Solihull (pronounced in many different ways) is often regarded as the 'posh' part of Birmingham even though it isn't Birmingham hence it is called Solihull. Surrounded by leafy suburbs and expensive mansions it is home to some of the Midlands wealthiest. It is the site of the National Exhibition Centre and is also well known for being home of the world famous off-road vehicle manufacturer Land Rover, whose plant is situated a couple of miles from the town centre.
Birmingham International Airport is located 3 miles North of Solihull town centre. It receives flights from all major European cities as well as destination further afield such as New York and Dubai. A taxi from the airport into Solihull town centre will cost about £15.
Solihull train station is located within a couple of minutes walk from the town centre. Trains from Birmingham Moor Street run every few minutes. Chiltern Railways operate services to Solihull from London Marylebone station every 30 minutes, adult single fares cost from £14.90. Birmingham International rail station is located 3 miles north of Solihull, near the airport and NEC - trains run from here to Coventry, Birmingham New Street and London Euston.
Solihull is well served by Travel West Midlands buses. The following services go from Birmingham city centre to Solihull town centre: 4, 6, 37, 57 and 57A. The 966 and 966A services connect Solihull town centre with the Airport, NEC and Birmingham International rail station. Adult single fares cost £1.70 on all TWM services.
For Solihull town centre leave the M42 motorway at junction 5. For the NEC and Airport leave at junction 6.
Solihull has an abundance of taxi ranks all over the town, the best-served being Solihull Town Centre. Both hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are easy to find, but you should exercise usual caution and not get into an unmarked car or one you haven't booked.
Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times due to clubbers going home en masse, and there can be waits of over an hour if.
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Solihull town centre is small enough to walk around on foot and much of the central area is pedestrianised. To visit attractions further afield Solihull is well served by buses and rail - see above.
One of the main reasons for visiting Solihull has to be for shopping. The recently opened Touchwood centre attracts shoppers from all over the region with its extensive range of small boutique style shops as well as big high street names. It is especially impressive for clothes shopping with a list of stores including Gap, French Connection, Zara, Bravissimo, Republic, Mexx and USC. Touchwood also has the only John Lewis department store in the West Midlands. Outside of Touchwood the shopping experience is continued with dozens of shops along the High Street and the area around Mell Square, including a large Marks and Spencer and a Beatties department store.
It is impossible to go hungry in Solihull town centre with a range of food outlets ranging from McDonalds on the High Street to Nandos, Wagamama and TGI Friday in Touchwood to expensive restaurants and brasseries at the top of the High Street near the church. All 3 department stores (M&S, Beatties and John Lewis) have cafes and there are numerous pubs in and around Solihull that serve excellent food. The Fieldhouse pub just outide the town centre in the Hillfield area is particularly notable for good food and a great atmosphere.
There are plenty of pubs in Solihull town centre including a JD Wetherspoon pub called the White Swan, the modern Bar Censsa, and the Masons Arms near the entrance to Touchwood. There are also a number of 'wine bars' such as the Town House.
If the main reason you are visiting Solihull is for the NEC there is a good range of hotels on the NEC site including a Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Premier Travel Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Situated within Solihull town centre are the Ramada hotel, the Renaissance Hotel and a Holiday Inn. There are also many B&Bs in the local area.
Solihull is an excellent base for visiting the surrounding West Midlands. As well the UK's second largest city, Birmingham, other places to see nearby include Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon and Coventry.