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“What a fantastic attraction, right in the middle of Birmingham!”

Birmingham Back to Backs
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Sightseeing Birmingham open top bus tour
Ranked #1 of 266 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

This was one of my "must-sees" on a trip to Birmingham, as my father lived in a back-to-back when he was a child and I really wanted to see what they were like. I am so glad we went, as the experience of actually standing in the rooms and seeing the confined space and living conditions really helped me to understand the stories he used to tell me.

We booked a tour, as advised on the website, and as we arrived a few minutes early, we visited the small exhibition above the National Trust shop, which gave us a little background information on the area. However, it was the guided tour itself which made the visit such an excellent one. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly and presented us with huge amounts of information in a way that didn't feel at all overwhelming or lecturing. Our group were all middle-aged, which was quite entertaining, as we could all remember seeing or using some of the objects on display when we were younger, so we all felt rather like museum exhibits ourselves by the end. The whole tour was thoughtfully designed and made me feel that I had a real idea of the lifestyles of the previous inhabitants of the properties.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone, but you do need to be able to negotiate the very steep, narrow spiral staircases. There are handrails and you are not rushed up or down them, but everyone in our party commented on how difficult it must have been to climb them in dim light when carrying a baby, for example. I am glad to report that we all made it out unscathed.

Thank CuriousTravellerYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"national trust"
in 413 reviews
"sweet shop"
in 187 reviews
"steep stairs"
in 91 reviews
"living conditions"
in 77 reviews
"guided tour"
in 205 reviews
"different periods"
in 53 reviews
"step back in time"
in 139 reviews
"different eras"
in 47 reviews
"guide jeff"
in 30 reviews
"hard life"
in 29 reviews
"book in advance"
in 110 reviews
"trip down memory lane"
in 37 reviews
"great insight"
in 45 reviews
"great guide"
in 31 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 50 reviews
"small group"
in 36 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 42 reviews

2,649 - 2,653 of 3,053 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

I was very sceptical of this venture having been brought up in similar in Ladywood, but on entering immediately taken back to my early years and instantly converted. Real reflection on social housing up to the sixties from which many of us came, all authentic fittings and fixtures.

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

I am a member of the National Trust and decided to visit this attraction while staying Birmingham for a couple of days. I booked onto a tour at 11am but arrived a bit early and had a look round the shop and the wall paper exhibition first.

We had 7 in our group and a guide.

The houses are fascinating, with each one being a visual time capsule spanning a 100 years or so supported by audio from people who lived in them more recently.

The guides are really knowledgeable and there is plenty of time to ask questions and look around at details.

Tour took about 1.5hrs and was about £7 for an adult (free if you are a member though)

Really interesting both from a historical point of view and from a re-construction perspective as when you see them from the street they seem like part of modern Birmingham but they are full of secrets!

Totally recommend this tour, good value and very informative, easy to get to if your staying in the city centre - we were in a hotel (Jurys Inn) on Broad Street

1  Thank PorkpieUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

I booked 52, Inge Street for a night's accommodation as a birthday surprise for my husband. It was quite expensive at £110, but there are cooking facilities if you don't want to eat out. Our house was furnished in a Victorian style and the modernisations (kitchenette & shower room) were cleverly concealed behind panelling. Our brass beds were really comfortable and little touches such as a welcome card, fresh flowers & a pint of milk were appreciated. The property is in a busy area for nightlife but staying during the week rather than at a weekend meant our sleep was not disturbed. As part of the deal, we had a 'free' tour of the Back to Backs. We had a very good guide who led our small group around the back to backs with an informative commentary. The shop staff were very helpful as well. The house is well situated for a visit to the Hippodrome and the electric Cinema. I heartily recommend both the accommodation and the tour.

1  Thank Kate O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 16, 2013

Amazing experience, literally takes you back in time to see how Birmingham was throughout the ages, free for National trust members or £6.75 for others, really informative guide, would highly recommend .

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

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