Lodging and Travel Information

The IASPR Conference Venue is the Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI), located at 9 Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS. The Birmingham & Midland Institute was established in 1854 and has been at the heart of Birmingham’s cultural life for almost 170 years. Located in a Grade II listed building, the BMI has a thriving programme of cultural and educational activities, which includes a wide spectrum of arts and science lectures, exhibitions and concerts.

Getting to Birmingham

Birmingham has an international airport (BHX), located 10 miles south-east of the city centre. It has regular connections to Amsterdam (for KLM connections), Dublin (for Aer Lingus), and Dubai (for Emirates). Alternative nearby airports which are relatively easy to access from Birmingham are Manchester and London Heathrow.

You can fly direct between BHX and Dubai, New Delhi, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Amsterdam, Paris, Edinburgh, Dublin, Barcelona, Rome, Malta, Munich, Glasgow, Belfast, Munich, Antalya and Istanbul. There are currently no direct flights between North America and Birmingham.

If you’re struggling to find affordable flights to BHX, I would recommend Manchester as a good alternative (you can fly direct to Manchester from New York, Orlando, Toronto and Atlanta). It takes around 2 hours by train from Manchester to Birmingham.

Heathrow offers the widest range of flight options (although it can be more expensive). You can travel from Heathrow to Birmingham by coach (around 4 hours) or subway and train (around 3 hours).

The easiest and quickest way to get from Birmingham airport to the city centre is by train. The journey takes 10 minutes and costs £4.30 one-way.

Birmingham is centrally located in the UK, with direct train routes to London Euston (1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes, depending on the operator) and London Marylebone (2 hours), Manchester (1 hour 30 minutes), Edinburgh (4 hours 15 minutes), Cardiff (2 hours), Leeds (2 hours) and York (2 hours 30 minutes).

Visa requirements

If you’re travelling from outside of the UK and you are not a British citizen, you may need to apply for a visa to attend the IASPR conference. We recommend that you check whether a visa is required via the UK government visa checker: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

The checker will ask you to choose your nationality ‘as shown on your passport or travel document’.

Next, it will ask, ‘What are you coming to the UK to do?’. Choose the option ‘Work, academic visit or business’.

You will then be asked, ‘How long are you planning to work in the UK for?’. Select ‘6 months or less’.

If the checker says that you need a visa the visa required to attend and present at a conference is the ‘Standard Visitor visa (Business route)’. You can find more information and apply online here: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor. You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa from 3 months before your trip.

If you require an invitation letter for the conference, please email Dr Amy Burge to request one: a.burge@bham.ac.uk

Travel in Birmingham

Birmingham is a large city, with a mostly pedestrianised city centre. The conference venue is an 8- minute walk from the main train station. The rest of the city can be easily reached by bus or train. The Citymapper app works well for local transportation: https://citymapper.com/birmingham.

You can pay with a contactless bank card on local buses or cash (correct change required). For trams and trains you will need to buy tickets in advance either via an app, website, or at the stop or station.

Birmingham has rentable bikes  with West Midlands Cycle Hire (https://www.wmcyclehire.co.uk).

Things to See and Do in Birmingham

Around Birmingham

Owing to its central location, Birmingham is a great base for visiting other parts of the UK. Some recommended day trips you can take by public transport are:

  • Worcester (40 minutes by train, direct)
    A historic city with many historic buildings and a cathedral, housing the tombs of King John (1166-1216) and Prince Arthur (1486-1502), Henry VIII’s older brother.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon (45 minutes by train, direct)
    Shakespeare’s birthplace, with museums and historic houses, as well as the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
  • Great Malvern and the Malvern Hills (1 hour by train, direct)
    A spa town, at the foot of the Malvern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Good for countryside views, walking, and cosy pubs. Other AONBs nearby are the Cotswolds and Wye Valley.
  • Bath (2 hours by train, change at Bristol Temple Meads)
    World Heritage site historic spa town, ideal for recreating your favourite Regency romance!
  • Severn Valley Railway (45 minutes by train, direct to the start at Kidderminster)
    A heritage steam railway that runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, along the river Severn.
  • Droitwich Spa Lido (30 minutes by train, direct)
    A historic salt water open-air lido, heated to 23 degrees (apparently the temperature of the Mediterranean in the summer!).
  • Ironbridge Gorge (1 hour 20 minutes by train and bus)
    A World Heritage site and museum, focused on the industrial revolution.


The conference venue is the Birmingham and Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS. There are many hotel options nearby, for a range of budgets. You might wish to consult websites like Airbnb as well.

Budget options (dorm rooms, 2* basic hotels with no frills)

  • Travelodge Birmingham Central Newhall Street (5-minute walk to venue). Approximately £60 per night.
  • Selina Hostel (10-minute walk to venue). Dorm beds approximately £45 per night.

Mid-range options (3* hotels)

  • Hotel ibis Styles Birmingham Centre, 65 Lionel St, Birmingham B3 1JE (3-minute walk to venue). Approximately £100 per night.
  • Premier Inn Birmingham City Centre (New St Station) (7-minute walk to venue). Approximately £80 per night.

Fancier (4* and above)

  • Hyatt Regency, Birmingham (9-minute walk to venue). Approximately £150 per night.
  • Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Centre, an IHG Hotel (10-minute walk to venue). Approximately £100 per night.
  • Birmingham Grand (5-minute walk to venue). Approximately £170 per night.