Peaky fans set for blinding summer at Birmingham attractions

With series three of Peaky Blinders reaching its conclusion, fans of the Birmingham-based BBC Two cult drama can continue to immerse themselves in the city’s social history this summer.

Peaky Blinders – which tells the story of a gangster family in 1920s Birmingham – has enjoyed phenomenal success since launching in 2013. It has sold in 163 countries, aired on Netflix in the US and garnered critical acclaim including five BAFTA craft awards and an RTS award for best drama series.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Birmingham, said:

Peaky Blinders has caught the imagination of both locals and tourists worldwide. The series has become a major hit in key international visitor markets spanning from Europe right across to the US, helping to fuel global interest in the region’s fascinating heritage attractions.
Birmingham attracted a record 38.1 million visitors last year, with perceptions of the city as a leading tourist destination continuing to rise. We know that more than a quarter of our guests come to the city to enjoy its many museums and historic landmarks – and with the television show growing in popularity, we look forward to welcoming even more fans to explore our heritage offer in the future.

Taking place on Sunday 12 June, Birmingham Tours’ Peaky Blinders Bus Tour has been designed so that fans of the programme can discover the real locations, characters and events behind the television show. The tour – which starts at 6pm on Colmore Row – focuses on Digbeth, the area most often linked to the overall leader Tommy Shelby’s group, and other city centre locations, exploring the true history of gangs in Birmingham and disproving some myths en route.

Sue Behan of Birmingham Tours said:

I love to provide tours that emphasise how fantastic Birmingham is. Our Big Brum Open Top Buz has been running since 2009 – and it was a natural progression to have a Peaky Blinders tour as soon as the series hit our screens.
We always try to provide themed bus tours, so this year we’ll also be running a Georgian Birmingham & Capability Brown excursion to celebrate the 300th anniversary of England’s greatest gardener, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Our Medieval Birmingham trip in September marks 850 years since Birmingham received its market charter.

Peaky Tours – set up by entrepreneur and tailor Adrian Barrows, in collaboration with historian and University of Birmingham professor Carl Chinn – takes visitors back to Birmingham in the 1890s. Starting at the Old Crown and including the Rainbow Pub where the “Peaky Blinder” term was first coined, the tour will give guests an insight into the real characters from the era, which inspired the fictional Shelby gang from the cult drama.

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley is the ‘official home of Peaky Blinders’, where many scenes of the programme were filmed, including at the Anchor Forge, The Workers’ Institute and St James’s School. The open-air museum has received more than £250,000 worth of press coverage as a result of the series, with sales of Peaky Blinders-themed items jumping 57% in 2015 compared to the previous 12 months. Following the success of the filming, the museum has launched two Peaky Blinders-themed nights on 9 and 10 September, giving visitors a chance to explore the smoky back streets and slum housing that gave birth to the notorious gang, and enjoy live music, entertainment and dancing from the interwar years.

Laura Wakelin, Director of Communications and Marketing at Black Country Living Museum, said:

The museum is definitely benefitting from having Peaky Blinders filmed here and we know anecdotally from talking to our staff, visitors and from reading reviews on TripAdvisor that seeing the venue on TV has encouraged people to visit.
The impact is perhaps most evident in our two Peaky Blinders Night events, which are the fastest-selling at the Museum to date.

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