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A guide to the attractions, hotels and sights of Edgbaston Birmingham

Updated on December 12, 2010


Many will recognise Edgbaston as being on of the UK's most desirable locations to have your home. Leafy quiet streets with picturesque churches combine with a range of local amenities, popular schools and parkland. It is little wonder that houses rarely stay on the market for long and first time buyers are normally priced out of living here.

For those that can afford such a location or for those lucky enough to visit, this article will guide you through Edgbaston. Its history and local attractions will explored along with a few hotel and restaurant recommendations. Hopefully by the time you have finished reading you will understand just why this piece of urban paradise is so sought after and its residents so proud to live here.

Edgbaston - A leafy urban paradise

The history of Edgbaston

 Edgbaston has long been known as an affluent area of Birmingham. To fully understand why this is, you only need to delve briefly into its history. Edgbaston is understood to mean 'where the trees begin', and you only have to look at the current streets to see this. Edgbaston starts just a few minutes from the city centre. From any vantage point in the centre of Birmingham you can look west and see the trees begin.

In the 19th century it was the Gough and Calthorpe families that had control over the area and their refusal to allow factories or warehouses to be built in the area meant that it soon became very popular for the middle classes. Attracted to the smog-free environment, it was these people that are responsible for the stunning tree lined streets that characterise the area today. Of course these days, the area has developed and grown, now encompassing large amounts of multi- occupancy houses and the prestigious University of Birmingham on its fringes.


Sporting events in Edgbaston

WTA Tour tennis in Edgbaston
WTA Tour tennis in Edgbaston
The Ashes hosted regularly in Edgbaston
The Ashes hosted regularly in Edgbaston

Edgbaston attractions - Sport

 Edgbaston is home to two world class sporting facilities. Warwickshire country cricket club is based here. It is not only the country cricket games that are held here but also a regular host to the international tests involving England. It has been the scene of memorable cricket moments including the ashes between England and Australia. The ground is a true landmark of Birmingham and Edgbaston and is currently undergoing massive redevelopment to transform it into one of the worlds iconic cricket grounds.

The priory tennis club in Edgbaston offers a full range of sports facilities, from beginners lessons to hosting the annual Aegon Classic. Playing host to some of the worlds greatest female players each year in June.

Edgbaston attractions - places to see

 Edgbaston has plenty to offer those not into their sports. Since their formation in 1832 Birmingham's Royal Botanical Gardens has been open to the public. Its gardens and greenhouses offer you the chance to get up close and personal with nature all set within the urban tranquility of Edgbaston. Edgbaston pool, located in University grounds is a site of special scientific importance and there are also several incredibly picturesque churches hidden away in Edgbaston. (namely St Augustines, St Georges and St Bartholomew's). As a curiosity, one of Edgbastons past residents, J.R.R. Tolkein is said to have been inspired by Perrots Folly and the Waterworks Tower in the writing of his book, 'The Two Towers'.


Edgbaston Reservoir

Just one mile from the city centre lies the tranquility of Edgaston reservoir
Just one mile from the city centre lies the tranquility of Edgaston reservoir

Green space in Edgbaston

 Birmingham is known as having more green space per capita than any other UK city. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Edgbaston. Amongst the streets and quiet closes of Edgbaston lie many small hidden areas of parkland. Two of the real highlights of Edgbaston, and a favourite for runners, families and walkers alike are the reservoir and Cannon Hill Park.

Cannon Hill Park has been awarded with the green flag for excellence. It holds a stunning collection of flowerbeds, trees and pools interlaced with pathways and open spaces for easy access and activities. Built by Thomas Telford in 1827 as part of a top up system for Birmingham's many canals, Edgbaston reservoir has more recently been named a site of importance for nature conservation. Runners, cyclists and walkers make use of the 1.75 mile perimeter pathway, whilst the sailing club offers sailing, rowing and windsurfing.

A luxury nights sleep in Edgbaston

Sleeping and Eating in Edgbaston

Edgbaston and its outer areas are home to a wide range of restaurants of all types and price ranges. Along with balti houses and traditional pub grub lie two very special and popular venues. The White Swan has a smart pub atmosphere which is a real hit with the Edgbaston residents and visitors. Offering a wide and regularly updated menu, a two course meal can be had for an affordable £12.95. Sitting with a pint of ale in the garden it is hard to believe you are still within walking distance of the busy city centre.

Many consider the best restaurant in Birmingham and the Midlands to lie here in Edgbaston. boasting a well deserved Michelin star, Simpson's is hard to avoid if you are looking for a special evening out. With set lunch and dinner menus along with an outstanding a la carte menu, there should be something for you, whatever your tastes.

If you are a visitor to Edgbaston then you will need somewhere to sleep. The main road (Hagley Road) running through Edgbaston, and indeed the city, is home to a wide range of hotels and other accommodation. From Bed & Breakfast for £35 right up to the 5 star luxury of the Marriott , finding a bed for the night is easy. The wide range of lower and mid priced accommodation means competition is high and prices low. Other Edgbaston hotels can be found away from this road, but for its sheer convenience, this area is very popular.


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