We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing Working Class History.”

Birmingham Back to Backs
Ranked #1 of 289 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed March 23, 2013

For us this was an enthralling insight into relatively recent local history and an eye-opening tour that is as far removed from the stereotypical National Trust grand stately home as it is possible to get.
If you have even a passing interest in history, and as you are checking out the reviews here I guess you have, then this place should be on your list to see. It is far more interesting than the overview makes it seem, and the fact it was real people (us common working class people) that lived here adds more realism to the properties.

Be aware that you are best to book tours in advance as numbers are limited on each tour due to the small sizes of the rooms. This does mean that you are not crowded in with a big group though and makes the talk by the guides feel very tailored to the group.

It is also worth noting that this is an attraction that can be visited whatever the weather.
So far we have been twice and enjoyed both times.

The small museum that is part of the site is worth a good 15-20 minutes look (and listen) around after the tour and gives more information about living conditions and the restoration works carried out.

I reckon that most kids from around 8 or 9 years old would probably enjoy finding out about the houses or at least be stunned by how folks used to live here.
For older or less mobile folks the access can be tricky and although there are places to sit in each room most of the stairs are steep and awkward. We were told that some provision for disabled visitors is planned for the future but we don’t know exactly when.

There is no food on site – unless you count the old fashioned sweet shop on the corner (also worth visiting!), but there is a small souvenir shop within the reception area. If in need of a cuppa I’d recommend ‘The Coffee Room’ just a few steps across from the corner shop.

A visit to the Back To Backs makes you realise how far we have come with regard to home comforts but how much community spirit we have lost. Very eye opening.

Thank 68Wallace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (2,477)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

2,150 - 2,154 of 2,477 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2013

The tour was very interesting and I enjoyed hearing about the families who had lived and worked in the properties. Well worth a visit but be aware there are steep stairs.

Thank SueD503972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Edutainment and nostalgia in one! Very interesting to see how back-to-back houses changed over the years.

Thank NeilWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We visited the museum last week and coming from Germany we had never heard of this type of housing before. We had to pay £6.75 for a student ticket. The tour was really interesting and our guide told us everything we wanted to know about these premises and their usage. The tour lasted about one and a half hours, but it wasn't boring at all because they concentrated on the families who had lived in these houses and their stories, which made the houses somehow come alive. I would definitely recommend a visit if you're interested in the way people lived in former times ;) Very unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures on the property :(
Worth knowing: it's essential to pre-book and access is by a guided tour only ;)

1  Thank Sandra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This National Trust property truly gives an insight into the day to day lives of working class people and reminds us how lucky we are today with central heating and indoor plumbing! This is in the main a hands on tour and the candlelight, gas lamps and coal fires add to the feeling of stepping back in time. The tour was fascinating for older visitors who may remember similar properties in their own lives but also for children as a comparison with their lives today who are horrified by the thought of chamber pots and bedbugs! Those with mobility problems however should be aware of the steep and narrow staircases. Two of the back to backs have been renovated as holiday/rental properties and there is a lovely old fashioned sweet shop on the corner - a nostalgic bonus! A superb experience.

Thank TrudJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Birmingham Back to Backs also viewed

Birmingham, West Midlands
Birmingham, West Midlands

Been to Birmingham Back to Backs? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing