What to do in Birmingham

Birmingham and its surrounding area is a vibrant and exciting location to visit.  There is a lot to do and see, you can explore campus and immerse yourself in culture or how about having a relaxing meal in Harborne; just a 15 minute walk from campus, it has a wide selection of bars, restaurants and coffee shops.  Alternatively you can hop on a train from the University Station and be in the City Centre in under 10 minutes.

University Attractions

Winterbourne House & Garden

winterbournex250Restored to its Edwardian Arts and Craft splendour, Winterbourne House is a unique heritage attraction set within seven acres of beautiful botanic gardens. Winterbourne is a hidden gem, home to beautiful antiques and over 6,000 plant species from around the world. Wander along the woodland walk, stroll through the hazelnut tunnel, cross the 1930’s Japanese Bridge or simply soak up the tranquillity of this perfectly English Edwardian home. Located on Edgbaston Park Road, a few minutes’ walk from Edgbaston Park Hotel.


Opening Times: 10:30am – 5.30pm, PSD12 delegates are entitled to a 50% discount on the admission fee. The discounted price is £3.60.


Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Barber-Buildingx250Situated on the main campus of the University of Birmingham is the Barber Institute of Fine Arts which contains one of the finest small collections of European art in the UK. Featuring works from 13th to the 20th century, it is a near-perfect gathering of some of the most influential artists of the previous millennium. The collection is made up of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Among the artists represented are Bellini, Botticelli, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, Matisse just to name a few.


Located near the East Gate on Main Campus.


Opening Times: Monday - Friday 10:00 – 17:00, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 – 17:00, Admission is Free.


Lapworth Museum of Geology

Lapworthx250Enabling visitors to explore life over the past 3.5 billion years, the Lapworth Museum showcases exceptional objects from one of the UK’s most outstanding geological collections, with state-of-the-art galleries and a range of innovative and interactive exhibits - all completely free of charge. From rocks and fossils to volcanoes, earthquakes, and even dinosaurs, the Museum captures the imagination of all ages.


Located within the Aston Webb A Block building - the building is marked as R4 on the campus map.


Opening Times: Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday: 12 noon - 5pm, Admission is Free.


University of Birmingham Blue Plaque and Sculpture Trails

faradayx250There have been many influential achievements by brilliant men and women who have worked at the University of Birmingham since its earliest days. Scientific discoveries, artistic creations and inventions of international significance have taken place here. Some of those responsible have been appropriately honoured with national and international awards including the Nobel Prize. The Blue Plaques highlight these special achievements and celebrate those who have helped to shape our heritage as a research university. The Blue Plaques are markers which we hope will inspire all who pass by.

The Campus Sculpture trail allows you to explore the range of styles, subjects and shapes of sculpture on the University’s Edgbaston campus. The Faraday Bronze Sculpture was commissioned to mark the centenary of the University of Birmingham’s Royal Charter, this is located near the train station.





A 15 minute walk from the campus, Harborne High Street offers everything you could need; an abundance of bars, coffee shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. We recommend The Plough (excellent food), The Junction (excellent beer) and the Arco Lounge (excellent coffee). Use postcode B17 9NT, this will direct you to the top of the High Street.


Birmingham City Centre

If you get the train from the University Station to Birmingham New Street, you will disembark at the newly developed Grand Central. Part of the Bullring Estate, Grand Central is Birmingham’s newest prime shopping centre, located above New Street Station and next to Bullring. Anchored by a 250,000 sq ft. John Lewis store, the centre offers brands including Hobbs, The White Company, Cath Kidston and Carluccio’s. You'll find all Grand Central has to offer in the Shops and Restaurant directory as well as the centre map by visiting www.bullring.co.uk.

There are many other places to explore in the city, why not visit Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, a world class museum in the heart of city centre.  It is proud to house the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. The museum also holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art anywhere in the world, numbering over 3000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design or explore the fascinating history of the city by travelling back in time to Birmingham’s medieval beginnings. There is plenty to do and see and you will still have time to pay a visit to the Edwardian Tearooms which offers a wide range of delicious food and beverages within an unique and historic setting.

It's a must to visit the new Library of Birmingham, Designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo, the Library has transformed the city’s library services and become a major cultural destination, housing Birmingham’s world-class collections of archives, photography and rare books as well as a million printed volumes, the largest number held by any public library in the UK. Make sure you visit to top floor to see some great views of the developing city from the balcony. 

If you are looking for somewhere to eat and drink, try Brindleyplace, a 10 minute walk from New Street Station, with tree-lined squares, international cuisine and canalside views, Brindleyplace is one of Birmingham’s most exciting destinations.

Still looking for more to do, or places to go, find more at VisitBirmingham.com.