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The custard factory

Alt fashion's alternative guide to Birmingham


Birmingham finds itself smack bang in the heart of the midlands, a central hub that's bustling with alternative culture. Whilst the shape of the city may have changed over the years it's still a haven for alternative style and culture in the midlands with a fondness for all that's metal and rock at it's heart.


So what do you do when you find yourself in Birmingham with 24 hours to kill? and how do you hunt out the alternative side to the city? Well look no further than our alternative guide to Birmingham.


Birmingham has three major railway stations all allowing for easy access to the city centre, alongside a major coach station if you prefer to travel by bus. Birmingham's alternative districts are spread across the city, the easiest to reach first and the most common pit stop first is to hop off at New Street station.


From New Street station exit onto the street to visit Blue banana. Here you'll find a range of punk, emo and alternative wares alongside accessories and footwear. From there your a short walk away from Disorder on Needless alley if you fancy some independent, alternative menswear.


Just up from there your a short walk away from The Oasis on Corporation street, Birmingham's alternative arcade that's full of independent shops and stalls. Whatever your tastes you'll find something that takes your fancy inside from gothic to vintage, punk to kawaii you'll find it in here. Spread across several floors you'll find plenty of shops to visit including Beadeasarus, Vixen Couture and Top rock.


From there you'll find the other half of the cities alternative shops over in Digbeth, cut through the bullring & head towards High street Deritend to find an abundance of hidden gems. Housed in a colourful building The custard factory is a vast selection of independent traders and alternative shops, if you have a soft spot for vintage fashion you'll be in heaven here with plenty of shops selling vintage clothing, upcycled furnishings and more. You'll find Mr Bird's emporium, housing several independent designers from jewellery to clothing and Rawhide corsets nestled inside amongst many others. It's also home to Le Keux vintage salon & barbers a must visit salon for vintage styling and make overs.


You'll find The alternative and burlesque fair housing up nearby at The rainbow club every few months in the city for an alternative shopping and entertainment experience unlike any other that's certainly worth a visit.


The Oasis

For a pit stop after all that shopping a visit to Ed's in Selfridges at the Bullring is a must, a 50's diner that's a much welcome stop off in the city and you can even indulge in a boozy milkshake whilst your there!


Once you've finished off your shop, you can find plenty of night life across the city. Everything from burlesque to hard rock can be found in the cities many underground clubs. Dependant on what day you're in the city you can find a different choice of clubs and performances to take in.


The city's longest running club Eddies is still going strong, where you can expect to find regular rock, metal and goth club nights. You'll also find regular rock nights over at Subside.


Jekyll and hyde birmingham

For a spot of tease Enchanted burlesque is worth a visit alongside The burlesque company putting on regular shows across the city.


And if you fancy something a little different why not pay a visit to Jekyll and hyde where you'll find a Victorian gin parlour that's bound to tickle your fancy, you won't look out of place in your finest steampunk frippery!


Whilst we've only bitten off a selection of Birmingham's entertainment you can surely find plenty to do in one of the Midlands busiest cities. So be sure to make the most of your day trip, or weekend outing.


Visit our directory site for hundreds of alternative shops