Spending New Year at Birmingham’s shiny new Coach Station in Digbeth

Birmingham Coach Station frontageBirmingham finally has a shiny new National Express coach station – and we chose to see in the New Year there last Thursday pm/Friday am. (Actually, we were jumping on local blogger Nicky Getgood’s project – she was spending 6pm-6am there collecting stories of the people passing through the new station – here’s the full story.)

Gates for boardingThe new station is still on the same site as the old Digbeth coach station but it’s enclosed, airport-style, with different gateways for different destinations.

Ticket machinesIt’s also clean, white, warm and welcoming – very different from the old, cold and black station. For a peak inside, the full set of pics is here on Flickr.

COW Vintage and Big Bull's HeadThe area around the station used to be pretty bleak as well, but it now houses a lively alternative underbelly of Birmingham culture and entertainment, the antithesis to the mainstream glitz of Broad Street. If you’re killing time between buses, head cross the road to COW Vintage (pictured behind the yellow door!), a warehouse full of retro loveliness. The Big Bull’s Head, a few doors up, is the spot to grab huge platefuls of cheap and filling pub food – I can recommend the fantastic Irish Stew.

Custard FactoryWithin five minutes walk is also the revamped Irish Centre, the Custard Factory (pictured above), Birmingham’s oldest inn The Old Crown, favoured Irish pub The Spotted Dog, digital media centre Fazeley Studios, Birmingham Central Backpackers, Manzil’s Indian restaurant, Friends of the Earth cafe, Latifs – a modern-day Aladdin’s cave, The Rainbow and much more.

Digbeth O'LympicsIt’s also a hub for events such as the St Patrick’s Day parade, the Digbeth O’Lympics (pictured above), Supersonic festival, and more. Check out Nicky’s Digbeth Is Good blog for latest news.

She should also have updates as to when the bus station (and therefore Digbeth) finally gets its first cashpoint. Until then, happy new year from the bus station crew, pictured here with party poppers at the ready at 11.59 and followed by fireworks over nearby Chinatown just afterwards…

11.59 on NYE at the bus station

NYE Fireworks over Chinatown

[All images © Fiona Cullinan, released under Creative Commons, attribution only, non-commercial license – contact me for other usage permissions. Words fulfilling one of my 10 New Year’s Travel Resolutions of writing about Hometown Tourism]

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