How To Escape the Urban Jungle | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

How To Escape the Urban Jungle

If deadlines and work are getting you down, Travel Writer Helen Locke writes about the green spaces around Birmingham that could provide you with some respite

Living in a big city can be exciting, but I sometimes miss the farmland and woods around my hometown in Oxfordshire, especially seeing wildlife such as red kites and foxes in the fields. Birmingham’s built environment sometimes feels claustrophobic, but fortunately, there are some refreshingly green spaces within the city. A little further afield you can also find expansive hills and to explore. The Malvern Hills are especially beautiful, and transport links from the city centre are good.

Cannon Hill Park is the most popular park in Birmingham and boasts a mini-golf course, tennis courts, a lake with pedal boats, and an arts centre. The grassy bank overlooking the lake is perfect for picnics and sunbathing. Alternatively, Edgbaston Reservoir is also great for balmy summer walks, watching the sailing boats crisscross across the water.

If you get the chance to venture out of the city on the weekend, the Lickey Hills is about a half-hour drive from the city centre. Walk to the historic toposcope on top of Beacon Hill for a panoramic view. Other places to unwind and explore include the Malvern Hills, which are truly beautiful. Recently I climbed the Worcester Beacon, the highest hill in the area, with a friend from Wyoming. The Malvern Link station was ideal, and we found that a short walk past Link common brought us to the foot of the Worcester Beacon. Although it was cold, watching the clouds passing over the bright green slopes made a refreshing change from urban grey. At first, it looked like the slopes were covered in white flowers, but it was dewdrops left by the clouds. Food and drink by a roaring fire at the cosy Nag’s Head pub on the way back to the station was a highlight.

English Literature student at the University of Birmingham


27th February 2018 at 9:00 am

Images from

Helen Locke