Getting there & away
Most intercity buses run from dismal Digbeth coach station, which thankfully is due to be knocked down and rebuilt soon. National Express (0870 580 8080, www.nationalexpress.com) runs coaches between Birmingham and destinations around England including London (£14.50 single, 2¾ hours, hourly), Oxford (£10.20 single, 1½ hours, five daily) and Manchester (£11.20 single, 2½ hours, 11 daily). Bus X20 runs to Stratford-upon-Avon hourly on weekdays (1¼ hours) from Birmingham Moor St.
Most of the longer distance trains are operated by Virgin Trains from New St station, beneath the Pallasades shopping centre, including those to and from London (£14.50 value advance single, 1½ hours, every 30 minutes) and Manchester (£9.50 value advance single, 1¾ hours, every 15 minutes). Other services, such as those to Stratford-upon-Avon (£5.40 single, 50 minutes, hourly), run from Snow Hill and Moor St stations.
In July and August, the Shakespeare Express steam train (708 4960; www.vintagetrains.co.uk; standard return £20) operates between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon twice each Sunday. Journeys take one hour.