From canals and country parks to a range of indoor activities to try, Birmingham’s packed with exciting things to do. To get your action-packed adventure off to the best possible start, why not stay in a Premier Inn in Birmingham? There are several all over the city and the comfy beds and great breakfasts will ensure you arrive at your activity raring to go, whatever you decide to do.
Activities in Birmingham
Is the sun shining on your city break to Birmingham? There’s lots of things to do to get you outdoors and making the most of the good weather.
While there can’t be many people who haven’t heard the fact that the city has more miles of canals than Venice, in Birmingham, they’re so tucked away out of sight that they’re easy to miss. One way to experience them (and to find out more about the city’s industrial past) is to take a canal boat tour - and they’re surprisingly reasonable, too. For just £8 you can take a luxury narrowboat from the canal-side of the International Convention Centre (ICC) down the historic Gas Street basin and out into suburbia.
Fishing, tennis, jogging - there’s plenty of things to keep you occupied at Cannon Hill Park, the 250-acre Green Flag award winner in the south of the city. But for something a bit different, try the park’s mini golf course, the Golden Putter. Attempting all 36 holes course will see you dodging water features, crossing multiple bridges and hopping over islands – all overlooked by a two-metre waterfall. Floodlights mean you can play all year round, too!
If the only sport that springs to mind when you hear the word Edgbaston is cricket, you’re missing a trick. The area’s also home to the Edgbaston Reservoir, a watery oasis that overlooks Birmingham city centre - and just a walk away from our Premier Inn Birmingham Broad Street (Canal Side) hotel. This hidden gem is a great spot for wildlife and waterside walks, but you can also try some watersports, too. There’s canoeing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, rowing, powerboating, rafting and windsurfing all available from Edgbaston Watersports.
From stylish cinema trips and BBC tours to a fabulously fun game of human Hungry Hippos, there’s plenty to do indoors in Brum.
A cinema where you can get a pinot noir delivered by waiter to your comfy sofa? Now you’re talking. Unspoilt and fabulous, a trip to the art deco Electric Cinema is an experience you’ll never forget. Dating back to 1909, it was fully restored in 2003 and is now a real Birmingham highlight. From its tiny, vintage box office to the old-fashioned tickets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back to the era of silent film - but you’ll love the modern touches, like footstools and a text-waiter service.
Got a budding TV presenter inside of you, just waiting to get out? Unleash it at BBC Birmingham at the Mailbox. It offers the chance to present a news bulletin or the weather as part of its backstage tours. You may even be lucky enough to catch the cast recording an episode of the Archers.
If you’ve ever gazed on in envy as the kids have fun on a bouncy castle, you’re in luck, because Birmingham has its own giant inflatable theme park. Inflatable Zone in Great King Street North has 15,000 square foot of interconnected bouncy surfaces where adults can get fit and kids can go crazy. There’s an assault course, cross training, football and basketball arena, while daredevils should look out for the vertical drop slide, wrecking ball and UFO shaking table. But best of all has to be the human version of Hungry Hippos, where six people can compete to see who can get the most coloured balls.
Using your own two feet is one of the best ways to see Birmingham, but you can do more than just wander from shop to shop in Brum. Download a map to learn all about a literary legend, or take to the hills just outside the city to explore some interesting public art.
One of the best-known authors in the world, JRR Tolkien spent a lot of his early life in Birmingham - and the city has really claimed him as its own. Many of the locations in Tolkien’s fantasy worlds are inspired by real places all over the city, and you can visit them all by picking up a free Tolkien Trail map. Produced by Birmingham Museum and available online or at visitor attractions, it’ll take you to all the places most associated by the author, such as Moseley Bog (the inspiration for the Old Forest) or Sarehole Mill (the inspiration for the mill in Hobbiton).
Don’t want to go it alone? Real Birmingham offers a free walking tour most Saturdays at around 10.30am throughout the spring and summer months.Tours normally start from Victoria Square and last for two hours, walking roughly 1.5 miles.
Prefer to hike out in the countryside? The beautiful Lickey Hills Country Park ten miles south of the city has a number of marked walking trails of varying lengths and difficulty. There are circular walk routes ranging from 1.8 miles to 5.6 miles, or up your culture quota by following the park’s sculpture trail, which lets you view all of the fantastic public art.
Birmingham is a great city to explore on two-wheels. The centre is compact, but best of all is the vast network of traffic-free canal towpaths, where you can go for miles without seeing a car.
One of the most family friendly is the Rea Valley route. This heritage trail runs from Cannon Hill Park, past Bournville and through Stirchley to Kings Norton - and it’s surprisingly green and pleasant. The full trail is 12 miles in total, but there are options to turn it into a six or even three-mile trail. Just follow the blue signs along the River Rea and the Birmingham and Worcester Canal.
If speeding along towpaths doesn’t get the adrenaline pumping, what about trying some jumps as you race round a track? The Birmingham BMX Track is an international level BMX race track in the lush, green Perry Park. Or take your mountain bike out to Sandwell Valley to try its popular Follow the Dog and Monkey Trail routes.