You’d think a couple of quid wouldn’t get you very far these days, but with the £2 bus fare cap the world is your oyster - or at least the world of Birmingham and its surrounding areas. Today I’m getting on the iconic number 11 bus to find out a few of the great places you could end up on a single ticket.
The number 11 bus was once Europe’s longest urban bus route with a length of 27 miles. The route circumnavigates the city, both clockwise and anti-clockwise, connecting the outer suburbs of the city.
While it has been split into two since last July due to roadworks in Perry Barr, for the purposes of this light hearted guide I’m going to take it as a single ticket journey.
A full circuit can take three hours to complete and along the route there are countless great places to visit, so deciding where to go could prove difficult.
One option I could take is Cadbury World, and of course it’s home - Bournville. Founded by the Cadbury family for employees of its world known chocolate factory, this model village is considered one of the most desirable places to live in Britain.
The village was originally developed by Quakers and even to this day the sale of alcohol is not permitted within its boundaries. The world famous Cadbury World is here, where visitors are invited to take a self guided tour around the factory, learning the history of Bournville and Cadbury chocolate.
One thing that Birmingham and the Black Country can be proud of is being the inspiration for Lord of the Rings, both geographically, but also as an allegory for the industrial revolution which us hobbit-like denizens of the West Midlands found ourselves embroiled in a century or so ago. So another option could be Shire Country Park.
Taking its name from Tolkien’s works, it is home to Sarehole Mill, where the legendary author lived just 300 yards away, which is now run as a museum offering guided tours.
Another place would be Oaklands Recreation Ground. A place many remember from their childhood. Home of the Yardley Festival Site during the Commonwealth Games, this beautiful spot offers two fantastic playgrounds for the kids, a community centre and a 2km route for walkers and joggers.
Unfortunately it dawned on me that I spent the whole journey just daydreaming, and realising my list was completely biassed to the south east of the city, fortunately I ended up by Edgbaston Reservoir.
This is another great option for people wanting a lovely day out on a strict budget. Three separate rowing clubs call this reservoir home - two of which being Universities.
The perimeter of the reservoir is almost two miles long offering a route for joggers and those wanting to take a pleasant stroll in an area which certainly doesn’t feel part of the urban sprawl.
So if you’re feeling the pinch, and only find yourself with a couple of quid spare, you’ve still got some decent options to get out and about in the city. Only thing you’ll have to worry about is getting home afterwards.