Information and Tourism
When it comes to urbanisation, there is one county in England
that springs to mind. You only have to see Spaghetti Junction - actually known as the Gravelly Hill Interchange, to get an idea of the sheer scale of the West Midlands. As well as those industrial giants, Birmingham and Wolverhampton, there are the boroughs of Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Dudley, the unofficial capital of 'The Black Country'.
In the past, Birmingham has not always received good press. Its reputation has been influenced by some rather unfortunate architecture that dates back to the 1960s. In recent years, though, the city has managed to pull itself back up, dust itself down and attract visitors from all over the world. Today, it celebrates its heritage as one of the great centres of the Industrial Revolution in England. It also pays homage to the city's links with chocolate and the nearby model village of Bourneville. Birmingham is home to Britain's busiest shopping centre, the oft-remodelled Birmingham Bull Ring.
Finally, we mustn't forget the West Midlands city of Coventry, which was once part of the historic county of Warwickshire and is somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbours. It is true to say that some of the city's architecture isn't to everyone's taste, most notably its unprepossessing ring road and shopping centre.
Coventry was forced to rebuild itself after a particularly devastating air raid during World War Two, in which its medieval cathedral was almost completely destroyed. Today, the modern replacement cathedral has itself become a tourist attraction, while the adjacent ruins remain a poignant reminder of Coventry's turbulent past. Reminders of the infamous 11th-century Lady Godiva, who reputedly rode naked through the streets of Coventry, pop up all over the city.
West Midlands Information and Fast Facts
- Country: England
- Region: West Midlands
- Population: approximately 2.7 million
- County administrative town or city: Birmingham
- Biggest city: Birmingham
- Language: English
- Area: 350 square miles / 905 square kilometres
- Number of sites of special scientific interest: 23
WORLD GUIDES TO WEST MIDLANDS
World Guide to Birmingham, England
Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom and Birmingham has a population of more than one million. With many cutting-edge redevelopments and historic architecture, Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice.
World Guide to Coventry, England
Coventry is not one of England's most attractive cities, but it does feature a surprising amount of Georgian architecture and medieval interest. Popular historical attractions in Coventry include the remains of the city walls and gateways.
Map of West Midlands