Birmingham Back to Backs
Birmingham Back to Backs
5
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
*Visits to the Birmingham Back to Backs houses are by guided tours only and must be booked in advance. Accessible ground floor tours are also available. Please book your visit through the website.* Experience 200 years of working people's lives in the heart of the city. An atmospheric glimpse into the lives of the ordinary people who helped make Birmingham an extraordinary city. On a fascinating guided tour, step back in time at Birmingham's last surviving court of back to backs; houses built literally back-to-back around a communal courtyard. Moving from the 1840s through to the 1970s, discover the lives of some of the former residents who crammed into these small houses to live and work. The Birmingham Back to Backs are cared for by the National Trust. Please note, the houses have steep winding staircases. A ground floor only tour is also available which is accessible by wheelchair.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Elisa K
    Sydney, Australia73 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the most engaging and educational small tours you could ask for
    With group sizes of only 10 and a dedicated guide, we had a fantastic tour around the Birmingham Back to Backs. The layout of the museum experience travels you through time and the stories of the inhabitants really come to life. Ross our guide was spectacular - engaging, knowledgeable and really made the tour. Highly recommended.
    Thanks so much for the great review! We're glad you had a brilliant tour with Ross and hope to see you again.
    Written April 19, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 17, 2023
  • travellerkMidlands
    Solihull, United Kingdom922 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting tour with Excellent Guide
    We have been meaning to do this for years and finally got round to it today. Everything was expertly organised with many groups being shown round. Our Guide, Ross, was informative and humorous without going over the top. He made a special effort to involve the youngster in the group. I'm glad the weather was good as it wouldn't have been so pleasant on a wet day. The staircases are winding and narrow. Pity there wasn't a cafe to finish off in. Thanks to all the volunteers.
    Thanks so much for the brilliant review! We're glad you had a brilliant tour with Ross and hope to see you again.
    Written April 20, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 20, 2023
  • sylvev
    Aberystwyth, United Kingdom33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a brilliant place!
    What a brilliant place! Really fascinating insight into Birmingham and social history. The tour was brilliant, John the guide was brilliant, sharing stories and involving us all, really brought it all to life. The buildings are so beautifully restored and cared for. Absolutely recommend!
    Ta bab! We're glad you enjoyed your visit and your tour with John. We hope to see you again
    Written April 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 21, 2023
  • Malcolm C
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An absolute gem.
    SO much care and detail has gone into making this feel authentic, bringing alive the history of the challenges of daily life in the Back to Backs. Well done, National Trust. You’ve excelled yourselves. Incredible experience. Makes you appreciate all the modern luxuries we have that we take for granted. Extraordinary. What a gem.
    Thank you for the wonderful rating and review, we're really glad you enjoyed your tour of the Back to Backs and hope to see you again!
    Written May 3, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 28, 2023
  • Julie H
    Wolverhampton, United Kingdom5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great piece of history, well worth a visit
    Thank you Bill, for an amazing look back at history and how people lived and worked at the back to backs, this was our first visit, today 5th May 2023. We enjoyed the visit and hearing the history of the people who lived in these three remaining houses. Also enjoyed learning about George Saunders (Tailor). It made us really think of how hard it would have been for those people and how good we have it today. Well done National Trust in preserving it and thank you volunteers for bringing it to life for us.
    Thanks so much for this brilliant review Julie, we really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Volunteers like Bill make this little court of houses come to life! We hope you'll be back again in the future.
    Written May 10, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 5, 2023
  • Georgina S
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Girly trip
    My 17 year old daughter and I were visiting from Cornwall for a girly shopping weekend away and I decided to pop back with her as the last time we visited was 16 years previous! She was a little reluctant but absolutely loved it. Great experience for a few peaceful hours ahead of the chaos of the shopping experience and all within walking distance of our air bnb and the Bullring. Well done NT on preserving these parts of our history.
    Ta bab! We're glad you enjoyed your visit, it's a privilege to be able to share the stories of working Brummies lives. We hope to see you again!
    Written May 10, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 6, 2023
  • Mathew D
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating!
