What to expect from your visit and how to book for the Birmingham Back to Backs

If you wish to visit the Midlands’ last example of Back to Back housing, you will need pre-book a guided, ground floor tour online.

What to expect from your visit

After a long year of caring for the Back to Back houses at Court 15 while they were closed, we’re very excited to be able to reopen for visitors at the end of June 2021. Lose yourself in the incredible stories of the former tenants of Court 15, once again.

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our top priority and there are a number of measures in place to protect everyone. Our expert guides will take groups on personal tours of the houses and will be on hand to talk you through, if you have any questions.

We have adopted an enhanced cleaning procedure throughout the property, with hand sanitiser available. Please follow government guidance when you visit; face coverings can still be worn if you choose to, so please bring one with you. If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

Due to the size of the Back to Backs, we are operating a fully accessible, ground floor only tour, with doors and windows open (weather permitting) to help ventilate the spaces, so please dress accordingly in adverse weather.

How to book

Visits to the Birmingham Back to Backs can be booked online, tickets are released on Friday for the coming two weeks. We do not yet have capacity to book further in advance than two weeks; if you wish to book for future dates, please book online a fortnight before you hope to visit. We are unable to take bookings over email, please book online when tickets are available.

To open safely, we’re limiting visitor numbers and you’ll need to book your visit in advance. Sadly, if you don't book, you’ll be turned away, even if you're a member.

Bookings are limited to six people and can be booked online. We have limited numbers of tours available, and pre-booking is essential as we are unable to accept walk-ups. We operate 30 guided tours each week with 180 places available. Due to the popularity of our tours, please book early on a Friday to avoid disappointment. Each Friday we will release 180 more tickets.

We are now no longer taking bookings by phone and email as we did before the pandemic. Please only email if you have a query that hasn't been answered here.

Please note we can only take a maximum of six people per tour. Children under 5 years do not need a ticket but must be supervised at all times.

The Back to Backs will be open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm by pre-booked tour only. You will need to book your visit in advance. You will be turned away if you arrive without a booking. Please follow the online booking from the website here:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs

If you have any questions about pre-booking, or any issues with your booking, please see the FAQs here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/reopening-and-coronavirus-faqs#Our%20booking%20system

If you are unable to book online, you can call the central booking line on 0344 249 1895. Please note that the booking line is used by all National Trust places and we encourage online booking if possible. The booking line is open Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturday to Thursday 10am to 4pm. 

Please arrive at the start time of your booking. Tours will start promptly at the start time of the booking. We operate guided tours that start on the hour or half hour, carefully timed to allow us to run tours one after the other. Other National Trust places allow entry within the hour but as we only run guided tours, we ask you arrive at the start time please. 

If you need to change or cancel your booking, please contact our central booking line on 0344 249 1895 and they will try to accommodate your request. 

Although we will always endeavour to provide the booked tours, there may be circumstances that mean we need to alter or cancel a booking.

If you are a National Trust member, please bring your membership card to show on arrival.

Bookings must be made in advance and payment will be taken upon arrival.

Each tour is bookable in advance. National Trust members receive tours for free. Membership is available for purchase at the following link: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/join-us

Assistance dogs only allowed inside.

How to cancel 

On our first day, we had five of our nine tours not show up, leaving our expert volunteers disappointed. Please, if you cannot make your tour, cancel your booking so that other people wishing to visit have the opportunity to book your place.

If you need to change or cancel your booking, please contact our central booking line on 0344 249 1895 and they will try to accommodate your request.

How to get to the Back to Backs

The full postal address of the Back to Backs is 55-63 Hurst Street / 50-54 Inge Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 4TE.

As the Back to Backs are located in the city centre, we recommend using public transport to visit where possible. If you travel by car, visitors can park at any of the city centre car parks available in Birmingham. There is no National Trust parking nearby.

The closest car park is The Arcadian Centre, 41 Bromsgrove St, Birmingham, B5 6NU and you can pay on the day on site or using the Glide app (which you can download on your phone): https://www.glideparking.com/ 

If travelling by car, Birmingham City Council have recently introduced a Clean Air Zone charge, please check your vehicles’ eligibility here: https://www.brumbreathes.co.uk/ Please note that the National Trust does not operate these websites or services.

See our website for more details: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs#How%20to%20get%20here

What to expect from your tour

Tours are guided by our expert tour guides, around the four ground floor rooms of the Back to Backs houses, which makes the tour fully accessible. Tours last around an hour but we recommend you allow a little more time for us to perform cleaning duties around each tour and we ask you arrive 15 minutes before the tour starts. We ask visitors to allow 1 hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half to complete the tour.

We ask visitors to arrive ten minutes before the start of your booking time to allow time to clean between tours. If you arrive 10 minutes after the start time of your booking, we cannot guarantee your entry.

Large bags are not permitted in the Back to Backs houses due to the small size of the houses and to prevent accidental damage; we are no longer able to store these. 

We don’t currently provide any refreshment options and our sweet shop has closed since your last visit. Our accessible toilet facilities are available for visitors to use. There are many cafes in and around the centre of Birmingham but request you do not bring food and drink into the houses.

Please follow government guidance when you visit, and bring a face covering to wear in indoor spaces if you choose to wear one. The tour will be an hour long so ensure you are able to wear a covering for this duration of time.

We’re really looking forward to sharing the stories of Back to Backs with visitors once again.

If you have any questions, please see our website https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs