The Best Places to Live in Birmingham
With so many areas continuing their growth on an upward trajectory, is there really just one best place to live in Birmingham?
We think you might have something to say about it, a claim to lay for the neighbourhood that you love. Far be it for us to stand in your way from crowning it Birmingham’s best.
So, will it be the youthful creativity of our own ‘baby Berlin’ in Digbeth that triumphs? Will the abundance of independent cafes, bars and restaurants drawing people to Jewellery Quarter seven days a week see it secure the top spot? Or could it be the pull of the established retail elites calling Mailbox home that wins out?
The verdict of Birmingham’s most prestigious postcode in 2020 is in your hands.
Take a look at our shortlist below and cast your vote here:
Our Best Place to Live in Birmingham 2020 Shortlist
From the shadows that Harborne used to cast over it, Bearwood is coming to the fore with a flurry of new businesses occupying previously closed units. A monthly vegan market, the Grade II listed Lightwoods House and the 9-hole golf course around Warley Woods are making it an increasingly attractive residential neighbourhood.
Follow the canal to Brindleyplace and you’ll be rewarded with an array of quality restaurants and bars. It’s established itself as one of Birmingham’s most desirable places for young professionals to live, socialise and work, with international powerhouses like Deloitte and Deutsche Bank situated here. Expect to see waves of nearby office workers pouring out on a Friday night to enjoy cocktails by the water.
The large garden suburb of Bournville has long been reputed as one of the nicest places to live in the UK. Since it’s conception in 1900 by the chocolate magnate and philanthropist, John Cadbury, Bournville’s community spirit continues to live on. One glance over to Sycamore Road’s quaint wool shop, bakery, butcher, florist and independent cafe and that charm is wonderfully evident.
The heartbeat of the West Midlands. In Selfridges, Hugo Boss and Apple and many more, the multicultural city centre attracts those in need of retail therapy from far and wide. If that’s not your bag though, Real Birmingham runs free tours of the city, whilst Birmingham Museum & Gallery has a vast collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings – more than anywhere else in the world, in fact.
Our own ‘Baby Berlin’. A burgeoning community of creatives, digitally savvy entrepreneurs, dynamic food trucks, baristas and bar workers continue to imbue Digbeth with something it’s always had: character. Set for huge regeneration projects in the coming decade, Digbeth could be on the cusp of exploding into life as more businesses, investors and residents turn their attention here.
Home to two both Aston & Birmingham City University, Eastside’s thriving student population keeps driving the city’s ‘knowledge hub’ forward. Pioneering, experimental and underpinned by a culture of technology-led learning, Eastside also houses Thinktank, Birmingham’s award-winning science museum. Subsequently, the above is capturing the attention of international investors looking to capitalise on the expertise of our home-grown thinkers.
The birthplace of the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, Edgbaston has always been one of Birmingham’s more affluent suburbs. Today, it remains one of the city’s most popular residential areas thanks to a wide variety of attractions. Catch one of England’s test matches at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, play 18-holes at Edgbaston Golf Course, wander around the flora and fauna at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens or Cannon Hill Park and sit down to a Michelin-starred dinner at Simpsons.
Recently named as one of the UK’s Top 10 hipster hotspots, Erdington is experiencing growth thanks to inward investment. With the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Who gracing venues here in the late ’60s, it still boasts 280 local businesses and a vibrant high street. And with the office space and retail park in and around Fort Dunlop just a stone’s throw away, it’s no wonder that continued growth is forecast.
An inviting neighbourhood with a diverse high street, this suburban village offers a sanctuary away from the city centre traffic. Harborne’s restaurants punch well above their weight for its size, with neighbourhood eateries like Harborne Kitchen and The Plough pub welcoming diners from across the city. The £12m Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre further offers state of the art leisure facilities if you’re looking to push yourself with a fitness class or unwind with a dip in the pool.
With a number of developments planned, the future is bright for Holloway Head. With a number of developments planned to provide both residential and commercial space, Holloway Head also homes the most expensive apartment ever sold at £1.8m.To the south of the city centre, it is also an excellent commuter location, close to New Street’s train network but also the A38 motorway, just a 3-minute drive away.
A Mecca for the UK’s jewellery trade with over 500 jewellery businesses, as well as over 200 listed buildings. Residential regeneration projects and the green spaces at St. Paul’s Square have created enviable living quarters here in recent years. The Jewellery Quarter’s great independent pub scene (1000 Trades, Button Factory, The Clifden et al) might also play a small part in why so many of Birmingham’s young professionals now reside here.
Kings Heath and Moseley
Live venues with regular gigs have crowned Kings Heath and Moseley the unofficial home for music lovers in Birmingham. Pubs like The Hare & Hounds have an eclectic listing, with anything from techno to disco going on until the early hours. Moseley also plays host to several music festivals each summer, including the popular Moseley Folk Festival.
For those with a penchant for the finer things in life, Mailbox offers luxury in abundance. A playground for Birmingham’s biggest spenders, it’s the place to be if you’re looking to brush shoulders with the city’s elite. From its high-end Harvey Nichols department store to Nicky Clarke’s premium hair salon and its plush Everyman cinema, Mailbox isn’t just a place. It’s a destination.
Perry Barr & Great Barr
With the recent announcement of Birmingham hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Perry Barr and Great Barr are poised to reap the rewards thanks to proposed developments in the area. The largest of the Commonwealth Games venues will be the existing Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, which will see an increase of its capacity to 50,000.
The largest (and most exciting) redevelopment within Birmingham’s ‘Big City Plan’, the space between Digbeth high street and the Bullring is set to undergo an enormous makeover. Grounded in sustainability and zero carbon emissions, £1.5bn will be invested into a dynamic mix of new markets, retail spaces, hotels and cultural buildings. On top of the hugely valuable cultural offerings of Birmingham’s Chinese & Gay Quarter’s respectively, Smithfield looks set to bloom.
Solihull BID claims it’s ‘one of the best places to live and work in England’. It’s not hard to see why: in addition to the energetic ‘evening economy’ of theatres, cinemas and restaurants, excellent primary and secondary schools make it a prime neighbourhood for families. Two of Birmingham’s most affluent streets are situated here (with average house prices over £1m), too. Solihull also offers close proximity to Resorts World – one of Birmingham’s largest entertainment complexes, providing fine bars, restaurants and designer retail outlets.
Sutton Coldfield & Four Oaks
Officially The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, this suburban town lays claim to the city’s most expensive property, with a hefty £7.5m price tag. The largest attraction in Sutton Coldfield and Four Oaks is undoubtedly it’s beautiful park, a 2,400 acre nature reserve with bike paths and a lake, drawing people out of Birmingham’s concrete jungle to detox in rich greenery.