If you’re after an excuse to step away from the computer for a couple of hours, or looking at a wandering weekend city break, go no further than Birmingham. The beautiful city brims with a bustling, modern life and rich, historical past. There is so much to discover and all in walking distance.
This is why we’ve rounded up the very best Birmingham walking tours to get you out-and-about. Seeing sides of the city you’ve never come across before. From wandering the waterways, observing street art or learning about local history, there are plenty of reasons to get walking around Birmingham.
The best way to discover modern Birmingham is with this walking tour around England’s second city. The two-hour stroll will take you through the city’s most iconic landmarks, from the Library of Birmingham to Gas Street, The Mailbox to Town Hall. You’ll also explore Birmingham’s amazing canals, learn about its Victorian heritage, and see how past and modern architecture compares. If you are a lifelong local or simply visiting for the weekend, you’re bound to discover something new.
A walking tour for lovers! Discover the most romantic spots in the city with this two-hour loop of Birmingham. Leaving from Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum, the walking tour will take you down Birmingham’s charming streets and brush up against lovely locations such as Victoria Square, Birmingham City Centre and Birmingham Museum. Your guide will also tell hidden love stories and spicy tales along the way. You’ll never be stuck for date ideas again after one of our favourite Birmingham walking tours. Perfect you and that special someone.
From the sexy to the spooky, explore Birmingham’s most frightful locations. But there’s more to this walking tour than having the heebie-jeebies shocked into you. You’ll follow step-by-step instructions that will take you from one haunting place to another – solve the clue and get a scary story. Restless spirits, cruel murderers and menacing ghouls will come alive on this trail. No wonder Birmingham is considered one of the UK’s spookiest towns.
4. Peaky Blinders Walking Tour
The Peaky Blinders gang are synonymous with Birmingham and the Black Country the world-over thanks to the lauded BBC drama of the same name. Now you can learn the true story of the infamous gang in this walking tour of the city. Led by Edward Shelby, a distant cousin of the real-life gang leader Tommy Shelby, the tour teaches the history of gangs in Birmingham, as well as the cultural impact they had on the city. For those looking to get a bit boozy, there is also a Tipsy Blinder pub tour visiting eight unique drinking establishments, from ale pubs to gin palaces and cocktail bars, while you learn about the Peaky Blinders and the impact of alcohol on the city.
5. Jewellery Quarter Walking Tour
Every Brummie has visited the Jewellery Quarter. These days the area is packed with amazing restaurants and cool cocktail bars, but it was once the most-highly concentrated area of businesses involved in the jewellery trade in Europe. It was also once capital to the world’s pen trade, plus produced some of the world’s finest coffin furniture. On this walking tour you can discover all this history and more, heading to The Pen Museum, The Coffin Works, St Pauls Square and Church. You won’t go far, but you’ll more than likely get your steps in discovering much in a small amount of space.
6. Tolkien Tour
The Tolkien Tour of Birmingham is an absolute must for any Middle Earth enthusiast. Tolkien’s family were Birmingham natives before the author moved to Oxford in adulthood. And the second city left a huge impression on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. We’ve split this walking tour into two short trips that can either be completed in one day, or across the weekend. The first trail starts at Sarehole Mill, walking to Tolkien’s childhood home of 264 Wake Green Road, and onto Moseley Bog, and gives the feeling of being in Hobbiton. While the second begins with Edgbaston Waterworks Tower, heading to Perrot’s Folly – the inspiration behind Minas Morgul and Orthanc – before heading to The Oratory, where Tolkien lived as a teenager, and finishing at the Plough & Harrow pub.
7. The Lunar Society Trial
In the 18th century, The Lunar Society – a sort of monthly dinner party – used to meet in Birmingham’s Soho House every full moon, as it was easier to travel back at night under its light. The ‘lunaticks’, as they called themselves, were made up of industrialists, philosophers and intellectuals, such as Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, James Watt, and William Withering. Each month they would discuss the latest ideas and inventions, and carry out scientific experiments too. The Lunar Society Trail covers Birmingham’s important locations that reflect these men’s impact on the city. From St Philip’s Cathedral to St Paul’s Square, via The Library of Birmingham, canals and more. The free walking tour should take between 1 to 2 hours.
8. Movie Locations Walking Tour
Showbiz! It’s not something we associate strongly with the second city. But it might surprise you to learn a number of spots in Birmingham have featured as locations for Hollywood movies. This includes Mission: Impossible, Ready Player One and Kingsman, plus TV shows like Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty. The Locationist’s Birmingham walking tours will take you to locations you’ll never look at in the same way again. You’ll also learn about the technical side of filming too, especially tackling the narrow streets of Birmingham. A must for any film fanatics!
9. A Graffiti Walk of Digbeth
Digbeth is arguably Birmingham’s coolest spot in the whole city. It’s only fitting the creative neighbourhood has some awesome graffiti to match. This free Birmingham walking tour will guide you via the most spectacular street art the area can offer, starting at Moor Street Train Station and taking you around the Custard Factory. There are a number of cafes and bars to stop off at along this leisurely three mile stroll too, offering plenty of rest stops.
10. Solihull Treasure Hunt Trail
Get out of the city and head to Solihill for this walking tour. The treasure hunt-themed trail shows a secret side to this part of the city. Solve clues, built into Solihull’s buildings and monuments, that lead to buried treasure. It should take around two hours, but you can solve this at your own pace. And yes, you really can win some treasure. As correct answers are entered into a monthly £100 prize draw.
There are some wonderful walks to discover in Birmingham. Enough to wear out the legs of an Olympian and dazzle the brain of most historians. These Birmingham walking tours should keep anyone occupied until Christmas.