Birmingham is winning people over due to house prices, culture, restaurants and bars, as well as schools, wide open spaces, and low start-up costs for new companies. It really is a city that has changed for the better in recent years, becoming as famous for its parks and botanical gardens, canals (32 miles worth, more than Venice!) and museums as it once was for endless road systems and heavy industry.
Birmingham is located in an area known in the UK as the West Midlands. It is the biggest city outside of London with a population of just over a million people. It’s about two and a half hours drive from London.
Birmingham is not concrete jungle, despite being the second biggest city in England and the heart of technological advancements in the past century.
Instead, it’s filled with green spaces and parks. To be more specific, it has over 500 parks.
Two of the biggest parks are Cannon Hill park and Sheldon Country park, where you can see a 17-the century farm and animals running freely on the farmland.
I moved here from Memphis two years ago, and I am so grateful that I did. Birmingham crime is highly concentrated in certain areas that are easy to avoid, while Memphis crime is everywhere. I feel much safer in Birmingham, and there is so much more to do here.
I have lived north of Birmingham for a large portion of my life. Most people when they say they are from Birmingham they mean they are from a surrounding area. I live in Gardendale and I am selling my home to move a little further north to morris, Kimberly, or warrior. If you are wanting land you might want to look in that area. Good schools and pretty quiet area and more affordable than some other areas. 65 takes you to Birmingham pretty fast depending on how far off you are from the interstate. It takes me about 20-25 minutes to get to Birmingham if traffic is no problem. Here is a Zillow link to the House I have for sale if you are interested. Birmingham is a great city that is on the rise and has some of the best food and interesting people you will find.
We moved here a little over 2 years ago. We lived in Hoover off of South Shades Crest road. If you want to live with one of the best views in Jefferson County, I would look in that area. The closer you get to McCalla, the lower the land prices. Do NOT look in Bessemer. If you go farther south on 65 after Hoover (like Pelham or Alabaster), rush hour traffic is a NIGHTMARE! Plan on a 45 min to 1 hr morning or afternoon drive. We have friends that live in Helena right next to the high school/middle schools and it takes him 45 minutes on a good day to get home.
On the top end of the county, Gardendale is also a very nice area with good schools. But, often there is a long morning commute.
Since you will be renting when you move, may I suggest renting in the city and taking a drive around on the weekends? You will get to know the city and the surrounding areas.
After doing a quick search on Zillow, there is a 4BR/3BA 2900+ SQ ft home for sale on 28.5 acres for $399,000. I would estimate that the commute would be around 1 hr.
I, personally, would never live anywhere down Hwy 280. Traffic is a nightmare all the time.
Birmingham is a relatively safe city. You will get to know, very quickly, what areas to avoid (West Bham, Bessemer, etc.)
We lived in Hoover for 1 year and then moved to Highland Park and absolutely LOVE IT!
Good luck with your move.
It's nice to have you in Birmingham!
Birmingham isn't all downtown, and even downtown, the crime limited to certain areas. I work downtown and love it.
Even if you don't live within city limits, there are plenty of suburbs around Birmingham with affordable housing and within a reasonable driving distance from the downtown area. Morning rush hour seems to be the only time when I have any real issues, and that's pretty much expected anywhere and can be planned for.
There are a ton of student nights, go to those. They are fun and cheap.
Known as Brummies, the people are fairly friendly and hospitable. The English are probably the most frosty of English speaking peoples, but Birmingham is one of the friendlier cities so that puts them at about the mid level in my view.
It's fairly easy to get a shopkeeper of waiter chatting about their personal life if you want to, or to strike up conversations in a bar. That sort of thing is much less likely to happen in London. On the other hand, I've worked along side people in Birmingham for years and never been invited to their home for dinner, something which happened with weeks when I lived in Melbourne, Australia.
Brummies are fairly un-pretentious too. Londoners know they're living in a globally significant city and can be quite snobby about the rest of the UK. And the big northern cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield have a distinct "northerner" identity which they're very proud of. Birmingham doesn't have a strong sense of its own identity, it's both literally and metaphorically the middle ground between London and the North.
The "Greater Birmingham" area (containing about 2.5 million people) is the third largest urban conurbation in the UK after Greater London and Greater Manchester, and as with any major city, there's always a lot of stuff going on. The only thing I would really single out as unique to Birmingham would be the rich variety of events that comes from having such large communities of immigrants. Birmingham has a lot of Irish, Caribbean and South Asian immigrants. (Some predictions say it will be the first minority white city in the UK). As someone with a white British ancestry I've never felt excluded from immigrant communities' events though. I get the feeling I'd be as welcome at Handsworth Carnival as I would at the St Patrick's day parade or at the various Diwali firworks celebrations that happen around the city.
