The Rugby World Cup is set to kick off on September 18th, so with just a few weeks to go Centurion is offering some help and advice on hotels, restaurants, nightlife and how to get to the cities picked to host the matches.
Eleven cities across England and Wales have been selected to host the Rugby World Cup 2015, and this month we've picked Birmingham as our place of interest. Home to the Villa Park Stadium, the with a capacity of 42,785, the stadium was originally built as a Victorian amusement park!
If you're looking for places to stay, eat or go out, we've put together a short guide below on Birmingham, to help celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Saturday 26th September - South Africa v Samoa - 16.45
Sunday 27th September - Australia v Uruguay - 12.00
Top places to stay
Holiday Inn Express Birmingham Star City (1.5 miles from Villa Park)
This modern Holiday Inn located just off the M6 offers guests free parking, a cafe bar and air conditioned rooms as well as easy access to the city centre located just 2.5 miles away. Located next to the Star City Entertainment complex, guests can benefit from a 30-screen cinema, tenpin bowling, a casino and a family climbing centre. The hotel is less than a mile from Aston Rail Station and trains take 7 minutes to reach Birmingham New Street.
Hampton by Hilton Birmingham City North (1.7 miles from Villa Park)
Hampton by Hilton is situated in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, close to St Paul's Tram Station and just 10 minutes walk from the city centre. Guests can benefit from an on-site fitness centre and free Wi-Fi, whilst Birmingham International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre are just 10 miles away. The National Indoor Arena is just 1.3 miles away and the hotel is easily accessible from the M5 and M6 Motorways located just 3 miles away.
Staycity Serviced Apartments Arcadian Centre
Close to the Bullring Shopping Centre, the Staycity apartments offer guests contemporary, spacious apartments with free WiFi, an LCD TV and a balcony with either city or courtyard views. Bedrooms are stylish with simple decor, a full-length mirror and a modern private bathroom. The O2 Academy, is a 5-minute walk away, whilst Birmingham New Street Rail Station is just 10 minute's walk on foot.
Top places to eat
The Barton Arms (0.6 miles from Villa Park)
Located at 144 High Street Aston, and just a short distance from Villa Park, the Barton Arms is one of Birmingham's most historic pubs with plenty of character and charm. There's a fine selection of real ales and the Inferno beer is not to be missed! It was even the accommodation of choice for comedy duo Laurel and Hardy when they played the nearby Aston Hippodrome. But the best thing about this pub is its Thai restaurant located at the back, offering some of the best Thai cuisine in the city.
Anderson's Bar & Grill (1.7 miles from Villa Park)
Located at 30 Mary Ann Street in St. Paul's Square, Anderson's Bar & Grill is a premier steak house situated in the picturesque Georgian Square of St Pauls Church, residing in the eighteenth century cellars formerly known as The Bucklemaker. The pub sports a great atmosphere and offers high quality service and good value food. The atmosphere is relaxed and dining is informal, so perfectly suited to post-match get togethers. The menu has been created using the best local suppliers and produce including beef from the award winning Alan Beck of Becks Butchers in Kenilworth.
The Red Lion (1.8 miles from Villa Park)
Situated in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter at 95 Warstone Lane, the Red Lion is a traditional pub, rich in both local heritage and modern art. Recently a runner up in the Observer Food Awards 2013/2014 for the best Sunday Lunch, the pub offers a wide selection of good quality food for both meat lovers and vegetarians. With ever-changing weekly specials, the kitchen boasts the best in pub classics with a modern twist using the finest local and seasonal produce, and alongside the dining area is a UAB gallery with walls decked out in some of the finest Street Art in the UK. There's also a sheltered beer garden and 6 large screens across the pub dedicated to nothing but sport.
Top places to drink
Bacchus Bar (0.7 miles from Villa Park)
Located in Burlington Arcade and a short walk from Birmingham New Street Station, Bacchus Bar is a traditional pub with a unique character, well known for its eclectic range of real ales and quality pub food. Situated on one of the oldest streets in Birmingham, the area is also home to the Theatre Royal and the Museum of Bazaar. Bacchus Bar is one of many rare gems in the Nicholson's collection of great British pubs, reputed for their distinctive buildings, intriguing history and vibrant atmosphere.
The Cap & Gown (2 minutes walk from Villa Park)
Located at 458 Witton Road, The Cap and Gown (formerly known as The Witton Arms) on Witton Road is a large pub split half and half with the home fans. Sporting a large beer garden and only a 2-3 minute walk from Villa Park means the pub can get extremely packed on match days, so get there early to make sure you get in.
The Lord Clifden
Located at 34 Great Hampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter, the Lord Clifden has been highlighted by the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2015 and the Good Pub Guide and prides itself on quality produce, imported premium lagers and excellent service with an artistic imprint.With seven continental lagers on tap, and one of only two pubs in Birmingham to supply ‘Budvar Yeast’, it offers a fresh taste to Birmingham. It's also known for its collection of Urban Street Art, with the likes of Banksy, D*Face, Nick Walker, Blek, Obey, Faile and Army Lion.
Getting there and away
If you're driving from the North, exit the M6 at junction 7 and follow the Walsall Road (A34 in a southerly direction. Turn left towards the University of Central England (signposted) and follow the signs for the A4040 to Witton. Take the first exit at the main roundabout, from where directions to Villa Park are clearly signposted. From the South, exit the M1 at junction 19 and join the M6. Exit at junction 6 onto the A38(M). Take the first right into Victoria Road and right at the roundabout into Witton Road and follow signs to Villa Park.
The nearest main line station is Birmingham New Street where you can then catch a connection to either Aston or Witton station which takes around 15 minutes. Aston station is about a 10 minute walk from the ground, while Witton is right next to the away end of Villa Park. There are numerous extra trains to both Aston and Witton stations on match days.
There are several taxi companies in Birmingham that can take you to and from the stadium. You can always prebook a private hire taxi, or hail a black cab on any highway.
On-street parking is limited due to a residents’ only parking scheme operating in the streets around Villa Park. A traffic exclusion zone also operates around the ground on match days, for an hour or so either side of kick-off. Reasonably priced, supervised parking is available near the Cap and Gown pub.