There’s no doubt in our minds Birmingham is a great place to live. We don’t need out-of-towners telling us how brilliant Brum is. Still, it’s nice to be reminded once in a while. So of course, we’re over the moon to learn that Birmingham is featured on The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live 2023.
Noting our amazing Michelin-star restaurants and that The Good Food Guide named us the most exciting food destination in the UK last year, The Times honed in on Birmingham’s thriving and revitalized food scene.
“Even, better there are row upon red-brick row of terraced homes to choose from,” said The Times. “But where should you put down roots?” Somewhat unsurprisingly, it named Stirchley, which is easily one of Birmingham’s coolest neighbourhoods.
“Stirchley is the city’s most promising place to set up home. There’s value in its unflashy terraced houses and a new railway station on the way, but the main attraction is a high street that is bursting with interesting places to eat, drink and be modestly merry.”
Special mention was made to its craft beer taprooms, like Birmingham Brewing Company, Attic Brew Co and GlassHouse, and bars such as Couch and Stir Stores. As well as the brunch stop Caneat; two artisan bakeries, Loaf and Ten Four; Asian food at Eat Vietnam; pizzas at Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse; and fried chicken joint Yardbirds. The area’s independent spirit seen in Stirchley Co-operative Development – “for building affordable rental homes and new spaces” – also makes it one of the best places to live in 2023.
Equally heralded, however, was Digbeth, “with its canals, railway arches and warehouses decorated with extravagant street art, has bounced back from the pandemic.” Not only is the BBC moving to the former Typhoo Tea factory, but a new film and TV studio is coming soon too.
For competitive socializing, the likes of Roxy Lanes, Golf Fang, Drop Shot and more make Digbeth “the number-one spot in the land.” While Passing Fancies for cocktails, Chance & Counters for board games, and pizzas at Baked in Brick or Crazy Pedro’s, and high-end tasting at 670 Grams also make it an amazing place to live in 2023.
Where else in the Midlands made the list?
The best place to live in the Midlands, according to The Times, is Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, where “past meets the future as Regency architecture brings class to one of the UK’s biggest tech hubs.” While other places included Bishop’s Castle, Great Malvern, Melbourne, Rutland and Market Harborough.
How were the Best Places to Live 2023 chosen?
The Times’ Best Place to Live 2023 was decided through a mix of data and subjective research. Judges visited every location to take in the atmosphere and chat with locals. The most important factors it seemed were thriving high streets, beautiful open spaces and a strong community that “comes together for markets, festivals, sports and hobbies”.
Meanwhile, the data side looked into the latest inspection reports for local schools. Transport (road, rail and tram connections) was also considered, especially highlighting places where you can live car-free and with effort made for scooters, e-bike schemes and clean air zones. House prices and wi-fi speeds were also taken into account.
To see the full list of location that made The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live 2023 head here.