Being outdoors is well known to aid your mental and physical wellbeing and are very fortunate in Birmingham to have more than 500 parks that you can discover and enjoy, which have arguably never been as important as in the current times. Parks provide a space to escape, reflect, exercise, enjoy and go on an adventure.
We have put together a blog on some of the free parks we are lucky to have just a stone’s throw from our City South Campus.
Whether you’re currently in Birmingham or hoping to join us soon, we hope you get the chance to visit some of these lovely parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy them with your friends!
To the North
- Summerfield Park: Summerfield Park is located in the Edgbaston district. It was established in 1876 and still has some amazing historic features, such as its brick-built bandstand and ancient tree lined pathways. The park also has tennis courts, beautiful flowerbeds, and large open green spaces.
- Edgbaston Reservoir: Situated 1.45 miles from our City South Campus, the reservoir is a 70 acre site mainly consisting of open water, surrounded by woodland and grassland, as well as a 1.75 mile path around the circumference of the reservoir. For a fee, the reservoir also offers canoeing courses provided by the Birmingham Rowing Club and has the Midland Sailing Club onsite.
To the East
- Sunset and Moonlit Parks: Situated 0.9 miles away from our City South Campus, The Sunset and Moonlit Parks are a 1.4km looped space near Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter. The parks were designed by the Council’s Landscape Practice group as part of a local regeneration project, and opened in 2005 and 2006. The Moonlit Park includes a children’s play area and a wildflower meadow, whilst the Sunset Park is an open space and has been used previously for outdoor events. There is also a trail that links the two parks, which is primarily used by walkers (including dog walkers) and runners.
- Moseley Bog: If you want to visit a bit of a different outdoor space, Moseley Bog, to the south east of our City South Campus is the site of an old millpond. As a local nature reserve, it is a site of importance for Nature Conversation, consisting of both wet and dry woodland, decking paths and a variety of vegetation. J.R.R. Tolkien lived nearby to the bog. As a child, he played in the woodland and this was supposedly where the inspiration came from for the ancient forests in his books, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’.
To the South
- Cannon Hill Park: Cannon Hill Park is located 1.6 miles from our City South Campus and is one of the biggest parks in Birmingham. Consisting of 80 acres of formal parks, as well as 120 acres of conservation and woodland, it is situated very close to Edgbaston Cricket Ground. The park was designed by TJ Gibson, who also designed Battersea Park in London, and was first opened to visitors back in 1873. The park has large open green spaces where people go to enjoy a picnic or sporting activities with friends. But also during the summer months you can pay to enjoy a round of mini golf, use their tennis courts, hire a ‘swan boat’ or even visit the funfair! There are also old buildings, an amphitheatre, a listed bandstand and water areas to see as you walk, run or cycle around the paths throughout the park.
- Manor Farm Park: Manor Farm Park is a 50-acre green space with meadows, grass areas, woodlands and a lake. The Park is located between Selly Oak and Northfield, and can be accessed off Bristol Road South, Whitehall Lane and Lovell Close. The park was once the grounds of Northfield Manor House, but opened up to the public in 1951. Many people go to the park to enjoy a 2km walk or run around the pathway route through the park, to fish in the lake or spend time having a picnic or sunbathe with friends. There is also a play area in the grounds.
- Highbury Park: Highbury Park is located between Moseley and Kings Heath, about 2.26 miles from our City South Campus. It was the grounds to Highbury Hall, the residence of Joseph Chamberlain (former Lord Major of Birmingham), which is located on the northern edge of the park. Chamberlain left the park to the people of the city on his death in 1914. When his family left the house it became an Auxiliary Hospital during the First World War, and continued to treat former soldiers until 1932. Most of the grounds became a public park in 1930.
- Lickey Hills: If you want to have a ‘birds eye view’ of Birmingham, although a bit further afield from our City South Campus, you can experience some amazing views from the Lickey Hills, located on the border of Worcestershire, near Cofton Hackett and Barnt Green. As well as explore the woodland areas and walk along the pathways, you can even take a stroll around the Golf course.
To the West
- Queen’s Park: This 10 acre open space is located in Harborne off of Queens Park Road and was opened in 1898 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. There are three tennis courts in Queen’s Park, where for a fee you can attend a weekend coaching programme.
- Woodgate Valley Country Park: Woodgate Valley Country Park is located between Bartley Green and Quinton, roughly 4 miles from our City South Campus. The park was opened in 1984, after previously being rural land for small holdings and larger farms, and there are still horses and a small urban farm on the site. The 450 acres consists of meadows, wooded areas, a nature reserve and wetlands. Plus, a Pony Trekking Centre, Visitor Centre and Ranger Service. The park is a great place to experience a variety of wildlife and over 250 species of plants, have a picnic, go for a leisurely walk or even a horse ride. In addition, the Bournbrook Walk Way runs through the park to Harborne Lane.
Remember as well, Birmingham has many canal routes to walk, run or cycle along and are a reminder of the city’s industrial history. More than 100 miles of canals make up the Birmingham Canal Navigations, which is said to be more than Venice! Birmingham City Council has created a tool to search what outdoor spaces Birmingham has to offer, so why not see what’s close to your campus, student residence or further afield in the city. Take a step off the pavement and onto a towpath or park and enjoy a rejuvenating walk, jog or cycle.
Ready to explore more of Birmingham?
Whether you’re moving to Birmingham or you’re a Brummie at heart, the city has so much to offer. Here’s some ideas to help you get to know this great student city.