If you want to see the beating heart of the UK’s jewellery industry, it’s well worthwhile taking a trip to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. This has been described by English Heritage as a “national treasure” and a “place of unique character”.
The organisation went on to note that it represents a “particular combination of structures associated with jewellery and metalworking which does not seem to exist anywhere else in the world”.
Spoiled for choice
The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is positively brimming with superb jewellers selling all manner of gleaming goodies, so if you make the trip to England’s second city, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
There are more than 800 businesses operating in the area, including 100 specialist retailers and 50 contemporary designer makers.
Make sure you clear your diary
When you plan your trip, make sure you give yourself plenty of time. There are no fewer than 100 stores for you to explore containing a mixture of classic jewels, modern items and handcrafted jewellery. Also, whether you’re keen to splash out on exclusive and expensive gems or want to bag yourself a bargain, you’ll be able to find plenty of products that fit the bill.
Of course, even the most enthusiastic shoppers need a break from time to time and you can rest assured that as well as the fabulous array of jewellers, there are also plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes for you to refresh and recharge in.
In addition, you can check out some of the galleries, museums and antique shops in the area.
The old and the new
Jewellery makers have operated in the district for over two centuries and they continue to do so in great numbers. Despite rising property values and new developments, jewellery is still the main player in this part of the city.
Indeed, the area is said to contain the highest concentration of dedicated jewellers in Europe. Around a third of the jewellery made in the UK comes from within one mile of Birmingham city centre.
Meanwhile, a renovated 1960s tower block named The Big Peg is now home to several hundred small arts and jewellery businesses.
Before you set off on your trip to this iconic district, you’ll need to think about your transport options. It’s easy to get to the area by car and you might favour this option for its convenience. However, it’s important to remember that you’ll have to find parking when you arrive.
If you’d rather travel by train, it’s worth noting that the area is served by a Jewellery Quarter station, which is a co-joined stop on both the Midland Metro and the main rail line into Birmingham Snow Hill station.
Who will you take?
It’s great to wander around these shops with pals, but if you fancy a romantic weekend, why not take your other half? Whoever you go with, you might end up with some fabulous new additions to your jewellery collection and you should have a great time too!