The TV show may have strayed from the exact true story, but the history of the Peaky Blinders and their rule over Birmingham is still prominent in the city. Though there were many locations across the UK where Peaky Blinders was filmed, there are some key spots in Birmingham you can visit to find out more about the gang’s story.
Back to Backs
If you want to get a sense of what it must have been like to live as a working-class family in Birmingham at the time the original Peaky Blinders were roaming the city, then the Back to Backs is a great way to transport yourself back in time. Not far from Small Heath, the area where the gang themselves were based, the small size of the houses means any visits need to be booked in advance. The tours will tell you all about the three families that lived and worked there from the 1840s onwards and give you a sense of the lives of these working people.
Grand Union Canal
In the TV series, the canal was the way the criminal gang transported their ‘goods’ to other major UK cities. Indeed, it was a major trade and transport route into Birmingham at the time the original gang was around. Today, it is a bustling place full of pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants and is frequented more often by tourists than by criminals. There are a few themed venues here too, making it the perfect place to sip a whiskey in a peaked cap.
Black Country Living Museum
As the name suggests, this museum brings the life and times of the original gang to life. It also became the set for much of the TV series, including the Canal Arm which became Charlie Strong’s Yard and St James’s School which was used to film the scene of a brutal murder. This is an amazing way for both adults and children to experience what life was like a Peaky Blinder, as well as in other eras of Birmingham’s history.
Although Digbeth is now a very trendy, creative and independent area of Birmingham, it was once home to many working-class families. It is also where the oldest secular building in Birmingham, the Old Crown Pub has stood since 1368, so it’s likely that the original Peaky Blinders may have visited there at some point. Plus, there is plenty of street art dedicated to the TV show, so any fan of the series will feel quite at home here.
Sadler’s Brewing Company
Though the original business was open from 1861 to 1927, the Sadler’s Brewing Company was revived in 2004 by the sixth generation descendants of its previous owners and has since taken inspiration from the Peaky Blinders for their ale, whiskey and gin products. Based just outside of the city centre in Stourbridge, Sadler’s beer and spirits can be found across Birmingham and beyond, with tours and day experiences also being run in the brewery itself.
The Peaky Blinders of both history and the TV series made their real money on the race track, so why not don your best outfit and enjoy all the thrills and spills they would have experienced back then at Wolverhampton Racecourse? About 50 minutes north of Birmingham City Centre, it’s a great way to enjoy a day living like a member of the gang with your friends.
Take a ‘blinder’ of a trip
With regular trains travelling between London and Birmingham, you could be at the centrally-located New Street Station in around 1 hour and 10 minutes. By booking in advance, you can reserve your seat and save money on your tickets, particularly if you’re travelling as a group or family. Plus, with comfortable seats, free train WiFi and refreshments available, the best way is to travel with Avant - by order of the Peaky Blinder.
Getting there by train
So, have you decided where to go for a day out in England, Scotland or Wales? Whatever city’s independent shops you’ve got your heart set on, Avanti West Coast can take you there. You can book any train journey through our Journey Planner, even if the stations and services aren’t run by Avanti West Coast.