University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is located in the leafy-green suburb of Edgbaston, and has featured in the top 3 ranked sporting universities in the UK for a number of years. Sport features significantly on campus, with most indoor and outdoor facilities located on main campus. There’s also lots of cultural activities to explore within walking distance from your accommodation – download this handy guide that shows where they all are!

Winterbourne House & Garden – Just a 5 minute walk from campus, 7 acres of tranquil botanic gardens lie in the grounds of an Edwardian historic house. Winterbourne House and Garden is a hidden refuge at the heart of one of the country’s most bustling cities.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts – The Barber Institute of Fine Arts (at the University of Birmingham) is housed in one of Birmingham’s finest Art Deco buildings. Whether you are enchanted by Monet, captivated by Rossetti or inspired by Van Gogh, the Barber houses one of the finest small collections of European art in the UK.

The Lapworth Museum of Geology – Transporting visitors back 4.5 billion years, the Lapworth Museum of Geology is open to all. The collections house everything from dinosaurs to diamonds, so there is something to spark everyone’s imagination!

The Bramall – The Bramall is home to the University of Birmingham’s Department of Music which boasts two symphony orchestras, a jazz orchestra, new music ensemble, choirs and many other groups that regularly perform at the Bramall. Check the website to see an updated list of events.

The Sculpture Trail – Discover the wealth of styles, subjects and shapes of the University’s sculpture collection all over campus by following the Sculpture Trail. From Birmingham’s earliest sculpture, Equestrian Statue of King George I (1722) by John Nost standing guard outside the Barber Institute at the East Gate to the West Gate where you will find Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s Faraday made in 2000 to mark the University’s first centenary, there’s a whole range of styles, subjects and shapes to enjoy!

Blue Plaque Trail – There have been many influential achievements by brilliant men and women who have worked at the University of Birmingham. Scientific discoveries, artistic creations and inventions of international significance have taken place here – some of which 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. See if you can spot them around campus – or download the guide to try and find them!

City Centre

Birmingham is a rich and diverse city, and as the second-biggest one in the UK, there’s plenty to do when you’re not playing or watching squash. Check out our Twitter and Facebook pages for ideas of things to do – if you’re looking to explore the city centre, there’s the Bullring , the world-class shopping centre filled with shops, restaurants, department stores and coffee shops; the historic Jewellery Quarter ; the miles of tranquil canals; or the luxurious Mailbox for amazing dining and shopping experiences – to name a few!

Did you know…Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice! It takes about an hour to walk from the University of Birmingham right into the centre of town all along the canal, and once you get there you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful restaurants and bars of the Mailbox, Birmingham’s luxury shopping complex.

Did you know…The Bullring is Birmingham’s famous premier shopping destination, with over 200 stores including John Lewis and Selfridges. The iconic Selfridges building is covered in 15,000 shiny aluminium discs and was inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequinned dress!

In and around Birmingham

Birmingham’s major cultural institutions are Bournville Village Trust (home of Cadbury’s), Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Black Country Living Museum. It also has a range of international sporting venues, including Edgbaston Priory Park, Villa Park and the Barclaycard Arena.

Did you know…Thinktank is Birmingham’s award winning science museum, housing over 200 hands-on displays about science and technology! From steam engines and talking robots through to gurgling guts and a chocolate wrapping machine, it’s an enlightening and fun-packed family day out.

Did you know…Sarehole Mill, Birmingham’s 250-year old watermill, was the inspiration for J.R.R.Tolkein’s Middle Earth! The author of The Hobbit lived right next to the mill in the early 1900s, and based the Hobbiton mill in the novel around Sarehole.

Day Trips

Further afield, there are fantastic day trips to explore in and around the city. From the iconic Cadbury World to the quintessential town of Stratford-upon-Avon – where Shakespeare was born – Birmingham is a gateway to the rest of the country, being easily accessible by train or bus.

Did you know…Stratford-upon-Avon is a historic market town just an hour and a half away on public transport, with more than 800 years of history, containing many buildings that would have been familiar to Shakespeare!

Did you know…the nation’s favourite chocolate was born and bred in Birmingham, when John Cadbury began to sell tea, coffee and drinking chocolate in 1894 from his premises in the city. The family developed the Bournville estate, a model village designed to improve the living conditions of their employees – which is still standing today, and Dairy Milk became the company’s best-selling product in 1914.

Did you know…The Black Country Living Museum is just 35 minutes away from the University of Birmingham, and tells the story of the world’s first industrial landscape! It’s got historic buildings, vehicles, objects and costumed characters for you to interact with and explore.


From your Bournbrook accommodation, the University train station is an 8-minute walk through campus, from where you can get the regular 5-10 minute train into Birmingham New Street (in the main city centre). Tickets can be bought at the station.

Otherwise, the 61 or 63 bus goes from the Dawlish Road stop in Selly Oak, straight to Smallbrook Queensway, which is directly opposite Birmingham New Street Station. Bus tickets can be bought on the bus using a contactless card, or cash.

Taxis are also easily bookable, by calling 0121 427 8888 (you will need cash for this).

See the Birmingham City Council website for more information about how to get around the city.