Birmingham Swansea 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 coast in South Wales, the city of Swansea lies on the Gower Peninsular and is the second largest city in Wales. Getting around the city and beyond to the Gower Peninsular is relatively straight forward. Bus services are operated by First Cymru and Veolia operate frequent services with all services departing from the city's bus station. There are also connection services to and from Swansea railway station.
Located on the quayside of Swansea Marina, originally the South Dock of 1859, the National Waterfront Museum stands in the former commercial heart of one of Wales's foremost industrial towns. There are 15 themed galleries each telling a different aspect of this crucial period in Welsh history using a mix of touch screen technology and real objects, enabling visitors to be in charge of tracing their own experience of the fascinating, and still evolving, story of industrial Wales.
Swansea Bay has a five mile sweep of coastline which features a beach, promenade, children's lido, leisure pool, marina and maritime quarter containing the Swansea Museum. Also in this area is the Dylan Thomas Centre which celebrates the life and work of the author.