Life can be rather overwhelming and a change in scenery and bit of fresh air is a great way to switch off. Birmingham is blessed with a number of spots, from botanical gardens that you can literally get lost in, to glistening water spots that were literally made for us to sit by and reflect on the world. With this in mind, here’s our list of some of the most peaceful places in the city for you to visit when you’re in need of some escapism.
1. Library of Birmingham
Libraries can be rather boring, and rather traumatic (flashbacks of last-minute essay writing may occur). However, within this popular library open seven days a week there is one place that demands peace, quiet and contemplation. The roof terrace of Birmingham Library boasts fantastic views of the city and beyond, especially on a clear day, and it’s the place to go if you’re looking for comfortable silence, whether that’s with a book in hand or not.
2. Lickey Hills
Head to Lickey Hills for a quiet moment away from the city buzz. Take a seat on the bench on this Worcestershire hill as you look at the cityscape and you’ll have even greater appreciation for this city. Plus, this is possibly one of the only peaceful places near Birmingham that can give you both a moment of stillness and a chance to shout or scream should you need it. You may even be able to spot the BT tower and the University of Birmingham’s clock tower, Old Joe, from there.
3. St Paul’s Square
This beautiful green space next to St Paul’s Church is great for a quick lunchtime break, where you can either take a wander around or sit on the benches there. Here you can escape to a totally different era without even having to leave the city by strolling past the beautiful houses around St Paul’s Square before settling in the gardens. This green space in the Jewellery Quarter has a secluded feel about it and its dotted with quaint lampposts and benches. Head here during the autumn and experience the picturesque scenery of watching the auburn and yellow-hued leaves fall onto the floor of the gardens.
4. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Clear your mind and get a dose of art and culture at the same time by taking a trip to the Barber Institute of Fine Art. Here you can travel all the way around the world in the most stress-free way possible. The galleries, which are part of the University of Birmingham campus, are filled with paintings by masters such as Rossetti, and there is bound to be something up on the walls that will catch your eye.
5. Winterbourne House and Gardens
It seems the University of Birmingham know a thing or two when it comes to peaceful places. With their galleries, botanical gardens and then this beautiful Edwardian house. For those interested in Edwardian era Arts & Crafts’ history, take a wander inside Winterbourne House, however it also boasts some pretty gardens. The seven acres of Grade II listed gardens features 6,000 plant species as well as an unbelievable and peaceful Japanese Garden. Plus, there’s also an alpine area, an unusual hazelnut tunnel and Edgbaston Pool nearby providing plenty of options for a bit of reflection and headspace.
6. Oozells Square
Not only is Brindleyplace a perfect location to dine out with its numerous options of bars and restaurants but during the daytime it can be surprisingly peaceful. The area is home to the Ikon Gallery, situated in Oozells Square which simply oozes tranquillity. The square, particularly in spring, is gorgeous as it is decorated with cherry blossom trees, and it makes a real change from your your usual four walls.
7. Warley Woods
Located in Smethwick, Warley Woods is a grade II listed park and its peaceful woods are brimming with history and wildlife. It’s a tranquil place for woodland walks, whatever the weather or season, and makes for a great escape from the Birmingham city centre. These woods in Sandwell even feature an Edwardian fountain that has been restored, as well as a pavilion that includes a shop and café, which are perfect to pop into after a long walk in the woodland area.