    A guided tour around these houses was absolutely brilliant. Ross was our guide and he was great. So friendly and knowledgeable. This was a marvellous way to spend a couple of hours. I cannot recommend this tour strongly enough.
    Ta bab! We're glad you enjoyed your visit and your tour with Ross. We hope to see you again
    Written May 12, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 11, 2023
  • MBCNotts
    West Bridgford, United Kingdom73 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A step back in time to life in the Back to Backs
    Have wanted to visit for a long time and today we finally went. John was a great tour guide - very knowledgable and entertaining at the same time. Would strongly recommend a visit - a really enjoyable step back in time.
    Thank you for the great review, we really appreciate your feedback and are glad to hear you had a good tour with John. We hope to see you again!
    Written May 12, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 11, 2023
  • Deb Fullerton
    Wolverhampton, United Kingdom2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous experience
    Absolutely brilliant day out a great insight of life as it was so interesting, really made you realise how well we live today. Our tour guide John. Was fabulous telling us all about the families that would have lived in the back to back houses and the hard struggles of everyday living back in the day amazing . Don’t miss visiting you won’t regret it
    Thanks so much for this fantastic review Deb, we really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Volunteers like John make this little court of houses come to life. We hope you'll be back again in the future.
    Written May 15, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 12, 2023
  • Stephen U
    Barnard Castle, United Kingdom4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating family visit
    We were lucky to secure a booking after a last-minute cancellation with the help of their incredibly helpful staff. Our tour guide Les was brilliant. His personal insights and passion for the Birmingham area made for a perfect tour. He answered questions and posed some of his own to the group. It was enjoyable for adults and my teenagers were enthralled. Do yourself a favour and visit this site. It will be the highlight of your day out in Birmingham. If possible - ask for Les.
    Thank you so much for the great review and rating Stephen. We're so pleased you enjoyed your tour with Les and look forward to welcoming you back!
    Written May 15, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written May 13, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles4,157 reviews
Excellent
3,569
Very good
509
Average
63
Poor
12
Terrible
5

Pat S
Reading, UK116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
First point. If you would like a guided tour of these sympathetically restored Victorian Back to Back houses, now in the care of the National Trust, you have to book ahead. Once on the tour it is obvious why and second point to note, the houses are small and have very steep stairs. Our guide was John. He did an excellent job of recreating what life would’ve been like at various points in time, how the occupants spent their day, how they earned their money and just how hard life was. He was also brilliant at getting all of us engaged and involved. The hour and a half tour speed by. And afterwards you can visit an old fashioned sweet shop.
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Pat, A great full review with lots of information for the public. Many thanks for taking the time to write. Regards Barbara
Written February 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pauline K
Worcester, UK100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
A really insightful and thought provoking afternoon at this little gem in Birmingham. Not your usual NT stately home with all the grandeur but a stark chilling experience to see how the poor working class residents of Birmingham lived from the late 1800s up until the 1960s. The visit consists of a private tour (so you have to prebook) delivered by a NT volunteer. I am sure they are all brilliant but if you can insist on Wesley. He is so knowledgeable (he was a previous resident as a child) so he speaks with such passion about life and hardship in this community. He also adds a real spark of humour in his tour so you are smiling and frowning in equal measure.

A great day out for all ages. Just beware there are a couple of steep steps and low ceilings. Well done NT for taking this on and preserving the history
Written January 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Pauline, Thank you for reviewing Back to Backs. Your comment will help our future visitors. That comment 'Little Gem' I hear it so often and of course its so true. Kind regards Barbara
Written February 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SteveThomas61
Birmingham, UK16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
The back to backs in Birmingham city centre are a great little gem of the National Trust, you could walk past them and miss them, if you do you will miss a treat. Go through the door a step back in time, the place smells of Victorian England, you think houses today are small!
You can self guide or go round with an NT guide , which is included in the entrance fee.
Fascinating insight to how life was for the poorest in society. In 1875, the Government sought to outlaw them due to their awful unsanitary conditions, but didn’t enforce the demolition and councils and land owners were free to ignore the law, even to the point of building more.
