According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Birmingham is the city that has shown most rapid improvement as a city to live and work in – a claim based upon rising employment rates and the rewards of a series of regeneration projects. The Good Growth for Cities index places Birmingham at the top of the chart for improvement after accounting for all aspects of modern life including transport links, health, income levels and work-life balance.
It’s, therefore, a great place to find work right now, and as house prices are affordable it’s also the perfect time to live in Birmingham.
To relocate to a new city, though, you have to be sure that it offers more than just an affordable house and a job – those things will help you to survive but to really ‘live’ you need to find enjoyment in your surroundings. Birmingham offers a perfect balance of city life and access to green areas and surrounding countryside.
Birmingham for city-folk
In the city, you’ll find shops galore: their Bullring centre is a veritable shoppers’ paradise with their flagship John Lewis store situated alongside Debenhams, Selfridges and all the high street shops you’d expect to find in a thriving city centre. There are loads of independent bars and restaurants in the city, too. Local attractions to keep children happy include the ThinkTank science museum
, a very hands-on experience, and of course Cadbury World
Transport links by rail, road and bus are excellent, and Birmingham’s central location within England means that you can reach a huge number of locations and attractions within an easy 2-hour radius, giving you plenty of scope for day trips. HS2 will further improve journey times to and from London if you need to commute.
Birmingham for country-folk
If you don't want to live in the very heart of the city, there are some nice areas to live in the surrounding suburbs. Birmingham is at the centre of what was once an ancient forest (Arden) and although little of the original remains, a quick glance at a map of Birmingham will illustrate just how much greenery there still is around the city, with huge recreational grounds and wildlife reserves.
To the east of the city centre, Elmdon Nature Park near the areas of Yardley and Sheldon is a local nature reserve and designated Green Flag Park. Run by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust it offers tremendous views around the local area and walks through mature woodland areas. Nearby Sheldon Country Park comprises woodland, wetland, hedgerows and grassland coupled with an open farm.
To the west of Birmingham, the National Trust manages The Rockhouses (the last known cave dwellings in England) and there are two Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston: Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, with glasshouses, landscaped areas and Edwardian and Victorian gardens.
To the south of the city lies Cannon Hill Park, complete with boating lake, cycling route, copious space for picnics and the Birmingham Nature Centre, close to the iconic Edgbaston cricket ground. Nearby is Moseley Bog, where JRR Tolkien once played: this is another very beautiful nature reserve that also hosts Bronze Age burnt mounds and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
To the north is Sandwell Valley Country Park – another Green Flag Park – and the RSPB’s Sandwell Valley nature reserve.
Moving to Birmingham?
Birmingham is not just a vibrant, growing city – it’s also at the very heart of England and there are plenty of places of natural beauty in the surrounding areas to enjoy at weekends. Settling in one of the smaller areas around the city will give you the fresh air and freedom of the countryside all within easy access of the city – so you can have the best of both worlds!
If you decide to move to Birmingham, we have Safestore self-storage in central Birmingham, the south of Birmingham
(at Digbeth) and two stores in the east, at Sheldon
. So whether you want to move to be in the heart of the city or closer to the countryside, you can store your belongings during your house move and we will keep them dry and safe until you are settled in your new home. Click here for a full list of our storage facitlities in the Birmingham area