Birmingham is the second largest city in Britain with a population of over one million. It has outgrown the squalor and misery of its boom years and today its industrial supremacy is recalled in a crop of excellent heritage museums and an extensive network of canals. Start with Cadbury World which offers plenty for both kids and chocolate-loving adults alike. There are rides, a factory tour, chocolate-making demonstrations and lots of the popular chocolates for sale at discount prices in the factory shop. Another popular spot is the National Sea Life Center. One of the most thrilling things about this aquarium is its 360° transparent tunnel, which lets you stand in the middle of the ocean while sharks and other aquatic life forms swim around you. Also popular are the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses, opened in 1832, designed by John Claudius Loudon, a leading garden planner and horticultural journalist. The gardens offer you the chance to see some of the most beautiful greenery in the world along with stunning glasshouses. There are also the stone lamps and statues of sphinxes adorning the grounds, as does a statue of Queen Victoria. Victoria Square has now become a popular meeting point and relaxing place to people watch.
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