Well worth a visit.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shona B
Livingston, UK199 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Saw this tour when searching for things to do on our trip to Birmingham. Sooo glad I booked it .Love social history and often visit Beamish museum in County Durham .we went round in small groups at regular intervals.Our guide told us interesting stories about who used to live there as well as sharing his own memories of living in a back to back .Yes a few steep spiral wooden stairs to go up and down so not good if you're not physically fit .We were warned the houses didn't smell great but I actually love those old smells .We kept close to the fires as a wee bit nippy when visiting in the winter .Highly recommend
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi shonab, Good to hear from you, a nice full review as well. I'm going to the Beamish museum later this year, looking forward o that. I tend to think the smells were a lot worse back in the day. Many thanks Kind regards Barbara
Written February 18, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Crus0eR
New York City, NY67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is a real worthwhile visit in Central Birmingham, Our guide Carl really made history come to life as he walked us through and up and down (quite a few narrow, twisty staircases but they do offer a ground floors only tour for those less agile) four properties from 1840, 1870, 1930 and a tailor shop (looked like it did the day after it was closed). Fascinating to see products and articles that you had seen in your grandparents' houses. Also you get a view of toilets through the ages !! A real reminder of how much we take for granted - fetching 20 buckets of water from a nearby well, anyone ? . Booking is essential and visit is by guided tour only but if you get Carl guiding you, you will have a very enjoyable visit. There is a small exhibition, souvenir shop and best of all, an old-fashioned sweet shop
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi CrusOer, What a great, informative review this is, really helps our future visitors. Many thanks. Barbara
Written February 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Derek H
The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK31 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Our guide was Carl a self confessed yam yam and he was terrific taking us on a tour through the houses from early 19th c to as late as 1974 . He pointed out the changes at each stage even the loos on the yard progressed from a plank on a bucket to a flush toilet .
Fascinating and absorbing for all ages and taking about 90 mins , too small for a restaurant on site but there is a Wetherspoons on Hurst Street and the coffee is cheaper there!
There are several flights of very steep and slightly tricky stairs so if you are not so good on your pins maybe give it a miss.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hitchinphil
Hitchin, UK21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The Back to Backs are well worth a visit to see the lifestyles of the working people in 19th and 20th century Birmingham. Our guide John was extremely knowledgeable and involved all the group with his anecdotes and activities and brought living in these houses to life. We learned a lot about the conditions and social history of life in the city.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoWebb59
West Midlands, UK37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Superb couple of hours going back in time with our very enthusiastic guide John, a volunteer with the National Trust who own the Back to Back properties.
The tour needs to be booked in advance via the website.
There were 8 of us in our group, we were taken through 3 back to back houses that had been redecorated to look as if they were from the 1840’s, 1870’s and 1930’s.
It gave you a real insight into the life of the poor working class of the time.
For anyone interested in local history this is a must do.
There are several flights of very narrow steep stairs to negotiate but if you have mobility problems then a ground floor tour can be organised if you let them know in advance.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

clggga
Driffield, UK157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
Excellent guided tour. Carl was very knowledgeable and made the houses come to life, especially as it was actually about the people who had lived there in the past. Fascinating facts and artefacts made it all the more real. Well worth the money (a 90 minute guided tour in a small group) Deserves it’s 5 star rating.
Written September 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the great review, we're so glad you enjoyed your tour with Carl. We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and hope to see you again.
Written December 19, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eva
Amsterdam, The Netherlands11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
Without fail one of the most interesting tours I’ve ever been on... this group are exceptional!! The houses have been restored and staged in such magnificent detail, the information is eye opening and the guides are sooo full of factoids we all didn’t want the tour to end! They warned about narrow stairs but honestly these are totally manageable...
to anyone passing through Birmigham... visit this historical treasure and treat yourself to a sweet from the Candy store as a reward
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Birmingham Back to Backs - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Birmingham Back to Backs

Birmingham Back to Backs is open:
  • Tue - Wed 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Fri - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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