Tours and Trails (walk, cycle, run, scoot, bus or 'look & plan')

Birmingham has so much to offer, whatever your passion or whatever your interests.

Take a look at our growing library of tours and trails. See what you like, simply go and enjoy. Maybe your visiting us soon. Make the most of your time in our city and plan ahead.

Please view our other tours and trails by clicking on the links below
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Centenary Square - places to visit mapped for you

Centenary Square is located in a prime central location in Birmingham. It is host to many of the City's civic and cultural attractions. It first opened in 1991 and reopened in 2019.

Here we have mapped some of the highlights in Centenary Square.  Enjoy with our complements our map of this amazing public space.

Centenary Square 

Centenary Square was named in 1989 to commemorate the centenary of Birmingham achieving City Status.  It opened in 1991 to a carpet brick design by the artist Tess Jaray. It looked like a Persian rug. This was changed from 2010 to 2013 when the Library of Birmingham was built, but still had a grassed area. But the Council had a bright idea to rip this all up and it was redeveloped between 2017 and 2019. This included a reflective pool with fountains / water jets. The old London Plain trees were cut down in 2017, but new trees were planted by 2019.

Centenary SquareCentenary Square (April 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Hall of Memory

This war memorial building was built from 1922 to 1925 and designed by S. N. Cooke and W. N. Twist. It commemorates the citizens of Birmingham who died during WW1. Made of Portland stone. There is four bronze statues outside dedicated to the Air Force, Army, Navy and Women's Services. It was promoted to Grade I listed status in 2014 (from the previous Grade II). There used to be a Colonnade outside of the Hall of Memory, and a fountain as part of the Broad Street Garden of Remembrance (also opened in 1925). But the Colonnade was moved in 1990, to what is now called the Peace Garden to the grounds of St Thomas's Church which was destroyed in the Birmingham Blitz of 1940.

Hall of Memory Centenary Square

Hall of Memory in Centenary Square (April 2020). Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

Baskerville House 

This was previously called the Civic Centre, it was the only building built for the proposed Civic Centre from 1938. WW2 halted construction, but after the war, Roman Imperial imagery went out of fashion, and the other proposed buildings were not built. The building was renovated from 2003 to 2007. Baskerville House was built on the site where the home of John Baskerville used to be.

Baskerville House

Baskerville House from Centenary Way (April 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

 

The Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham was built from 2010 to 2013, between The REP and Baskerville House. It opened in September 2013. There is nine levels above ground, plus a couple of basement floors (Children's Library). Only Level 0, MG, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 are accessible to the public. Levels 5, 6 and 8 are staff only. Discovery Terrace on Level 3, Secret Garden on Level 7 and the Shakespeare Memorial Room on Level 9. Brasshouse Language's moved onto Level 1 in September 2016.

Library of Birmingham

Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square (September 2019). Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

The Birmingham REP

The Birmingham Reperatory Theatre moved to what is now called Centenary Square in 1971. Closed during the building of the Library of Birmingham from 2010 to 2013, they reopened at the same time as the Library. Founded by Sir Barry Jackson at what is now called The Old REP on Station Street in 1913. There is a pair of blue plaques here from the Birmingham Civic Society, including the founder Sir Barry Jackson, and J. Sampson Gamgee, a surgeon, who lived on the site that The REP is now standing. His name was later used by J. R. R. Tolkien for the character of Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2021, the REP is celebrating their 50th Anniversary at this site.

The REP

The REP in Centenary Square (September 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The ICC and The Symphony Hall 

These buildings opened in 1991, built from 1986 to 1991. Opened by the Queen in June 1991. Host venue of the G8 in 1998. The foyer of Symphony Hall was rebuilt during 2020. It is due to reopen in 2021. An empty plinth has been reserved outside for the statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch, which has been in storage since 2017.

The ICC and Symphony HallThe ICC and Symphony Hall (April 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

One Centenary Square

Built as the home of HSBC UK. It was originally going to be called Two Arena Central. Built between 2017 and 2018. There is a pair of bronze lions outside the main entrance. Built on the former site of Central TV (and ATV before that). It was a former Masonic Building.

HSBC UK One Centenary SquareHSBC UK, One Centenary Square (July 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Exchange (formerly Birmingham Municipal Bank)

The Birmingham Municipal Bank originally opened in 1933. A year before in 1932, Neville Chamberlain, at the time Chancellor of the Exchequer, laid the foundation stone of the building. It was his idea to have a municipal bank. In the decades that followed, it later became a part of the TSB, and was a Lloyds TSB when it closed for good in 2006. However in 2017, the University of Birmingham took it over, and it was being renovated during 2020 into 2021. It was formerly addressed as 301 Broad Street, but it is now addresed as Three Centenary Square.

The Exchange BMBThe Exchange (former Birmingham Municipal Bank) (April 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Library Tram Stop

In 2017, the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue was moved into storage near Arena Central, and this end of Broad Street was built as the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square from 2017 to 2019. Library Tram Stop opened to the public as the temporary terminus of the line during December 2019. The line is currently being extended down Broad Street, and should be open as far as 54 Hagley Road in Edgbaston by the end of 2021. The West Midlands Metro Urbos 3 trams are powered by battery packs from Stephenson Street (Grand Central Tram Stop) to Centenary Square (Library Tram Stop).

Library Tram StopWest Midlands Metro tram 31 at Library Tram Stop (August 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown










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