What’s On: Spots to visit in Edgbaston during the Commonwealth Games
With the opening ceremony just around the corner, Birmingham is gearing up to welcome a whole host of new visitors to the heart of the Midlands. One area set to thrive with activity is its leafy suburb, Edgbaston. Less than a mile from the city centre, it is known for its rich history and period properties, as well as being home to some of the city’s most prestigious sporting venues.
Whether you’re heading to The Birmingham Botanical Gardens for the Queen’s Baton Relay, Edgbaston Stadium or the University of Birmingham for an event, there’s plenty do and see as well as watch the Games. Here’s our best pick of the local spots to visit in Edgbaston Village, so you can make a day of it:
1. Sample the best of Birmingham
As part of the celebrations, Edgbaston Village will be hosting a three-day Commonwealth special Artisan Market on Greenfield Crescent, between Friday 29 and Sunday 31 July, for those spending time in the city to enjoy.
The weekend special will be a supercharged version of the already popular and top-rated monthly market, which sees independent stallholders showcase the best of the region.
At Birmingham’s largest artisan market, visitors will be able to browse more than 60 artisan food, drink, and arts & crafts stalls between 10am and 6pm each day, offering award-winning sauces, pies, sweet treats and bakery produce through to exclusive handmade jewellery, painting, and ceramics and much more. There will also be a vintage ice cream van, coffee bar and deli for guests to take advantage of in addition to a choice of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops in the area.
The special edition market will also feature live jazz and blues music, with café style wicker seating, picnic benches and picket fencing lining Greenfield Crescent, making it the perfect destination to spend the day browsing, socialising, and soaking up the atmosphere.
2. Places to eat and drink
If you’re looking for somewhere for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks before or after watching one of the Commonwealth Games events, Edgbaston Village has got you covered with a range of award-winning places to eat and drink.
The newly opened Chapter Restaurant offers a delicious breakfast through to dinner menu, while Loki Wine has an amazing choice of wines and bottled beers, both of which can be enjoyed on the front terraces overlooking the streetscaped Greenfield Crescent. The authentic Italian, Laghi’s Deli, is an ideal spot for lunch, or for those looking for some good-old fashioned gastro pub food, The High Field and The Physician are the perfect choice.
3. Retail therapy
For those staying in the area but looking for time out away from the sporting action, Edgbaston Village is Birmingham’s home of luxury interiors. There are a whole host of home and lifestyle stores in the area, including Neptune, OKA, BoConcept and KIN, as well as Lux Gallery which sells both local and international original pieces of artwork.
4. Getting outdoors
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens, located on the Calthorpe Estate, will form part of the Queen’s Baton Relay route, which sees The Queen’s Baton visit all 72 Commonwealth nations and territories before the events begin.
The event takes place bright and early at 8am, on Wednesday 24th July, and tickets can be booked here.
After, take a walk around the gardens and enjoy the Commonwealth Plant Display, or even head for breakfast at Boston Tea Party, just a short walk away.
Looking for something to do with the children? The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is also hosting a family Sports Day on Saturday 30th July for those inspired by the Games, encouraging participants to come dressed in their best Brummie colours – red, yellow and blue.
5. Take a walk
If you’ve enjoyed your visit to the area and want to explore it further, The Blue Plaque Walks offer a great way to discover Edgbaston’s history and culture. There are four separate trails, ranging from one to four miles, which include the plaques of historical figures who have previously lived or stayed in the area – including the likes of Washington Irving, Neville Chamberlain and JRR Tolkien. As well as taking in the leafy scenery, several of the routes also take you past key venues for the Commonwealth Games, including the University of Birmingham.
If you’ve bought your four-legged friend along for the walk, there are also a whole host of dog-friendly places to eat and drink to stop off at along the way too.
6. Make an evening of it
If you’re enjoying your time in Birmingham and want to extend your trip for longer than a day, or are visiting from further afield, The High Field Townhouse offers boutique rooms, and the Birmingham Marriott Hotel is also nearby.
Evenings can be spent enjoying the award-winning restaurants and bars, sampling the best of fine wine at Loki, indulging in delicious cocktails at Chapter’s bar, or enjoying the best of live jazz performers as The Blue Piano.
Edgbaston Village is easily accessible by public transport, walking, cycling or by car. The newly opened Edgbaston Village Metro stop adds yet another route into the area in addition to Five Ways train station. There are pay and display car parks in the area, as well as on-road parking spaces in and around the Village. For further information visit www.edgbastonvillage.co.uk