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Unusual bridge in UK city that's attracting tourists from as far as New York

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THERE’S a bridge in Birmingham that’s been attracting holidaymakers from the US thanks to its ties to an English rock band.

For years, tourists have been flocking to the UK to visit the real-life places that have inspired blockbuster films and famous TV dramas.

Birmingham's Black Sabbath Bridge was built to commemorate the heavy metal band

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Birmingham’s Black Sabbath Bridge was built to commemorate the heavy metal bandCredit: Alamy
The Black Sabbath Bridge was unveiled in 2019

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The Black Sabbath Bridge was unveiled in 2019Credit: Alamy

But holidaymakers have also been coming to the UK to see attractions that have been built to honour their favourite celebrities.

From Harry Styles‘s hometown in Holmes Chapel to The Grapes, Ian McKellen’s London pub, and London’s Abbey Road, it’s safe to say that holidaymakers are drawn to celebrity landmarks.

Another unusual celebrity landmark is Birmingham’s Black Sabbath Bridge, which was built to commemorate the heavy metal band.

The Birmingham-based band consisted of guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.

Read More on UK Attractions

Black Sabbath is often referred to as the pioneers of heavy metal music.

The genre coined it’s named after guitarist Tony Iommi lost the tips of his middle and ring finger in an industrial accident in a metal sheet factory in Birmingham.

As some of Birmingham’s most famous celebrity icons, Black Sabbath were immortalised a bench was erected in their honour.

The bench was the brainchild of Mike Olley, the General manager of Westside BID, and Mohammed Osama, an architect from Dubai, who wanted to create something special to honour Black Sabbath.

After the bench was unveiled in a VIP ceremony at St Luke’s Church on Gas Street, which was attended by 350 fans from around the globe, it was moved to its official spot on canal bridge.

Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were there for the bench’s opening after arriving on a canal barge.

Seven underrated towns you need to visit

Canal bridge was later remained Black Sabbath Bridge following the arrival of the bench.

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi said: “The bridge name and commemorative bench are both terrific and we’re thrilled that everyone can now enjoy what has become a special location for Black Sabbath history.”

Located on Broad Street, the Black Sabbath Bench and Bridge are just a short five-minute walk from Centenary Square.

The Bridge is also a short hop from Gas Street Basin, which is home to several trendy bars and restaurants including The Botanist.

Black Sabbath Bridge is arguably one of the city’s hidden gems, hailing just 11 reviews on TripAdvisor.

As someone who is from Birmingham, and has walked past the bridge on several occasions, I know the 11 reviews aren’t truly reflective of its popularity.

This is because whenever I walk past the bridge, there’s always a group of visitors snapping photos and sitting on the bench.

While most of the accents I’ve overheard have been from the UK, holidaymakers from as far as New York have made the trip.

One person wrote on TripAdvisor: “I’m a New York Black Sabbath fan who visited Birmingham in February of 2019 to see the unveiling of the bench ceremony with Tony Iommi at St. Luke’s Church, so it only made sense to return again just four months later for the official bench placement event at the Black Sabbath Bridge when Tony and Geezer were there to unveil it…and it didn’t disappoint!”

Another person added: “The Black Sabbath Bridge is really cool to visit with friends and family especially when walking along the canal.

“But the best thing is what’s on top of it, which is the Black Sabbath Bench where fans of Black Sabbath can come to take pictures and enjoy the view.”

Birmingham is home to a number of other attractions that have flown under the radar, including the country’s number 1 hidden gem attraction.

Other hidden gem attractions

Earlier this year, I visited the  Birmingham’s Back to Backs on a recent visit to my hometown after research from luggage storage company Bounce named the Back to Backs as the UK’s best hidden gem attraction.

Thanks to its 5/5 star rating from more than 4,000 TripAdvisor reviews, the Back to Backs soared to first place.

Built in the 19th Century, the small brick buildings are the city’s last surviving example of back-to-back houses.

You can read all about my visit to the Birmingham Back to Backs, here.

The Sun Travel team’s holiday essentials

WITH decades of experience and hundreds of countries under their belt, the Sun Travel team have shared some of the essential items they always pack on a trip.

Here are some of the game-changing items we always pack – and some will barely cost you a thing.

  • Lisa Minot, Head of Travel – Global travel plug with USB (£64)
  • Caroline McGuire, Travel Editor – Hotel Slippers
  • Sophie Swietochowski, Assistant Travel Editor – Pack of 40 earplugs (£40)
  • Kara Godfrey, Deputy Travel Editor – 1 litre water bottle (£8.99)
  • Ryan Gray, Travel Reporter – Bluetooth eye mask (£16.50)
  • Giuli Graziano, Travel Writer – AirTag luggage location tracker (£29.99).

I’ve also revealed the best of Birmingham’s hidden gems – including a secret garden and the UK’s best curry.

Meanwhile, a legendary pub where A-listers performed in Birmingham is set to reopen as a live music venue with themed hotel rooms.

The Black Sabbath Bench and Bridge are just a short five-minute walk from Centenary Square

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The Black Sabbath Bench and Bridge are just a short five-minute walk from Centenary SquareCredit: Alamy
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