Birmingham’s industrial past should not give you the impression that the city lacks green spaces. In fact, there is a plethora of options for walks and recreation within the city and beyond.
Spending time outside is a proven strategy to boost your mood, health and productivity, so what better way to balance the demands of student life than exploring the places listed below? All these parks are dog-friendly too, so don’t hesitate to bring along your furry friends.
Check out our guide to the best parks in Birmingham, and how close they are to our City Centre Campus.
Cannon Hill Park
Distance from City Centre Campus: 2.1 miles (Location on Google Maps)
Opened in 1873, Cannon Hill Park is situated across the road from Edgbaston Cricket Ground and encompasses 80 acres of parkland. The park also contains the MAC arts theatre and the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Centre.
Distance from City Centre Campus: 2.3 miles (Location on Google Maps)
Though this is more of a walking route than a park, the Harborne walkway is still well worth the visit. It turns out there used to be a railway between Harborne and New Street station, but it was eventually abandoned. Now, however, part of the former track has been turned into a walkway, spanning from Harborne to Summerfield Park, near the Barclaycard Arena. If you’re looking for an inner city route that doesn’t involve canals (for once), this is the one for you.
Kings Heath Park
Distance from City Centre Campus: 3.5 miles (Location on Google Maps)
Down the road from Cannon Hill Park, Kings Heath Park is situated in 35 acres of land. It is known for its flower beds, and was once the home of the BBC show Gardeners' World.
Distance from City Centre Campus: 2.6 miles (Location on Google Maps)
We’re stretching the definition of “Birmingham” a little bit here, but for those who commute into Birmingham from the outskirts, Handsworth Park is worth a visit. Set in 63 acres of land, once a year the park plays host to the largest Vaisakhi festival in Europe.
Distance from City Centre Campus: 4.4 miles (Location on Google Maps)
We’re not so much stretching the definition of “Birmingham” here, but smashing it to pieces. But it is worth it for Sandwell Valley, arguably one of the best parks in the West Midlands. Covering 670 acres, Sandwell Valley contains two farms, and features stunning views around the central Swan Pool. Anyone who grew up in the area during the 90s may remember the wild rumour that there was a crocodile living in the lake (as reported in this wonderfully quirky Midlands Today report from 1999), but don’t worry – there is no massive reptile ready to swallow you or your dog whole.
...At last check.
Distance from City Centre Campus: 5.6 miles (Location on Google Maps)
Another out of the way place for those who don’t live in the city centre, Sutton Park is set in a mind boggling 2,400 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in Europe. It has several restaurants, sailing and fishing spaces, and if you really want to push the cute factor through the roof on your walk, there is also a donkey sanctuary!
Distance from City Centre Campus: 9.4 miles (Location on Google Maps)
Lickey Hills is a little shy of 10 miles away from City Centre Campus, but worth the journey – the park is comprised of 524 picturesque acres. Not only will it give your legs a good stretch, it is also a must visit location for fans of the Lord of the Rings. After moving to Rednal in 1904, a young J.R.R. Tolkien loved the Lickey Hills so much, they served as his inspiration for the Shire!