Retirement Move City Guides: Retiring in Birmingham
In this second instalment of our series of Retirementmove City Guides, we’re looking at what it’s like to retire to Birmingham.
Birmingham has lots to offer older people who are considering retiring to the city. It’s not only the birth place of Cadbury World, which is well worth a visit, but it also has more parks than any other European city! So you are never too far away from lovely green open spaces. The city has so much going for it with an array of museums, tea rooms, and historic sites – it’s no wonder Wychavon which is just outside Birmingham comes in as the 3rd best place to live in the UK!*
There’s a fantastic culture scene to absorb in Birmingham, including famous museums and art galleries such as the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Science Museum and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter which is built around a preserved jewellery workshop.
Top Tip! – Visit an attraction’s website to see if they have any discounts or special offers!
There are also many famous historic sites and attractions such as Winterbourne House and Gardens, Sarehole Mill, Blakesley Hall, Shelly Manor, Brindal Place, the Jewellery Quarter, St Pauls Church and Birmingham Oratory which are all well worth a visit or two. After a day spent admiring these great sites, you’ll find over ten tea rooms located around the city centre. Try the Edwardian Tea Room which is part of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where you can sit and enjoy afternoon tea with friends in the magnificent surroundings.
If you’re simply looking for a local place to get some fresh air and enjoy beautiful scenery, Birmingham is lucky to have a total of 571 parks including Cannon Hill Park, Sutton Park, Moseley Park, Handsworth Park Pond and Birmingham Botanical Gardens to name just a few.
Top Tip! – If you have limited mobility, check the park’s website to ensure it is easy to walk around and has wide, even pathways.
It’s easy to get around Birmingham whether it’s by bus, metro, canal, taxi or train. The bus network Network West Midlands has hundreds of bus routes and is linked to the tram and train services – making your journey even easier. Birmingham council offer an Older Person’s Pass that gives older people free travel by bus anywhere in England during ‘off-peak’ times. In addition, residents are also entitled to free train and metro travel during these times, including the last service of the day on all buses, trains and trams in Birmingham.
Birmingham also caters well for older people with limited mobility, making it easy to find Blue Badge parking and suitable changing places and toilets.
With the help of Birmingham Council, Visit Birmingham has developed Navigate Birmingham. This provides dedicated information for visitors with limited mobility and helps locate the closest car park or station to your destination and can provide you with a text and photo journey. It also includes information about surfaces – this is great news if you use a walking aid or you’re a wheelchair user.
Clubs and Associations
There are many clubs and associations for older people in Birmingham. The Royal Voluntary Service runs regular lunch clubs and has social centres and community centres all around Birmingham. To find your nearest club, visit their website and simply enter your location to find all the services they offer in your local area.
In addition, the Bourneville Village Trust offers a range of services to older residents in the Birmingham area including theatre trips, arts and crafts workshops, bingo, tea parties, and exercise classes. Read the calendar of events to find out what’s on and when.
Workshops and tea parties aren’t for everyone. If you’re hoping to take more of an active retirement and you enjoy playing golf for example, there are a few clubs dotted around the outskirts of Birmingham in places such as Edgbaston and Harbourne. Here is a list of some of the best golf courses in Birmingham.
For a classy evening out, there are up to ten different theatres to visit, the most popular is the Hippodrome that hosts the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Welsh National Opera. Learn more about things to do in Birmingham.
Birmingham has a range of markets and boutiques and is lucky to have two large shopping centres. The Bull Ring – one of the largest shopping centres in the UK – and The Mailbox, both located right in the centre of the city. The shops range from designer shops such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols to high street chains such as Schuh and H&M, so you will be spoilt for choice and always find what you’re looking for.
If you don’t like crowds and prefer smaller shopping centres, there are also a few beautiful arcades such as the Great Western Arcade, housing an array of independent boutique-style retailers.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities
Birmingham has a handful of hospitals and medical practices dotted around the city. One of the most prominent is Birmingham City Council and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Many of the hospitals offer special care for the elderly, such as Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals who offer high quality care for older people in the area and specialise in the treatment of falls and dementia. Moseley Hall Hospital also offers services for older people in the area and delivers sub-acute care and rehabilitation for the older person.
One of the benefits of living in a big city is there are 24hr pharmacies and late-night pharmacies, so it’s easy to get your prescription dispensed at any time of the day.
Where to Live in Birmingham
As with most cities, you can get the best out of living in them by moving to a quieter suburb with a strong sense of local community and excellent transport links into the centre. This is particularly true of retirement properties.
Most of Birmingham’s privately-owned retirement properties are located on the outskirts of the city. You’ll find them concentrated in areas such as Cotteridge and Harborne dotted around in some of the lovely villages. You can see a map of all the retirement developments in the area by clicking here.
Retirement properties for sale
Are you thinking of retiring in Birmingham? Check out this stunning retirement apartment at Henshaw Court in Castle Bromwich and other retirement apartments we have for sale in Birmingham. The apartment has a walk-in wardrobe and its own private patio area with views of the communal gardens. The development has all the usual facilities including beautiful landscaped gardens with a seating area, reading room, guest suite and laundry facilities all on-site.
Still looking to retire to a city but decided Birmingham’s not for you? In our last city guide, we looked at what it’s like to retire to the City of London and there are plenty more in the series to choose from, such as Manchester, London or Newcastle upon Tyne.
* Halifax Survey – https://static.halifax.co.uk/assets/pdf/mortgages/pdf/161217-Halifax-Quality-of-Life%202016-FINAL.pdf
Find your perfect retirement home: