Found My Dream In Birmingham

Owl statue in park

Who doesn’t love travelling? I made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to go on more day trips, so last weekend I decided to go to Birmingham and have a First Class weekend away! The best way to get there is by train and CrossCountry is had some great offers and great services.

CrossCountry run services all across Britain, connecting seven of the country’s largest cities, and calling at over 100 stations.  What is even more convenient is the fact that you can buy tickets for any rail journey in Britain with any train company and with no booking fee. 
CrossCountry’s great fares allowed me to treat myself to First Class tickets for the first time without breaking my budget. I never thought that it was worth paying more to travel First Class, but I have to say that the quiet atmosphere and the wider, more comfortable seats with miles of legroom were definitely worth it. This was topped by complimentary drinks and refreshments throughout the journey, and very friendly and helpful staff.

Furthermore, the free WiFi offered aboard the First Class coach and the multiple power points for my phone and laptop allowed me to stay connected throughout my journey. 

Texting phone

In Birmingham, I finally got to see the Selfridges building in person. Part of the Bullring Shopping Centre, the £60 million building is a landmark in the city. Its façade, which comprises 15,000 anodised aluminium discs mounted on a blue background, is inspired by a Paco Rabanne dress, as I came to learn aboard an open-top tourist bus. 

I was also lucky to see the Big Hoot exhibition around the city centre. The public art event showcases over 200 originally painted owl statues, which will later be auctioned off to support Birmingham Children’s Hospital. 

Owl statue

Owl statue in the park

White and blue owl statue

Orange owl statue

In fact, I was part of an installation project myself that day. Walking across Victoria Square, I came across a pop-up interactive exhibition where people passing by where asked to write a few words on what ‘home’ means to them. I wrote about how I am lucky to feel at home both in Portugal and in the UK and left my message on a miniature house for others to read. This was such an amazing experience, but someone should have warned me that homesickness would kick in immediately after. 

Girl in Birmingham

After a very pleasant day in Birmingham, it was unfortunately time to return home. CrossCountry’s open return tickets permitted me to choose which service I would like to return on, and the company’s free mobile app allowed me to stay on top of departure schedules with live train updates. 
The return journey met the high expectations set earlier that day. The First Class coach was quiet, with only one other passenger sitting a few rows over – the perfect setting for me to recline my seat, pop in my earphones, and admire the trip back home through the Midlands. 

Want to have a First Class weekend of your own? Then you better be fast to enter CrossCountry’s prize draw by sharing your photos with #FindYourWay. Find more details at Good luck!


  1. Muito boa reportagem. O dia estava lindo. Só me apetece pegar um First Class para qualquer lugar. Parabéns.bjs

  2. I did this aswell! Birmingham was my original location but you ended up there instead, I went to Sheffield in the end, my post will be going up at the weekend! Glad you enjoyed your trip :)