Birmingham's Best Picnic Spots
With the Great British Summer being somewhat unpredictable, there is nothing better than catching the moment and enjoying fleeting sunshine with a picnic. Whether this is a brief lunch break from work or an extravagant banquet Mary Berry would be proud of, there is no shortage of green spaces within Birmingham city centre and beyond.
CITY CENTRE CHILLS
St Philip’s Place: On a sunny day, it seems everyone flocks to this little green space surrounding St Philip’s Cathedral, where you'll likely be sharing your lunch with the local wildlife as the area is fondly known as Pigeon Park. Being in the city centre, it is the perfect place to catch a few rays during your lunch hour. Be aware that benches do fill up quickly, so you may wish to carry a mini fold-up blanket to sit on the grass.
Victoria Square: Though lacking in greenery, this is a great place to sit on a bench or steps by the fountain and watch the world go by during your workday.
Cambrian Wharf: Ideal for a packed lunch, sit on one of the benches along the towpath and watch the canal barges manoeuvre through Farmer's Bridge locks. Access the towpath via Charlotte Street or Newhall Street, then continue under Saturday Bridge to find a quiet seat.
The Library of Birmingham: Ride the escalator to the terrace for a great view of the city to accompany your lunch, or head higher to the not-so-secret Secret Garden for a peaceful afternoon hideaway.
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Enjoyable afternoon, in my beloved Birmingham, taking in the sights and sounds from the Sky Garden at Library of Birmingham and the newly opened Centenary Square, where you can literally walk on water and gather your thoughts beneath the boughs of Ginkgo biloba. . . . #libraryofbirmingham #libraryofbirminghamsecretgarden #skygarden #roofgarden #centenarysquare #birmingham #thisisbham #iluvbrum #igersbham #igersbirmingham #bhamgram #birminghamskyline #cityscape #birminghamcityscape
Centenary Square: Nature and architecture meet in this plaza adjacent to the library. Admire the sculptures and war memorial or simply soak up the sunshine on one of the benches.
City Centre Gardens: On Cambridge Street you'll find an oasis in the midst of the city. This small park is a little known haven with exotic plants and numerous benches to relax.
Canal Old Main Line and Brindley Place: Birmingham is famed for its canal network, being 9 miles longer than that in Venice. So why not take advantage of the picturesque scenery by settling on one of the seats along the towpath to Brindley Place, where you'll find a plethora of dining options.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Take your own picnic or purchase fresh, locally sourced light bites and hearty meals from the Pavilion Tea Room, then enjoy the lawns and benches dotted throughout the 15-acre site. Whilst here, appreciate over 7000 plant species, tropical greenhouses, landscaped gardens, a small aviary of exotic birds, wandering peacocks and children’s playgrounds.
Winterbourne House and Garden: Sit and enjoy a picnic on the numerous lawns across the site, or treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Terrace Tea Room against a beautiful wisteria backdrop. Plus, if you are a student of the University of Birmingham, this is only a few minutes’ walk from campus and you receive free entry upon production of your student ID card -- it’s a perfect nature getaway between lectures!
St Paul's Square: Nestled within the Jewellery Quarter, this leafy sanctuary surrounds a Grade II listed church and is the last Georgian square in the city. Enjoy a packed lunch or purchase from the cafes and restaurants fringing the square.
Cannon Hill Park: Head to Birmingham's famous park for fun in the sun - covering 250 acres there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Alongside expansive open spaces, you will find two lakes where you can take a trip on the Swan Pedal Boats, the Fun Park containing everything to keep little ones entertained, a 36-hole mini-golf course, tennis courts and MAC Birmingham, an arts centre bringing cultural exhibitions and events to the community. Additionally, the neighbouring Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park houses a wealth of animals, including their famous red pandas.
Lickey Hills Country Park: A haven for wildlife, this is the perfect place for a stroll through nature. Explore its 524 acres of nature trails, 18-hole mini golf course, bowling green, tennis court, and purpose-built wheelchair-friendly pathway, stopping off for a picnic along the way. There is also a visitor centre housing a cafe offering light snacks with abundant indoor and outdoor seating for all weathers.
Clent Hills: For the more adventurous and those wishing to enjoy the summer sun, head to the Clent Hills and enjoy a mild to strenuous walk. Stop off at one of the benches along the way to admire the spectacular scenery, or set up on a picnic blanket for a few hours.
Sutton Park: One of the largest urban parks in Europe and designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, you might want to set aside an entire day to explore some of its 2400 acres. With plenty of open spaces for a picnic and numerous dining options within the park, you're certain to find something to suit your mood. There are also facilities for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fishing and an 18-hole golf course.
Sandwell Valley Country Park: Explore 670 acres of countryside, with mapped walking and cycling routes, an adventure playground and High Ropes aerial assault course. Take a picnic lunch or visit the award-winning tearooms at Sandwell Park Farm for light lunches and afternoon tea.
Now we’ve shared some of Birmingham’s best nature sites, all we have to hope for are more beautiful blue skies to enjoy them! If you know of other perfect picnic spots in and around Birmingham, share them in the comments below.
Written by Hannah Bird,
Follow Hannah Instagram: @thehbird