidence of habitation from around 3,000 BC to 1219 when the bishop relocated the cathedral to its present location. Most of the site is free to enter although there is a charge for the Inner Bailey.
Music plays an important part in the city's history especially during the 18th century when James Harris, a friend of George Frideric Handel, directed concerts at the Assembly Rooms for almost fifty years until his death in 1780. Art also has an important role in Salisbury's history. John Constable made a number of landscape paintings featuring the cathedral's spire and surrounding countryside. The city retains a strong artistic community. The city holds an annual arts festival, the International Arts Festival, which began in 1973 and is held in late May to early June. The festival contains a programme of live music, dance, sculpture and art exhibitions.