While many people have an image of Birmingham (the UK's second largest city) as an industrial patch of grey (not helped by the grim setting of 1920's Birmingham in TV series Peaky Blinders), there is a surprising amount of green open spaces to enjoy. Two of my favourite open spaces in Birmingham are Canon Hill Park and the Edgbaston Reservoir, both massive, within walking distance of the centre of the city and a great place to spend a sunny day.
The reservoir is roughly two km in circumference, with a gorgeous tree-lined path running around the water, making it a fantastic running route as well as a good place to get away from the city and find some natural peace. There are also a few larger open green areas that provide enough space to sit near the water on the gently sloping banks that run down into to reservoir.
I should say now that having a BBQ in this area in the photo above (which we did) is not allowed, and a park employee came to ask us to put out the fire (which we promptly pretended to do, then continued undisturbed). However, on a good day there are few places in the city better for hanging out with friends, enjoying the sunshine and watching the ducks and swans and geese.
This park is even bigger than the reservoir, and features a mini-golf course, more than 10 tennis courts and an open air theatre. It's an absolutely brilliant place for families, sports enthusiasts and people looking for a little green relaxation. This park is right next to Edgbaston Cricket Ground, and Aldi (for all your BBQ and snack needs) as well as on many bus lines.
If you want to see the kind of atmosphere that I personally love this city for, go check out Canon Hill Park on a nice day and see the hugely multi-cultural mix of happy people that inhabit this supposedly grim and dirty city. You can also check out the Botanical Gardens after a day in the park, and see stunning examples for rare and difficult to cultivate plants, trees and flowers!
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