Everyone I told thought I was mad heading off to Birmingham to get a tattoo… just couldn’t seem to fathom that I would travel to another country to get tattooed when there are plenty of tattoo shops right here in Dublin! The looks I got said it all but I knew what I wanted and I was going off to get it!
Truth be told there are lots of fantastic tattoo shops and artists in Dublin, but when I want to get a new tattoo I look for an artist who takes my interest and creates their tattoos in a style I like for whatever idea I want. I don’t tend to walk off the street with my idea to any artist who is available… I like to do my research first to ensure I know what I am putting myself in for. This is so essential if you want to get a tattoo that you are 100% happy with… tattoos last forever, I want to be as sure as possible that I am going to walk out of a shop with a piece that I love!
Anyway off I went to embark of a day full of trains, planes and automobiles… the morning went like this:
- 4am-ish: Alarm goes off
- 4.50am: Leaves for Airport (with dodgy eyeliner)
- 5.10am: Parks car in long term carpark and gets shuttle bus to T1 Dublin Airport
- 5.30am: Boarding Ryanair flight to Birmingham
- 6.15am-ish: Flight takes off
- 7am-ish: Land in Birmingham
- 7.30am: Collect prebooked train tickets to Birmingham city centre, follow signs to shuttle carriage to train station (which is actually in the airport vicinity), get shuttle to Train station
- 8am: Get train to Birmingham city centre
- 8.30am: Arrive in Birmingham city centre, locate tattoo shop and find somewhere for breakfast!
So I know that seems like a lot to take in at that hour of the morning, but honestly it couldn’t have been easier. Everything ran smoothly, timings all worked perfectly, everywhere was clearly signposted, I didn’t have to ask for any directions and I had time to stop for a much needed breakfast! The only drawback was the weather… it was bloody freezing at -2 degrees… Brrrrrr.
I had a look online before I left to see where I could stop for food on the way as I knew I’d be starving and would have some time to kill before my appointment at 10am. I came across a cafe called The Boston Tea Party which had cropped up in the search a few times and thankfully it was just across the road from the tattoo shop!
The menu for this place certainly didn’t disappoint… there were lots of fab options to choose from but I’m a sucker for pancakes, especially with bacon, so thats what I went with! I topped it off with a much needed coffee (which incidentally was voted best in Birmingham and was in fact delicious!) and a mixed berry smoothie. I was very happy with my grub which set me up for the day, and for my first flat-lay photo opportunity (cringe… I’m so basic… but like it totally works lol).
Anyway with food and some heat inside me I headed across to Modern Body Art for my appointment. Modern Body Art has a fantastic reputation and regularly features in national and international tattoo magazines due to the quality of their artists. I think they have 12 in total which means they can cater for any style of tattoo but I was specifically visiting one of my favourite artists Charlotte Timmons. Charlotte specialises in neo-traditional style nature and wildlife tattoos and that is exactly what I was looking for. After following her work for a couple of years, I finally decided to book in with her. She’s so busy she only books appointments in 4 month blocks… I missed her books opening once and had to wait 4 months for them to open again but it was totally worth the wait.
I met with Charlotte who was so lovely, and it turns out her Dad is actually from Dublin! She had a drawing done up for me based on the guidelines I gave her for my tattoo which was amazing… I loved it straight away! We made a few tweaks to it and got it stencild on and then the pain started.
Actually it wasn’t too bad at the start, I would say I have a fairly high pain threshold and the line work went fine. Usually this would be the worst bit but the real pain started once the colour started to go on. I won’t go into details but it took around 6 hours in total, Ouchie… But it was so worth it!
I was Shattered by the time it was all finished, I’d been going for 11 hours, 7 of which were without food and I still had 4 hours travel home. So I high tailed it from the tattoo shop straight to the airport so I could eat before I headed off. This meal was not the most glamourous… but it was so needed and I devoured it 🙂
I didn’t get to see much in Birmingham while I was there, but travelling to and from there was dead easy. I would definitely recommend it for a shopping trip as the city centre was so easy to get to and navigate around and had a rake of shops on the high street and in the Bullring shopping centre! You do have to be careful however of hen and stag parties on the flight back to Dublin… they can be a loud bunch especially when you are sleep deprived lol!
Anyway,I would definitely return for a day out, or ya never know… maybe another tattoo 🙂
Find Charlotte on Instagram HERE to check out some of her other work. You’ll see immediately why I chose her for a wildlife piece!
You can also check out some of the other artists work from Modern Body Art HERE
I hope you’ve enjoyed the account of my day out, I’ve really enjoyed sharing it with you all and hope to do more posts like this! Let me know what you think in the comments 🙂