Birmingham always gets such so much stick from the rest of the UK for being a crappy city, and as a result, the UoB campus can get tarnished with the same brush. But no matter what you’ve heard, Birmingham is actually a great place to be, especially as a student; it’s diverse and exciting, and its college campus is actually super-nice too. So, here’s a list of great places to relax on campus, to prove that Brum really isn’t so bad after all.
1. The Greenheart/Chancellor’s Court
There was a significant uproar after the uni spent so much money on The Greenheart, and perhaps with good reason- there’s always more important things than grass you can spend your resources on. Nevertheless, now we’ve got it, it’s such a nice place to chill on sunny days, the lawns stretching the whole length of the library, complete with picnic tables, and sloping onto Chancellor’s Court, which is another lovely grassy area to relax in (as long as you’re not under Old Joe while he’s chiming!)
2. The Vale
First Years, this is one of those things you don’t know you’ve got ’till it’s gone. Though not technically part of campus, as one of the official Uni accommodation locations, it is part of the Uni as a whole. Second and third years only really tend to go back for events like the fireworks display, or the uni’s legendary Valefest, but first years get to enjoy the lake, the grass, and, most importantly the student bar, “The Duck and Scholar” all year long. Lucky things.
3. Winterbourne House and Gardens
The Winterbourne Botanical Gardens is another location which isn’t technically on campus but basically counts as it is one of the buildings along Edgbaston Park Road that belong to the Uni. Though smaller than the other Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston, Winterbourne is an adorable little nature-haven really close to the centre of uni, where you can go to have some fresh air and a bit of a break from study stress- they do really nice tea and cakes there too!
4. Joe’s Bar
Like the best of us, when you think of the Guild of Students, your first thought is probably of Fab (FabnFresh, for those who don’t know, is the Uni’s Student Union club night). But the guild is actually a great place to be during the day too. Named after the uni’s founder, Joseph Chamberlain, the SU bar is a really chill place to have a pint, play some pool, and have some of the best curly fries known to the human species.
5. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
The Barber Institute is one of those hidden gems that you’re unlikely to know about unless you’re mates with an art history student, but it’s actually one of the best places on campus to relax. You can have a look around the gallery, chill in the cafe, and it’s also got some super-cute old fashioned library rooms where you can read if you need a bit of a break.
6. Gisbert Kapp Building
Explain to me why good old GK gets so much hate because I just don’t see it. It has a cafe downstairs, and a study space where you can chat in booths with fake grass on them. What more could you want?!
7. Muirhead Starbucks
Ok, so from the outside, the Muirhead Tower is pretty grim, and no one is that sure why it’s a listed building, but the Starbs in there is big and convenient. The upstairs seating area is actually a really nice place to chat away from the bustle of uni life.