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Shopping in Birmingham Centre

The Bullring Shopping Centre

Above: The Bullring shopping centre and Below: the Frankfurt Market in New Street.

New Street - Frankfurt Christmas Market

Birmingham’s largest and premier shopping centre is The Bullring situated at the end of New Street at the junction with the High Street and close to both New Street and Moor Street stations. The centre is constructed with three levels for shopping (as shown in the picture on the left) and as it is on a hill all three levels have street level access. Close by in the High Street is the Pavillions shopping centre and the Bullring has an internal connection to the Pallasades shopping centre above New Street station.

Walking down the hill from the Bullring we pass the St Martin’s, the city’s parish church, to arrive at the Birmingham markets. These are the Rag Market,with 350 stalls and 17 perimeter shops many of which sell various fabrics, the Bull Ring Indoor Market,having 140 stalls including many food sellers, and the Bull Ring Open Market, 130 purpose built stalls providing a lively and attractive market for fruit and vegetables as well as other goods.

New Street is Birmingham’s major pedestrian shopping street, running from the Bullring to Victoria Square and the Town Hall. This is not only a street for shopping but also contains a cinema, pubs, restaurants and is often the venue for other events such as specialist food markets, the arts and musical festival and for about six weeks before Christmas the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which draws people into the city from far and wide.

Other shopping areas in the city centre include the pedestrianizsed Union Street and Cherry Street, which together lead up from the High Street, across Corporation Street to St Philip’s Cathedral.This route passes the Martineau Place shopping area and the House of Fraiser department store, the largest department store outside London. The other city centre department stores are Selfridges and Debenhams, both in the Bullring and Harvey Nichols at the Mailbox. Corporation Street itself has a variety of shops and runs between New Street and Bull Street, both shopping areas..

The Mailbox shopping centre stands apart from the other shopping areas, being on the other side of the Suffolk Street Queensway but is only a short walk from New Street Station, down Navigation Street and under the flyover. The Mailbox complex contains the Harvey Nichols store and at one time other prestige shops but these have closed in recent years. The mailbox also has apartments, offices, restaurants and BBC Birmingham. A walk through the centre reveals that the Mailbox is located beside the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and incorporates the Ramada Hotel and many waterside restaurants and bars.

For more pictures of the city centre see Photographs of Birmingham City Centre.