Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
75-79 Vyse Street Hockley Birmingham B18 6HA
When Birmingham jewellers Smith & Pepper ceased trading in the 1980s, workers quite literally downed tools and left, leaving equipment and workbenches to gather dust while time moved on. The dust has since been cleared, and this former workshop is now a museum that stands as a testament to Birmingham's bejewelled heritage. Transporting us back to the time when the museum was a thriving workshop, guided tours take visitors through the neighbourhood's's history and demonstrate jewellery-making techniques. And the nice thing is that Brum's jewellery production is not all about history. Even today, 40% of the UK's jewellery comes from the city's Jewellery Quarter, making this museum a nice twist on the heritage theme, with lots of nearby, functioning shops to stock up on some original, present-day bling.