It’s the worst run city council in Britain (officially - central government regulators have had to step in to run it). I’ll mention one of the “tourist attractions”, the science museum. It costs about £10 to get in, and loads of the exhibits don’t work. The equivalent museums in Manchester, London and Bristol are free, and everything works. Another attraction, the new library, has had to reduce the opening hours because they can’t afford to run it. The new tram system is years behind Manchester, Sheffield or Nottingham. Manchester had a tram system in the early 1990s, Birmingham’s is only just starting.
In truth, the place looks like a bit of a dump, especially if you come in on the train. Outside the small “regenerated area” in the centre, it has a desolate post-apocalyptic appearance. It always makes me laugh when they describe themselves as “Britain’s second city”. Second in size maybe, but there are at least ten cities that have a better claim.
Its main saving grace is that the people are very friendly and have a good sense of humour, that is if you can understand what they saying (the Brummie accent is quite strong). Plus everything is much cheaper, not just compared with London, but also Manchester, Bristol, Oxford and other important cities. Even close to New Street station you can find excellent restaurants that offer good food at really bargain prices. In fact for shopping in general it’s pretty good. The concert hall and the art museum aren’t bad either. There are also some brilliant pubs serving all kinds of beer and wines, and not expensive, and quite a few of them have free entertainment like live bands and singers.
I’ve just talked myself into moving there….
Some parts are horrible however it is the most diverse friendly city in the world however you have to get into a crowd there. The people are very very friendly with a strong irish and ethnic community people have learned to get on and this reflects in all aspects of life there. There is miles of difference between Londoners and brummies (birmingham residents) they see londoners and new yorkers as stick up it is the best city you could hope to move to in Europe.
Birmingham is the 2nd largest city situated in UK. The city is famous for it’s top class cultural , historical, educational and fun festivities. The city provide some awosame benefits to all the new residents. Follow the Birmingham Blog to learn more about the town.
Birmingham airport is UK’s second largest airport, where thousands of international travelers came every month to visit new attractions in town. Most of the time International visitor use Birmingham Airport Taxi to reach to there desire destination in Birmingham. Flowing are the top places in Birmingham to watch out. …
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Aston Villa Football Club
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
University Of Birmingham
Think-tank Museum Birmingham
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Museum of the Jewelry Quarter
Aston University Birmingham
The city is full of fun and provides great every kind of festivity to the individuals of all ages. Without any hesitation, you can shift to the city with your kids. It’s one of the safest place on earth. Must explore birmingham with your family by availing Minibus Hire Birmingham service.
Andrea Brooks, lives in Birmingham
So I love Birmingham. I came here about 15yrs ago and have never looked back. The food and bar scene is really good, although Friday nights out clubbing really aren’t worth it anymore. We have 4 Michelin star restaurants….. that’s 4 more than Manchester! We have a great street food scene that is constantly expanding with venues such as digbeth dining club adding more days, and more vendors winning accolades, or opening up their own restaurants, such as Original Pattyman and Meat Shack to name a few. We have lots of little independent restaurants, bars or speakeasys…… one of my favourites being Bourne and Co for cocktails, 40 St Paul’s, which specialises in gin and The Wilderness for ethically sourced amazing food and drink.
We also have china town, where you can experience Big Wok (Chinese all you can eat buffet) or go for something different and find a small restaurant serving chickens feet. We have a lively gay scene where (despite being straight) I was welcomed with open arms. We have the jewellery quarter for beautiful diamonds, watches, jewellery museums and more. We have some amazing sushi restaurants, the usual being Yo sushi but Nozomi is my favourite. We have the Bali triangle serving naan bread bigger than a table.
We have more canals than Venice…… 7miles our of Birmingham you have the Black Country which is known for the industrial revolution, and making chains for the TItanic.
We have lots of entertainment venues, for example the NEC on the outskirts, or in the centre we have symphony hall and the the barclaycard arena. If you want live music, one of the best known is the jam house. It has it in spades with open mic nights, and decent live bands.
Birmingham has lots of suburbs also worth a visit….. Moseley is very up and coming, lots of bars, restaurants, beautiful houses, shops etc with a slight bohemian feel to it, then there is harbourne, edgbaston (with the cricket ground), Solihull and Sutton Coldfield to name but a few. All have bars, restaurants, good takeaways, shopping, community etc etc.
There are a few different universities here but I don’t really notice an overload of students.
In previous posts it talks about the different ethnicities prevalent in Birmingham. I think this is what makes it such an amazing city. I’m white but have never had problems or felt threatened by the diversity. In fact I love it. There are places that I wouldn’t necessarily go, but that’s the same wherever you live.
I could go on forever. The list of qualities of Birmingham are endless and I personally have experienced very few negatives. At the moment there is a lot of construction which can be really annoying but ultimately my adopted city is getting better and better. The people are very friendly, the trains are great if you want to jump on one to London, the shopping is good, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.