A Guide To Edgbaston

Edgbaston is a leafy, suburban area of Birmingham, close to the centre on the south-west side, bordering Moseley and Harborne. Home to the University of Birmingham and their on-site art gallery, The Barber Institute, it has a reputation for being a more upmarket part of Birmingham.

Warwickshire County Cricket Club is based at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, as Edgbaston was historically part of Warwickshire, although it is now in the West Midlands. The club hosts regular county matches as well as one-day internationals and test matches. There is also a world-class tennis venue – The Edgbaston Priory Club.

Edgbaston is also famous for the two Tolkien towers – Perrott’s Folly and the Waterworks Tower – which are thought to have inspired Tolkien in writing The Lord of the Rings. The nearby Edgbaston Reservoir was one of Tolkien’s boyhood haunts.

The area has plenty of green spaces, including The Botanical Gardens, the university’s Winterbourne Gardens, and the volunteer-led Martineau Gardens, which is a little less manicured and includes a wooden pirate ship and sand-pit play area for children.

Cannon Hill Park, on the Moseley side of Edgbaston, is one of Birmingham’s biggest parks and includes a boating lake, mini-golf and several other attractions. It’s also the home of the Midlands Arts Centre (the mac), which hosts comedy, music and theatre plus art exhibitions and courses.

The area has good transport links, including the on-campus station – University – which is close to the Medical School and Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Women’s Hospital. To the north of Edgbaston, is Five Ways railway station. Both stations are on the cross-city line, with quick links to Birmingham New Street station and the new shopping facility Grand Central. The cross-city line runs from Redditch, up to Lichfield in Staffordshire.

Edgbaston is a walk away from the city centre and benefits from excellent schools and the university. The area is also home to two Michelin star restaurants, Turners and Simpsons, as well as a host of renowned pubs such as The Highfield, The Physician and the Edgbaston. Enjoy shopping? Edgbaston is home too many boutiques like recently opened furniture shop, Oka.

The most elegant streets of Edgbaston are found around the Calthorpe Estate with Farquhar Road and Westfield Road often appearing in the list of most expensive roads in the Midlands. There are many Victorian properties and some less budget-busting 60s terraces too. For more affordable houses, you need to head to the north of Edgbaston.

Did You Know?

J.R.R. Tolkien the writer and film director of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, lived within the area most of his childhood life and it is believed that the Edgbaston Water Works tower was the inspiration for his book/film “The Twin Towers”!

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